Luca Cassidy, a junior double-majoring in economics and sociology, is one of two candidates on the ballot for the Student Association’s (SA) vice president for student success (VPSS) — an office that advocates for students’ academic needs and general well-being. His responses to Pipe Dream’s questionnaire have been edited for clarity.

1. Why did you decide to run for this SA E-Board position? 

I think the VPSS is the best position. It is not too bureaucratic, like the [vice president for finance], [executive vice president] and [vice president for programming], but it is not too much in the spotlight like the president or [vice president for multicultural affairs]. It is an advocate position that few know about and has no real guidelines, and so you do as you please. With this freedom, I have been able to tackle so many varying issues, from sexual health to civic engagement, and I find that thrilling — exhausting to a disgusting degree, as well — but mostly thrilling. If I am being perfectly honest, there are times where I am filled with such passion that I find it hard to do anything else — which is why I am a bit behind in my studies. Lastly, I just want to come up with creative solutions to difficult problems, and that is the VPSS position entirely and nothing else.

2. Tell us a bit about yourself — any clubs, hobbies or career plans for the future? 

I like reading. [I am] currently reading Happy City, a book about making better urban environments. It is such a great book that sometimes I have to put it down because I get a rush of ideas. I love that feeling — being filled with a flush of ideas on how to make the world a better place. It is the best. I actually have a list of every book I have read since junior year of high school and one sentence describing what I learned from the book. I try my best to volunteer, though to be perfectly honest, I do not volunteer as much as I used to.

Unsurprisingly, I want to go into public service, whether nonprofit or government. Based on my aptitude [for] problem-solving, I may go into a consultant type of role, but I am not absolutely sure. I am a bit lost in that way, but I am sure I will find something.

3. Describe your platform in a succinct way. 

Better serve the health needs of students — create more fun, build safe places, address suicide and expand access to Plan B statewide.

More money for clubs — find more grants, sponsorships, ambassadorship and make the process easier.

Get students to be civic — fun civic events and good civic jobs.

4. How does your background influence what you are able to offer the campus community? 

I have been a boring SA member for a long time, and I have not spent that time dillydallying. Every year I advocated for something and learned from that. I have built important relationships with stakeholders across the University as well. What this means is that I know how the SA and University works, so when I see a problem, I can more efficiently address that problem. I know how to prepare a pitch, what to research and who to contact. This is vital because ideas die unless you know how to implement them. My ideas wont die — I know how to implement them.

5. What is your favorite restaurant in Binghamton? 

Red Lobster down Vestal Road. A very close friend of mine graduated last semester, but before he left we went to that Red Lobster. It was an amazing lunch, and it made me realize I should have prioritized my limited time with him. It was a sad thought, but I think it has helped me grow, and I now make more effort to spend time with loved ones. The food was OK.