Ryan "Nighthawk" Whitener was initially hesitant to join the Insert campaign. But after the campaign manager took his family hostage, he relented. Upon joining, however, Whitener found an outlet for his talents and a family to call his own. At 12-years-old, Whitener spent a year and a half as a homeless youth. During that period, he recalls fighting off six rabid dogs with a broken bottle. Today, the freshman in political science plans to uphold the ideals of his muse, Dick Cheney, in his reign as SGA vice president.
Why did you decide to run for this position?
"When we were going through different skill sets, it occurred to me that I'm not good anything. So I went through the list of positions and I got to VP. I thought I might be pretty good at taking a bullet for the president in the event of attempted assassination.
"Other than that, I figure I probably don't have to do much except contradict the president, say things that don't make sense or are incoherent, and maybe accidentally shoot someone on a hunting trip."
What major issues do you plan to address, if elected?
Whitener cited growing concern regarding the enormity of student financial burden.
"We at Insert believe we have found a solution to that problem through our initiative to build a campus brewery. Students would be working with faculty members to produce their own ales which would then be sold under a UT label. ... It has the potential to be the No. 1-selling item the university could offer."
The profits of this venture will grant students involved a stipend to supplement financial aid. The endeavor, Whitener said, will create jobs for engineers, chemistry majors, business majors and logistics majors. Moore County, he said, is a dry county. Yet, it houses the Jack Daniels distillery, the foremost producer of whiskey in America.
What aspects of past vice presidents' terms do you think went well and what could have been done better?
"I think a lot of vice presidents aren't quite 'out there' enough. They aren't as publicized, of course ... but they're also not out there enough in the sense that they don't say things that people can question. Joe Biden is getting pretty good at it. Half the time that he says something you don't know if he's serious or lucid or maybe he's on cough syrup."
Why should you be elected as vice president?
"I wasn't entirely aware that this was a voting thing. I thought that I had been chosen by family blood line to take on this position. I figured it was kind of like they judge the Westminster dog show, like purity of breed, obedience, coat. I worked on those things more than I tried to sell myself. So I guess my dedication to having the best dog qualities would be my answer."