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Sophomore Jake Hoberg would tackle diversity, equity issues as EVP

Sophomore Jake Hoberg wants to redefine what it means to be executive vice president.

Hoberg is currently a senator for services and sustainability and served as a senator for Durham and regional affairs last year. As EVP, he would aim to increase access to student resources and improve campus culture. Hoberg noted that his previous experiences in DSG show that he can accomplish the goals outlined in his platform. 

“The fact that I’ve been pretty effective at working multiple projects while I’ve worked for DSG...means that I’m enabled more to do this kind of work," he said. "The institutional efficiency that I have proven over my past two terms shows that I’m going to be really efficient in getting those projects done.”

During his time in DSG, Hoberg has worked on expanding recycling in the Bryan Center and the Brodhead Center. He is currently working to get labelled recycling bins in the Saladelia Café in Perkins. 

Hoberg was also involved in getting a more discreet system for STI testing at student health. Currently the test is directly billed to insurance and can be visible to parents.

Starting this year, the role of executive vice president has changed from an internal and procedural focus to center more on external affairs and policy. Hoberg said he wants to take advantage of the shift and redefine what the executive vice president does. 

“It should be one of the roles that has the greatest connection to the student body," Hoberg said. "One of the biggest things I want to do is create more initiatives like Fix My Campus, but [institutionalize] them so students can submit concerns about larger issues on campus like racial bias or accessibility.” 

Hoberg’s goals include providing financial assistance for students over breaks, promoting interaction between affiliated and non-affiliated students and diversifying how DSG allocates funding. 

“[Duke] lacks a lot of things. Despite paying $75,000 a year…there are still a lot of things Duke doesn’t provide for students," Hoberg said. "I want to be the student leader that pushes these concerns to the administrators’ desks and says ‘these are the issues we need to deal with.'"

Hoberg could not go home for Thanksgiving break last year due to financial reasons and struggled to make ends meet while staying on campus. 

“Nothing was open. I had to use my own money to buy all this food, and my own money was already sparse so it really broke the bank for me," Hoberg said. "I ended up eating Raisin Bran out of a red Solo cup on Thanksgiving.”

Additionally, with all upperclassmen eventually moving to West Campus after Central Campus is demolished, Hoberg aims to improve cross-community interaction.

“I don’t think that the dorm room is the most important place to build community," Hoberg said. "I think it is an important place, but we need to provide more opportunities for [students] in SLGs and fraternities and independents to interact with each other.”

When it comes to funding student groups, a large proportion of DSG funding goes towards prominent minorities. Hoberg wants to redistribute funding more evenly so smaller cultural groups can get funding and host events as well.

“We have such a rigid definition of what diversity means, but I think we need to expand on how we look at that,” Hoberg said.

For example, rather than giving money to 'black students' as a whole, Hoberg said DSG could focus more on specific groups such as the Haitian Student Alliance or SOCA, which have black identifying students, but also have an added cultural focus. 

Sophomore Maryam Asenuga, senator for equity and outreach, spoke to Hoberg’s work ethic and praised his passion. She said Hoberg would help to change DSG’s reputation of “not doing anything.” 

“[Hoberg] understand his privilege,” Asenuga said. “He as a white man can’t understand the issues I go through, but he takes the time to understand. He’s not doing this to look good. He’s doing this because he cares.”


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