Written by Madeleine Jenness – Assistant Editor
The final person we will feature in the series on the 2021-2022 ASUWB team is none other than James Archer, the incoming president himself.
Archer is taking-over the role previously held by Djelli Berisha. He, like Berisha, is coming into the role as a junior in Biology.
I had the opportunity to interview Archer via Zoom during final’s week. He Zoomed with me from a final class picnic.
Currently, he is at Officer Candidates School to become an officer in the Marines, and will return in August.
Q: What in your life and college experience led you to run for President?
“What initially got me to want to run, stupid enough, the title president is a very alluring thing. But then behind this fun title is an actual role and position where you are the representative for your peers. Essentially a microphone. You are the voice of your peers. I’m doing this because I genuinely care for people to be represented, to feel comfortable and safe at this school. It’s appalling to me that many, many people go feeling unrepresented.”
Q: What is something you want the community to know about you personally?
“I think wherever people think about someone on the job, their personal life is gone; They’re now a machine. But I am a person, I have flaws. And that being said, as much as I am flawed, I also care very very much. I’m not the perfect person, but I always try. It’s dumb to not. If I do make a mistake, if I do fall short, I want people to not feel afraid to say something. The whole thing here is communication.”
Q: Your slogan is A.L.A.: ask, listen, act. How do you plan to implement this into ASUWB and for the greater student body? What about for issues you don’t personally agree with?
Archer replied that he hopes to do weekly surveys to gauge how people feel about the campus. He said that “Hopefully this will get people to think about this if they aren’t already,” also provoking thoughts of “What can we add, what can we build on this?”
He also mentioned that since UW Bothell plans to go back in-person for fall quarter, “we can finally get out there and meet people, and talk to people. It can be jarring to receive a random email and just pass over it. Everyone has a story and I love to listen. With in-person, it’s not the biggest campus in the world, it’s more accessible. It’s easier to be there, be present. I don’t feel drained. I genuinely get a lot of joy from meeting new people.”
Archer put together an ice-breaker event for the new team and describes that everything “fell right in-line.”
“I’m very ecstatic to work with these people. I think we’re going to do a lot of good.”
If you’ve been following Archer on Instagram (@jentlemanjames) you probably know he is a big fan of TV, movies, and comics. Archer described his favorite pastimes during the pandemic as spending more time on his current pastimes, doubling-down on exercise which he had gotten his father to do with him, picking-up more books and, of course, more movies. His favorite movie is Goldeneye, which actually contributed to his changing his name to “James,” his favorite video game is Halo, and his favorite book is “Daylight Forever.” Written by childhood friend, Mahvash Khajavi-Harvey. It is the true story of her solo escape from Iran during the Iran-Iraq war.
When asked what society will look like coming out of the pandemic, he jokingly describes that “It’s gonna be kind of like Mad Max.”
Q: Do you have anything else you would like to say to the community?
“I feel extremely humbled and excited, which is all cliché stuff you’ve heard before. But as I’m saying this my heart is pounding. I just want to make change, and I’m excited to do this for my peers, for the staff, for the campus. And I’m ready, I’m ready for it.”