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FOR THE EAGLES: An Interview with Domenic Volpi

-How do you intend to implement healthier dining options on campus?

“A lot of things have happened in the past few years with the gluten allergy, and I feel that there should be more gluten free options on campus and I’d like to work with the dining facilities on campus to provide more healthy options on campus. Some places do have gluten free and healthy options but many places don’t. We have greasy pizza and the same old Chick-fil-a sandwiches, but I’d like to bring something local, something fresh, something new. I think it would be really great to give our students another option. We’re a growing campus, we grow by (a few thousand) students per year, so the same old stuff isn’t really cutting it anymore.”
-Please elaborate on your plan to implement a late night shuttle to the GCTC. Why is this important? 
“Our plan behind that is that there is already a shuttle in place right now to run from the Town Center between the hours of 4 and10 pm. And then it shuts off. I know a lot of our FGCU students go out, especially Thursday to Sunday nights, to the Town Center. It would be a better option, we all know that the students go out there, and me personally, I don’t want out students drinking and driving or being in a car with someone who has been drinking and driving, so our goal is to offer a late-night shuttle so that students have another option besides paying for a cab. We’re trying to take care of Eagles the way their parents would like them taken care of.”
Is there a demand for student locker/more study areas? Where would these be located? 
“This was an idea that we put together with commuters in mind. A commuter lounge would be created for someone coming from work who has a presentation for a business class but no place (to prepare). Here is how I like to look at it, if you live in Naples and you come to school and you have to dress up in a coat and tie for a presentation, but your normal routine is that you go to your business class and then go to the gym and you don’t have anywhere to store your stuff. With this you’d have a place to go to rent out lockers in the academic areas for you to store your things. It’s another option besides keeping stuff in your car, or if you don’t have a car, then you have a place. The location is still to be decided.”
-Please comment on your initiative to help create more night classes.
We were all freshman and sophomores at one point. We all know what it is like to try and get classes that fill up quickly because they’re only available able during the day. Some people work during the day and have other things to do, so to give them that option to take some of these classes at night could free up other people’s schedules and could work as a benefit to everyone. We don’t have enough night classes and I know we are moving toward Friday classes, which will free up more space.”
-Please elaborate on your grad prep course and online textbook initiatives (which classes?) 
“We have talked to Center for Academic Achievement and they do have some things implemented. I think one thing that we would try to bring in is more marketing toward that stuff, getting these resources out there. A lot of people do go to grad school and continue their education at FGCU and a lot of the time they’re not fully prepared for a test or interview, so if we can give them those options and that resource while advertising to let people know about it, it would be very helpful to our students.”
-What is the T-shirt exchange and why is it important? 
“This is purely for school spirit. We are FGCU, we are the Eagles. We do not go to Florida State or to USF or to UF. It bothers me when people wear shirts from other schools. I remember when I was a freshman in 2010, we had opportunity to exchange other school shirts for an FGCU one. It’s a great way to promote school spirit and marketing for our school ourselves. It’s something I want to bring back, something that hasn’t been done in the past couple of years. It’s something to be proud of. We go to a great school so we might as well show it.”
-The current administration found many roadblocks when trying to create a mobile app for transportation this past year. Ultimately the initiative was dropped. How will your plan be different/better for a mobile app, and why is this necessary when we already have an emergency text alert system?
“It’s because of the people we know, we are part of Programming Board, both me and Corey, and implemented an app before for the Programming Board. We’ve been a part of that process and I feel like something that it is useful. The text messaging service is great, but not a lot of people are on it anymore. But if you have an app that’s just sitting in your phone and you get a push notification, it will be more helpful.”
-Please elaborate on the Greek/non-Greek relationships initiatives
 “A lot of time our school is divided between Greeks and non-Greeks. We are FGCU and we need to be one. IT doesn’t need to be where people can’t mingle or get to events because they’re not officially affiliated with a group of people. It’s just something that the whole school can work on to create a full attitude change. If we can be there to help move that forward then that’s what we want to do and that’s what we are striving to do.  We can bring everyone together and help everyone get along. I personally have a ‘one-love’ type of personality where everyone is in it together. We are all trying to graduate, we’re all gonna end up most likely seeing one or two people you went to college with in our future business endeavors.”
– School spirit initiative:
“More tailgates, more activities around sports and sports clubs. I feel like a lot of our sports clubs don’t get enough credit for what they do. A lot of lacrosse games go unwatched and club soccer games have these people that are really good at athletics don’t get seen. A lot of school spirit is people being there.”
-Please elaborate on your plans for the music festival.
“My pride and joy. I’m director of concerts for Programming Board and music is my passion. Student Government has so much money at end of year, they have so much funding that gets used on themselves or to buy promo items or t-shirts. Well then why don’t we use these funds to bring local or small scale talent to perform at FGCU with our students. With something with the title of music festival, people think of food and bands and networking happens, and it would be a great way for the school to form a tradition. We could have people come from elsewhere as well as students from FGCU and the Bower School of Music performing and it would be pretty moving, and it would all be free.”
Why do you think you’re the best candidate for the position of president?
“ I’m a real person running for real students. What we are doing is not what you’ve seen before. We are students running for students, and that’s what we are. We’ve spent maybe $200 on our campaign, and we as a collaborative team has moved forward we’re trying to make a big noise with small paycheck. We’re not trying to buy people’s vote, we’re trying to earn it. Getting down and talking to people individually and being personal put you ahead and makes you a little out of the ordinary. Instead of shoving t-shirts and big flyers down people’s throats, being personal and being fair is how we are going to be when we are in office. We’re going to have an open door policy and it’s going to be a very down to earth group of people that you can come and talk to at any point. There isn’t going to be a divide. I feel like I’m on the same playing field as every as  every student in this university and I feel like it’s up to me to stand up and have a voice to show that future leaders can do this without spending thousands of dollars to do it. People can have a voice and stand out and run and make a difference. I almost feel like I’m doing this for the future, the future of people.”
-Do you have any comments you’d like to add? 
“One thing I want students to know is that we are here for them and we’re here to empower their voice. We don’t look at ourselves as president and vice president of the students, we are students. We are middle men. Their voice is our voice, what they want is what we’re going to try our hardest to get. The platform, those things can change at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t have to be what we’ve come up with. Three people shouldn’t dictate the direction that the school goes, it should be the students. FGCU has given me so much and it’s time to give FGCU back what it has given me. We are real people, it is not a joke, we are very serious about this. We want people to come to our table and hear our message.”

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