Jake Baker once aspired to be a firefighter. Now, the senior, majoring in political science and minoring in history, holds the position of SGA president and has plans on attending law school and backpacking around Europe. Winning the election in the spring under his own name instead of a campaign alias, the Franklin, Tenn., native agreed to an email interview with The Daily Beacon. Baker discussed being a UT student, how fellow peers should utilize SGA and his personal plans for the future.
The Daily Beacon: Why did you run for office?
Jake Baker: I ran for office because I love being a student at UT, and I truly believe that SGA has the potential to make a difference on our campus. I have seen SGA leaders accomplish incredible things in the past and I wanted the opportunity to continue their efforts. I think that SGA was in need of some change, and I knew I would be able to bring in a fresh perspective.
DB: What was it like to lead the campaign? What was difficult or rewarding about it?
JB: Leading a campaign for SGA was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things I have ever done. The experience taught me what my strengths and weaknesses are as a leader. It was challenging to keep an entire team of people organized, but it was awesome to see so many student leaders take an interest in SGA.
DB: What was the most memorable moment from the campaign?
JB: I will never forget the moment that Paige and I found out we won. We were at my fraternity house surrounded by our close friends, so sharing that moment with everyone was very special. It was a long, tiring week, but it was totally worth it.
DB: What are your immediate long-term goals, and special projects or plans you are excited about?
JB: This year we are working very hard to revamp SGA. We have worked to become a more efficient and energetic organization internally, so we can benefit more students throughout the year. We have already accomplished a few of our major campaign goals, but we hope to lobby for more off-campus restaurants that will accept Dining Dollars, as well as a Minute-Clinic concept in the Student Health Center.
DB: What's your favorite childhood memory?
JB: I grew up playing baseball, so a lot of my favorite memories happened at the ballpark. My dad helped coach, my family came to all of the games and I met a lot of my best friends through my little league teams.
DB: What are your top two favorite things about UT?
JB: I love how much the school wants students to be involved. This is definitely a community where we want everyone to have a role on our campus. I also love the tradition at UT. When people see that orange and white, they know that you are a Vol.
DB: What was the very first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
JB: I wanted to be a fireman, but mostly I just wanted to be able to drive the giant truck.
DB: If you could travel to any country, where would you go and why?
JB: After I graduate, some friends and I are planning on backpacking through Europe for a few weeks. I would really enjoy going to Spain because I have taken a ton of Spanish classes and I have learned a lot about the culture.
DB: Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
JB: To all of the readers, please use SGA as a resource this year. We have a lot of direct contact with UT administrators and we would love to share your opinions. Do not hesitate to contact your representatives. We are here to serve you.