Neal Sales-Griffin

CONTENTS Neal’s Plan for Northwestern

Innovative Leadership that acts on your ideas.

2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 6 7 9

Executive Summary The Problem My Plan You Me

Experience Philosophy Teamwork Structure

Accountability Transparency Reforms

10 Disclaimer

On the Issues




Come Together.
What is ASG?
ASG is supposed to be the students’ voice, the unifying body for undergraduate students. It is meant to be the vehicle for student concerns and ideas for change.

What can you do?

Raise your voice: weigh in on the current state of ASG and begin to own a share of your student government.

What is the problem?

What can WE do?

ASG is not connected with students in the way it needs to be. Many students consider it useless or inefficient.

Build a team that is accountable, transparent and effective. A stronger ASG/Student connection will make ASG more effective in advocating for student solutions.

What can I do?

I have the experience to make organizations more efficient, exciting and inclusive. But, I cannot do it without your involvement.


Listen and inform to build a stronger ASG/Student connection: Open meetings with the administration, President’s questions, Lunch with ASG, ASG at New Student Week, and an ASG Newsletter will make ASG more accountable to and connected with its constituents. Pursue new projects that matter to students: We can work to improve career services, strengthen ties with the graduate schools, and make it easier for student groups to ascertain funding for new and exciting projects. Follow through on current projects: A more efficient ASG will have the capacity to effectively complete the current projects that ASG is pursuing: Campus wireless, 24-hour campus, lecture webcasts and weekend shuttle times.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.




Your Voice. Your Issues.
The Problem
ASG is supposed to be the students’ voice. It is meant to be the vehicle for student concerns and ideas for change. It isn’t. Most Northwestern students are not connected with their student government. They avoid participating in ASG – it is either considered useless or an inefficient political mess. There can be no voice when there is no will to speak. ASG currently focuses on instituting changes to make the student experience better. It has the tools to make an impact: it has weekly meetings with the administration and controls $1.2 Million in discretionary funds. However, these tools are underutilized because the student voice is not actively behind them. Real reform needs to address ASG’s root problem: it does not sufficiently connect with students.

My Plan

ASG needs better coordination and direction to become the student voice. ASG is not a group; it is a collection of individuals pursuing their own goals. My goal is to build a team that is accountable, transparent and effective. We will stress student involvement, opening more opportunities for students to share their ideas for improvement. Once we fully understand what students want, we will work together to make it happen.


My platform depends on you. Even though I decided to run for President and my vision is to unite students, my candidacy means nothing on its own. Unification is impossible unless WE share a vision.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.





Dorm President. Multicultural. Entrepreneur. Meet Neal.

I am an inside outsider. I am a first year senator. Most of my interaction with ASG has been as a student group leader, not an official. As an ASG Senator, I have actively pushed for more Senator accountability by working with former Speaker Jesse Garfinkel to create a weekly Senate update to be distributed to all Senate constituents. I have started and operated multiple organizations that are still running smoothly. Behind the talk and the claims, those organizations are my record. -ISBE (Institute for Student Business Education) President: leading the largest business organization on campus has allowed me to help build an efficient structure with a diverse team of talented students. -Minorities in Business - Founder -Co-founder of 2 businesses that are still operating -Teaching Assistant for two entrepreneurship classes Lived at the rock for a week in a tiny car with no heat in the winter. -Learning and Organizational Change major: I have spent a majority of my time at Northwestern searching for solutions to make organizations better. I also identify with a multitude of cultural and extra-curricular spheres at Northwestern. Here is what I have been involved in: Cultural Groups: -Danced Hawaii club luau -Was a bodyguard for the KASA show -Served on diversity panel on race relations at Northwestern -Am helping to charter the National Black MBA Association at Northwestern Residential Life: -Served on the Residential College Board -Ayers CCI (College of Commerce and Industry) President Services: -Volunteer and help teach an entrepreneurship class to lowincome high school students -Represented Northwestern as an ambassador in Springfield for the IMAP Grant Miscellaneous: -Judged the Rainbow Alliance Drag show -Served on the Selection Committee for the ASG Financial Vice President -Was a security monitor at Jones Residential College for 2 years -Work until 3AM at the University Library Front Desk -Helped Plan Rock the Beach -Served on a panel to prepare new professors for the coming school year

I decided to run for President in order to promote a culture of collaboration and unite Northwestern’s student body. The only solution to ASG’s inefficiencies and lack of accountability is teamwork. Together, we must understand the issues that Northwestern students face and the ways that ASG can address them. I have experience working with ASG. I understand the problems plaguing ASG and their root causes. I also understand that I do not have all of the answers. Strong relationships will help to forge a team that can more efficiently pursue solutions. Why should I lead such a team? I have experience making organizations more efficient, exciting and inclusive; I promise accountability and transparency, two necessary elements of any effective organization; I am ready to build a team that blends a diversity of experiences and talents to optimize ASG’s potential.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.




A direct line to the administration. Your 24-hour connection.
Philosophy Teamwork

As a leader, I value collaboration, accountability, transparency and efficiency. The changes that I propose are built upon these foundational principles. The following explains how I would apply these concepts to ASG.

Year after year, ASG has been an organization of individuals. Imagine a line of archers. Each ASG official has its own bow and arrow. They are each aiming for an individual goal with their individual power. In the end, they can only pull their individual string back so far. Each archer’s arrow falls short of its respective target. What if ASG came together as one archer? As a team, we can use the collective power of the student body to pull the bowstring back, aim, and release. Together, we have the power to hit ambitious targets. My entire platform centers on this notion. A stronger connection between ASG and the student body will afford students more opportunities to share their ideas and concerns with their government. Increased accountability will strengthen the bond between ASG and students. More transparency will promote equality within the team so that everyone is on the same page. Once this culture of collaboration materializes, ASG will be able to advocate effectively for student interests.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.



The structure of the current ASG erects walls within the government. Senators do not work well with each other. The Executive Board does not communicate well with the Senate. Neither body communicates well with the student body. Such communication is necessary for ASG to be effective in exercising its mandate. Here is what I would do to make ASG more conducive to internal and external communication:

Between elections, there are few times when the ASG President or Senators are questioned outside of The Daily Northwestern or The Chronicle. Presidents may talk at students during sterile speeches and office hours for the ASG President are a good start, but ASG officials need to be questioned more often. If the officials are not answering to anyone, they will not be required to deliver. Accountability ensures productivity.

If ASG wants to have a good-faith marriage with students, students have to know what is going on. Of course, students have to care what is going on. But, they also have to be able to access the information. ASG ultimately needs more transparency. If a Northwestern student wants to know what ASG is talking about, what it is planning, when it is meeting, and what is on the agenda, that student should only need to spend a few minutes on ASG’s website.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.




It’s his passion. It’s your school.
Recreate the ASG Website: The website should be an organized, usable asset for students and ASG officials. Specifically, the website will clearly explain ASG’s function, goals and involvement opportunities. A monitored message board will allow students to share their opinions and ASG officials to respond. An improved website will be crucial to improved communication within ASG and between ASG and students. ASG at New Student Week: First impressions are huge. By introducing the possibilities of ASG during New Student Week, it will be more likely that the next generation of Northwestern students becomes more involved with the government. President’s Questions: Students think ASG Senate is bland and executive board members barely show up regularly. To spice it up, we will start the ASG Senate with a “President’s Questions” segment modeled off of Great Britain’s “Prime Minister’s Questions.” President’s Questions will be a time for students to challenge their officers, heckle them, and engage in boisterous debate. ASG Retreat: Senators need to work together so that they can work efficiently with the little time that

The ASG President is supposed to coordinate and connect. The President has to synthesize the work of ASG’s various committees, keep them accountable, and promote change to the organization as a whole. The President also connects students to the administration. Through weekly meetings with the Vice President of Student Affairs, the ASG President is the main advocate of the student voice to those holding the majority of the University’s money and power. ASG should not consider “reform” a dirty word. ASG needs to encourage new ideas and work together to see them instituted. Here are the tangible changes I would advocate to promote a synthesized ASG that effectively articulates the student voice:

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.



document release policy as a model, the new ASG will post all of its reports, meeting minutes and legislation on the website in an easily navigable format. Blog: The ASG Executive Board will have an on-line blog on the ASG website so that they can update ASG events from an internal perspective. Students and other ASG officials will have the capability to comment on posted items. Open Administration Meetings: ASG Executive Board members have the unique opportunity to meet regularly with Bill Banis, the VP of Student Affairs. Students should be able to attend some of these meetings and voice their concerns before the ordinary order of business begins. Create a committee to evaluate ASG: Any successful institution needs to self-evaluate. Active students will comprise a working group to identify ASG’s inefficiencies, listen to student concerns, and propose concrete reforms to be considered in the Senate.

they have. One way to promote cohesion among Senators and between the Senate and the Executive Board is to host a retreat that is not dripping with cliché team-building activities, but actually allows the ASG officials to get to know each other and discuss the issues that are important to them. Lunch with ASG: In the Norris Cafeteria once per week, ASG officials will have an open lunch to answer student questions and talk about what is going on in ASG. This will be an opportunity for students to ask the officials questions and propose new ideas for the future of ASG. Senator Reports: Senators are out of touch with their constituents. In order to make Senators accountable on a continuing basis, Senators will be required to draft biweekly reports that are sent to their constituents and posted on the website. Writing these reports will ensure that Senators are paying due attention to the goings on within ASG, thinking about their constituents, and maintaining an open line of communication between the students and their government. Document Release: An open government and a connected government requires that students can discover – with minimal effort – exactly what their government is and has been doing. Archives should not be stowed away in some box. They should be on the website for all to access. Using a complete

Establish a dialogue with peer institutions: We can only benefit from talking to other Universities. At the local level, we can coordinate programming and host joint events. We can share ideas with other COHFE schools in order to find out what has worked elsewhere and what has not. Partner with Northwestern classes to promote ASG reform: ASG needs to contact professors who teach classes designed to address institutional problems. ASG can give them a list of pressing issues for which their classes can choose to propose solutions. Ultimately, we hope to use students’ classroom work to help add value to ASG. ASG Newsletter: Publish a monthly ASG Newsletter detailing the progress of each member of the ASG Executive Board.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.




let his experience make yours better.
ASG has dealt with – and continues to deal with – a plethora of issues. They have made progress on some; others have been mismanaged. These are some of the issues that I find important and believe the ASG Executive Board should continue to address. This list is not, by any means, final or rigid. The new ASG will have the capacity to take on new challenges and pursue new solutions. ASG’s purpose is to investigate possible changes and lobby for them; it cannot implement them unilaterally. A primary goal will be to discover and address student concerns that have been hitherto ignored. Weekend Shuttles – Our goal is to continue the push to increase access to shuttles on Saturday and Sundays, not just to sporting events, but also between the Evanston and Chicago campuses. Campus Wireless – ASG has been pushing for campus wireless for the past several months, but there still is work to be done. Our goal is to see campus wireless through to completion and continue to put pressure on the administration to act. Career Services – Currently, Career Services offers poor on-line resources and insufficient interview preparation tools. Northwestern must invest in its students’ futures by certifying that all of Northwestern’s career and internship resources are readily available to every student. SAFB Deregulation – The Student Activities Funding Board doles out around $1.2 Million in funding per year to student groups across campus. However, the process by which groups come to receive this money is unnecessarily arduous. Student group leaders should not have to jump through rings of fire to receive ASG funding if they have exciting projects that are important to students. Video Lectures/Podcast – ASG should begin to investigate the possibility, if not petition for, a pilot program to videotape large lectures and post them online as a library resource or podcast. Minority Enrollment – Petition for increased minority enrollment.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.



False promises are bad.
This platform encapsulates what I believe we can accomplish over the next year. However, I understand that things can change. This document is a guiding light, but it can be changed as circumstances change. The most important elements of my platform are the core principles that I represent as a leader.

Your voice. Your change. Your Northwestern.

Neal Sales-Griffin for ASG President 1 (773) 272-5734 April 15

designed by Ivan Li ‘11 Photography by Christopher Wickman ‘09