Jenkins has humorous stance, ideas for AVP campaign platform

Libby Nelson

Academic Vice Presidential candidate Josiah Jenkins said he doesn’t like the word “realistic.”

That might explain the mismatch between his serious expression and his words as he sits in the first floor of Norris and sweeps his arm around in a grandiose gesture.

“I’m a dreamer,” the Weinberg junior said. “I’ve looked at things and seen what they could be. I look around Norris and see not a bare room with couches, but a coffee shop.” He paused. “And I look out on Lake Michigan, and I see not a body of water, but a state-of-the-art dinosaur cloning facility.”

Jenkins’ campaign might seem outrageous: along with recreating “Jurassic Park” (vegetarian dinosaurs only), he advocates a home economics curriculum and do-it-yourself transcripts. He said he doesn’t want to talk about what he calls his “minor platform, with stuff like distribution requirements.”

But Jenkins also described himself as an ASG outsider who would shake things up within the organization. He served as a senator for one quarter during his freshman year, but since then he has spent his time as a CATalyst counselor and worked at the Center for Student Involvement.

“I sincerely believe that ASG becomes an echo chamber,” Jenkins said. “They’ve spent basically the past year and a half talking about community. But who brought community up first? The university. And why is it important to them that Northwestern feels like a community? So that they can make more money.”

The smaller schools and programs, such as theater and radio/TV/film, are often overlooked, Jenkins said. He would push for more community within those schools rather than focusing on creating a community within Northwestern as a whole.

Jenkins said he believed his experiences outside ASG and connections to students in different schools – he has stage-managed for Mee-Ow, played roles on NUTV and been a member of the marching band – would help him forge connections.

He’s also campaigning, and making more connections, through the “Josiah Jenkins for AVP 2006” group on Facebook. According to its description, Jenkins is not endorsed by “Satan, Scientologists or former President Chester A. Arthur.” The group has more than 160 members.

ASG Financial Vice President Sara Ittelson, who was a CATalyst counselor with Jenkins, is a member of the Facebook group and said Jenkins’ humor-based campaign could be an asset to ASG.

“He’s probably going to draw a lot of attention,” Ittelson said. “Half the battle is making students aware that elections are going on and making students care. In a way, he’s doing the organization a huge service because he’s publicizing them better than anyone else.”

Reach Libby Nelson at [email protected]