The Daily Gamecock

SG Candidate Profiles: Nick Santamaria, treasurer

<p>Nick Santamaria, second-year political science student and candidate for student body treasurer</p>
Nick Santamaria, second-year political science student and candidate for student body treasurer

The Daily Gamecock: What experience makes you qualified for this office?

Nick Santamaria: As an organization treasurer for Mock Trial I managed a $15,000 budget through the university's allocation system, including the finances for an intercollegiate conference bringing 25 schools to USC's campus. In senate I am the chairman of the academics committee and vice chair of the rules committee (making me third in line in senate). I have seen the student organization process from both sides of the table. I understand the process front to back. I know each and every step, office, staff member and requirement along the way. Additionally I serve as the deputy director of USC SG's Congressional Advisory Board where I will lobby congress for the needs of USC Students. These experiences make me qualified for the position and ready to fight for the student body on day one. However I know that I can't promise the moon. A one-week turnaround for funds will never happen, but only someone with the knowledge of the system is aware of that. Lastly, as a testament to my knowledge of the process, I was asked to sit down with the current faculty advisor for the senate finance committee before she interviewed for the position in order to give her the student perspective and explain the funding system to someone relatively new to it.

TDG: If you could accomplish one thing during your term, what would it be?

NS: The one thing I would accomplish would be to make getting student organizations their funds easier. This comes down to a two-prong approach. First, I want to revamp the treasurers' workshops, so that treasurers get detailed print and online resources that go step-by-step to break down the complicated process and paperwork by which student organizations request funds. Additionally, I would work to shorten the Student Government timeline that student organizations request funds with. Currently, we sit at five weeks until funds are authorized, and an additional two to get the check cut. I would bring administration to the table, from all the offices involved in the process to get organizations their money as soon as possible. In brief, I am going to reform the student organization funding system through an overhaul of treasurer education and a reassessment of the current funding timeline.

TDG: What inspired you to run for the job?

NS: My peers. Both in Student Government and in my other organizations. I wasn't sure I was going to run just a few months ago. But I have been so lucky to have such an incredible grassroots support network of people who believe in me and my abilities to empower organizations on campus.

TDG: What food do you think embodies your personality, and why?

NS: I have to go with pizza. As a native New Yorker, I have to pay homage to my home state. I say this only because at my core I am where I come from, the proud son of an Italian immigrant and two parents who never got the chance to go to college. However, even though it's a northern food, it's universally loved and appreciated. My experiences here at school and throughout my life are like all of the toppings. They're what makes an amazing pizza, and I am a combination of both my background and my experiences here at USC.