Talking with Taben: SGA vice-president details typical day

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SGA Vice-President Taben Azad sits in his office. 

Andrew Linnabary

The second after waking up, Taben Azad checks his email.

He makes a point to respond to anything pressing, then showers and eats breakfast.

Leaving his parents’ home, he makes his way to campus, arriving around 9 a.m.

Azad then jumps right into meetings, whether it’s 1-on-1’s, executive team meetings, or interviews.

It’s similar in pattern to Student Body President Joseph Shepard’s morning routine, but that’s expected, given Azad’s SGA position.

Azad, 23, is Student Government Association’s vice president, a role with a range of responsibilities. He is in his first year of getting his master’s in public administration.

While he is enrolled in nine credit hours, he spends most of his time fulfilling his vice-presidential roles.

“I prepare senate meetings on Wednesday with the resolutions and bills we have, I work with officers,” Azad said. “Other than the senate meetings, I work on a lot of initiatives that Joseph [Shepard, student body president] might have that he needs a little support on. That includes the Interfaith Prayer Space that I worked on last summer and the plus and minus system that we’re working on this semester from last year.”

Last week, Azad worked on prepping senators for meetings with their college deans.

“I made sure they had good talking points and worked on how they can move forward with the Association in that collaborative effort with the college deans,” Azad said. “That’s something I want to make sure we uphold this year.”

Azad said he’s also working on changing the voting system for SGA elections this year. Last year, fewer than 1,000 students voted in the election.

“We won’t be going through the myWSU portal anymore,” Azad said. “We’ll be going through a third-party vendor. I’ve been meeting with different people to set up how that vendor will operate, how they will work with our website, to make sure students can easily vote without hassle.”

Azad said he spends more time on campus than anywhere else.

“I’m here even on the weekends working on things,” Azad said. “It’s a nice place to get some tranquility when people aren’t here.”

In his free time, Azad likes to go to the movies. The problem is, free time is fleeting.

“I go to the movies as much as I can, but for the most part, it’s a lot of work in SGA,” Azad said. “But I don’t consider it work, per se. We enjoy it. So it doesn’t come across as work for me, personally.”

Azad said he and SGA President Shepard are “different in a lot of ways, but also similar,” helping them to effectively compare ideas with each other.

“I’m surprised we didn’t work together prior, because we have similar thoughts in how we think something should go about, what procedure we should take,” Azad said. “I think we have great compatibility when it comes to being president and vice president. We have a lot of similar ideologies in what we foresee for the Association as a whole, and I think that assists with what we do on a day-to-day basis.”

With all the different duties he must fulfill on campus, Azad said he keeps himself grounded and motivated by thinking about his family.

“I have a little brother who is in high school, and I can tell that he wants to come to WSU and be a Shocker,” Azad said. “So I definitely want to leave this institution in a better place than I found it. Not that it’s bad right now, but I want to make sure the Association makes sure prospective students like him have a great experience like I did.”