President: Blake Yocom

Nathan Adkisson

It would be almost unthinkable for someone who has not been a governor or member of Congress to run for president of the United States, but Blake Yocom hopes to become ASG’s next president without any experience in student government.

“The strategy we’re using is to show everyone that Blake Yocom is the typical Northwestern student who has not been wrapped up in this ASG narrow mind-set,” said Bill Pulte, Yocom’s campaign manager.

Yocom does have some government experience, having served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives. The current recruitment chairman of Pi Kappa Alpha, Yocom believes that outside experience will be more beneficial to his campaign than serving on ASG.

“He decided to run in part because nobody in the Greek community, specifically (the Interfraternity Council) or (Panhellenic Association), was running,” said Pulte, who is also president of PIKE. “Since that is a large part of the school, he thought they should have some sort of representation.”

Yocom said ASG has a history of passing legislation that has little or no effect on the student body.

“We should spend time on a lot of those smaller things that ASG can have a voice in rather than focusing on unattainable, irrelevant issues,” he said. “I think they need to return to the simple things: campus food, campus housing, the social atmosphere, athletics, the things that make a good undergraduate career for someone.”

One of the goals of the Yocom campaign is an initiative to have local restaurants allow students to pay for their meals using WildCARDs. Managers of Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, and Philly’s Best have signed letters supporting this proposal.

Tom Ryan, the owner and general manager of Jimmy John’s, wrote in one letter, “By expanding the use of the card, I feel you will be opening a whole new world for the students of Northwestern University.”

Another of Yocom’s plans is to open an off-campus housing office to assist students in looking for apartments.

“There is very little oversight of landlord abuse of students and the supply and demand of off-campus housing (that) leads to increasing rents and less services,” Yocom’s Web site reads.

Pulte is confident in his candidate’s ability to win the election.

“Blake’s popular for a reason, and that’s because he’s an authentic guy,” Pulte said. “If people see him up there, they’re going to vote him in because they know historically what he’s been like.”

Pulte said he considers Mark Crain and Neal Sales-Griffin to be Yocom’s primary competition.

“Neal and Mark have been going around and talking about Blake, and I think that signals that they are a little bit nervous about Blake’s network and his ability to lead being greater,” he said. “That’s a positive thing for our campaign, because we know that they know that Blake is definitely capable of winning and being a good president.”

– Nathan Adkisson