Written by Madeleine Jenness, Assistant Editor
Today, we are featuring Braxton Goss, who is coming into the role of Director of Student Advocacy previously held by Keita Shimizu. Braxton is a junior in Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Below are the questions I asked them in an email interview. I have included all the questions I asked and all answers received for the sake of transparency as this is an opportunity and platform for the newly-elected members to self-describe themselves.
Q: What’s been your favorite pastime during the pandemic?
Running/Working Out — Gyms being closed definitely hit hard since I had to shift my focus away from weights and into running or biking more.
Q: What in your life and college experience led you to run for Director of Student Advocacy
Since I’m a transfer student, this is actually my first quarter at UW Bothell; I did my admission prerequisites at Seattle Central College (SCC). During my 2nd year at SCC, I got a job on one of the student leadership boards called Global Engagement Team (GET). In GET, our goal was to create and foster a connection between our campus’s international and domestic students. Our main goal was to make this connection stronger by hosting fun events such as Indoor Rock Climbing, Pumpkin Carving, and a Fashion Show. This experience taught me a lot about student engagement and about what it’s like to plan big events like that. But more importantly, it taught me that input and student feedback from our events was the utmost important factor to the success of our following events. All in all, creating actionable steps towards change based solely on student feedback is what I hope to bring to the role of Director of Student Advocacy.
Q: What is something you want the community to know about you personally?
I’m an only child and my parents divorced when I was eight, meaning they both worked overtime and were never home when I was growing up. So, a lot of my early knowledge came from the internet or from friends. This definitely caused some unnecessary stress to me as a kid but I’m grateful for what it’s made me become.
Q: Your LinkedIn mentions your “Passion for Creating Software for A Better Tomorrow.” Can you speak to how you hope to implement this in your life, and potentially how this passion relates to the position of Director of Student Advocacy?
I’ve always been an optimist for the future. I know a lot of people these days think we’re headed for the dark ages or that we’re doomed to mutually assured destruction but I can’t let myself think in such a negative light. My major is CSSE so I’m planning on becoming a software engineer or data scientist. A lot of the same people who think we’re heading for the dark ages also think that data scientists can commit only evil acts that prey on your private data. I hope to change this in my future program implementations and make things that shine a positive light on our species. I’m honestly not sure how that would connect directly to my role in student advocacy but I know that my optimism won’t shy away in any situation this job will put me in.
Q: As a white man in the role of Director of Student Advocacy, What will you incorporate into your work to advocate for students of color, as well as female and non-binary students?
My door/email/Discord will always be open for anyone to come and voice their opinion or grievances about the work that ASUWB/myself is doing. If I haven’t heard from a particular club or group of students that have normally reached out in the past, I will make a conscious effort to email that club or group and ask for some feedback on ASUWB’s actions.
Q: What do you think society, especially the community on college campuses, will look like going into next year as we come out of the pandemic?
Hard to really say for sure but our expected re-open date is slated for June 30th in WA. The optimist in me says that we’re going back to normal in the fall but I’m hoping that leadership (both in companies and at UWB) will realize that some things the pandemic forced upon us like, work from home, asynchronous lectures, and masks when you feel sick/during flu season, will all be here to stay.
Q: Do you have anything else you would like to say to the community?
I’m pumped to be in this role and I hope to see all of your smiling/angry/stressed-due-to-exam faces on campus and in class this fall!