Pulte looks to ascend to presidency

Andrew Scoggin

Bill Pulte has spent the past six months as second-in-command at Associated Student Government. Now he’s aiming for the top spot.

“I’m running for ASG president because I firmly believe that the organization can produce results to affect the daily lives of Northwestern students,” said Pulte, a Medill junior. “I believe ASG can actually do things.”

According to Ryan Erickson, former president of College Democrats, Pulte’s campaign isn’t just a reason to pad his own resume.

“He isn’t running for president because it looks impressive or as a resume stamp,” said the Weinberg senior, who headed College Democrats from Spring 2007 to Spring 2008. “He thinks he’s the best person to implement the policies he wants.”

Pulte, originally from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is founder and the chief executive officer of the aerial photography company Great Lake Helicopters, LLC. He also served as president of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha.

ASG’s vice president position was created in Fall 2008, and Pulte was appointed to the post. He said he had always been hesitant to join the governing body.

“I had never really wanted to become a part of the organization, because I viewed it as idle and inefficient,” Pulte said. “When they had this VP spot opening up I said ‘Hey, maybe this is could be the next place I could go about helping get things done.'”

Current ASG President Neal Sales-Griffin was among those in ASG who chose Pulte, and said the committee thought he would be “good at executing projects.”

“He’s done a really good job,” said Sales-Griffin, a SESP senior. “He has a track record of execution and accomplishment.”

As of Monday, Sales-Griffin has not decided which candidate he will endorse or if he will endorse anyone as his successor.

Pulte delineated specific goals he has in mind for ASG and for NU if elected. Within the first 21 days of his ASG presidency, Pulte said he would institute a North/South Campus shuttle. Among other goals are the creation of a student and university administrator panel to lobby for disciplinary amnesty for students sent to the hospital for alcohol-related incidents, a program that would allow students to use WildCARDs off campus, and a fall event comparable to Dillo Day.

Pulte’s running mate, Pat Dawson, said he and Pulte have similar leadership characteristics. ASG decided in March that presidential and vice presidential candidates must run as a ticket.

“I saw Bill as someone to get things done,” said Dawson, a Weinberg junior and an ASG off-campus senator. “He has the same tendency as me to be results-oriented.”

Many Greek chapter presidents have endorsed Pulte, as have other notable students on campus, including Erickson, Pulte said. Others include former Zeta Beta Tau president Aaron Jacobowitz, a Weinberg junior, and former ASG Speaker of the Senate Jack Eichorst, a Weinberg senior, who is now serving as Pulte’s campaign manager.

“Generally anyone in the Greek scene is pretty energized about having a guy who they know understands their concerns,” Pulte said. “Having a Greek ASG president is a win-win.”

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Related: Guide to ASG candidatesVideo: Bill Pulte and Patrick Dawson: Candidate for ASG president and vice president