Kaitlin Haley

Major: Anthropology/Environmental Studies/Managing for Sustainability
Hometown: Oceanside, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Commissioner of Environmental Affairs | Government Affairs

How did you first get connected Government Affairs?
Last year I was the student representative for the Sustainability Fund Allocation Committee (SFAC) and served with the commissioner from last year. His position seemed very interesting to me. I have always wanted to be involved in government and policy, specifically pertaining to environmental policy, and getting connected with the Government Affairs Council (GAC) was an amazing way to get involved and make lasting change. I really didn’t fully understand the position until I started to campaign, but when I began to learn what role I would be playing on our campus, I knew that I had the passion and leadership to do this job well.

How would you describe your current role as the Commissioner of Environmental Affairs?
My role as the Commissioner of Environmental Affairs is so exciting. My goal this year is to revamp my position to be an effective agent of change. My role is to serve as a representative for the students in matters of sustainability, and identify ways on our campus and in the AS that we can change by creating effective environmental policies.

What does working in Government Affairs do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Personally Government Affairs has made me much more confident in myself. It has been such an uplifting experience to see what I am actually capable of, and the positive influence that I can have on my peers and my community. Professionally this position has taught me how to work with others who might have different values and personalities than I do. Our GAC team this year is made up of individuals from different backgrounds who essentially are completely opposite from one another, but when we come together we collaborate so well. It is amazing to see the potential for influence that we have as a group!

What do YOU bring to the table in your position as the Commissioner of Environmental Affairs?
Before being elected to my position I was extremely involved in environmental activism and volunteer work in the community and on campus. My experiences have given me a lot of knowledge on what the current sustainability issues are both locally and globally. I have been able to take that knowledge and apply it to my job to identify what kinds of policies we should be focusing on. It’s important in our elected positions that we truly live and model what our positions represent, and I believe that I live and breathe a sustainable lifestyle.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
After I graduate I plan to get a masters in Environmental Policy or go to law school and study environmental law. I plan to work either for government or a NGO writing policies that enforce sustainable practices, and finding ways to make environmental policies more effective. This position has allowed me to get firsthand experience with researching issues and writing policy. Not many college graduates can say that they have written policies that affect 16,000 students and have the potential to guide the campus towards higher goals of sustainability for years to come.