Posing for a photo on the spiral staircase landing in the Administration Building, hands in their pockets, student government Vice President-elect Tim Hole leans over to President-elect Dan Gearhart, still maintaining his wide photo smile and whispers, “My suit is really dirty.”
“I know,” Gearhart responds through his teeth as the camera flashes, “I need to get this thing dry cleaned,” he says of his only suit, which followed the 21-year-old junior political science and communications major along the duo’s campaign.
And even though the two newly elected leaders of the Associated Students of CSU laughed and joked with one another throughout the photo shoot, all comedy was abandoned when the topic of discussion switched from beer and skiing to politics.
“I feel like we have a lot to do,” Gearhart says, comfortably positioned in an armchair. He’s relaxed talking to the Collegian reporter he says because of his ease and ability to talk to anyone, a skill he learned as a military kid who moved around a lot. “Elections are over and now its time to knock this budget out.”
Gearhart and Hole’s lives, they say, are not that different from the next student.
Hole lived what he describes as a “standard Colorado childhood” and arrived at CSU after deciding against CU-Boulder because he didn’t want to follow in his older brother’s footsteps.
Gearhart’s motives were slightly different; he chose the school that was cheapest but still farthest from his parents. He says he doesn’t regret his decision for a moment and has never looked back.
Though their answers to the question of what’s personally important starkly contrast –/for Gearhart it’s a cold beer on a Friday night and student advocacy in Hole’s mind –/the two agreed that they compliment each other’s political strengths and weaknesses just as a team should.
“We just clicked together so well and (running for the presidency was) something we needed to do,” Hole said.
On the trail
The two self-coined “average college guys” said they decided to run together while shooting pool at Hole’s house one night in January. And while it took them a moment to determine that this dateline was correct, neither hesitated when asked if running was the right decision.
“This isn’t about Tim and myself,” Gearhart said before Hole arrived at the interview Thursday evening. “This is about the students.”
Hole said it took some influence from their colleagues in ASCSU to get them to run and Gearhart says he thinks there were a couple people who “pushed (them) in the butt.”
The two leaders, who were congratulated by no less than eight administrators including Interim President Tony Frank while lounging in the Administration Building lobby, said their first order of business this semester is to foster development internally within ASCSU. This, they say, will help the institution start working on projects at the start of the fall semester.
Under their “green” campaign, Hole and Gearhart have promised to open an Office of Sustainability that they say will motivate the university to keep its green promises.
Hole says both students and administrators working in the office will work together to re-evaluate former President Larry Penley’s green university goals and “do things that can be accomplished.”
Gearhart and Hole say developing a plan to pass the Board of Governor’s Bill, who would give a CSU student-voting power on the CSU System Board of Governor’s, is a priority initiative on their summer agenda.
And while they think that passing the bill is possible, they acknowledged that this was one of the most challenging of their campaign promises.
After traveling to various student organizations on campus throughout the election season, Hole and Gearhart say they immediately “rolled up their sleeves” and started developing a plan to reach out to all branches of the CSU community.
“(The talks) highlighted that we just don’t know all the problems on campus,” Hole said, amazed by the number of organizations they discovered that needed help with a variety of issues but “had no idea where to go.”
Both promised face-to-face contact with all areas of campus and Gearhart said, “It’s not just about presentations . it’s what can your student government do for you?”
Assistant News Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.