When BEACH Party presidential candidate Sam Wampler was a freshman, the thought to get involved with student government hadn’t crossed his mind until, of all people, his mother suggested it.
“At first I just thought ‘Is she serious, there’s no way I could do that,’ ” Wampler said. “After thinking about it for a while, I decided to go for it, and it was one of the greatest things that probably could have happened to me.”
Shari Wampler, his mother, said he was born a leader.
“Sam has always been a natural leader, so when I saw student government, I told him to go for it, I knew he would do great,” Wampler said. “He’s always liked to organize things, I remember when he was younger he would organize all the neighborhood kids to play sports.”
Wampler, a junior finance major from Champaign, Illinois, also credits UI President Sally Mason’s presidential leadership course for helping him become a leader.
“I actually signed up for the class when I was still in high school,” Wampler said. “That class taught me a lot of good things, like the importance of getting involved, giving back to your community, basically how to be a leader, it was a great starting point.”
Wampler has a lot of experience in leadership and in UISG, said Thom Johnson, who is running for senate with the BEACH party.
“Sam was a senator his freshman year, voted senator of the year as a sophomore and was speaker of the Senate last year,” Johnson said. “He’s been highly involved with UISG since I’ve known him, he’s a great leader.”
Promoting the “It’s On Us” campaign, which encourages students to help prevent sexual assault, is another way student safety will be addressed, Wampler said.
“Everyone deserves to feel at home here; there’s no reason someone should feel unsafe while on this campus,” Wampler said. “It’s up to us, as students, to help prevent sexual assault and to educate others on how to do the same, that where the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign comes in,” he said.
Extending hospitality to foreign students is also a large part of the plan to make everyone feel at home, Wampler said.
“I want them to feel just as at home as a student that’s from Iowa,” he said. “We should be welcoming them when they arrive, we could even pick them up from the airport, anything we can do to make them feel welcome and a part of this community.”
Wampler has a natural ability to interact with school administration, which adds to his leadership ability, Oliver Hidalgo-Wohlleben said, who is running for Senate on the BEACH ticket.
“Sam has an aura about him that just brings people in, he’s a really easy guy to work with,” Hidalgo-Wohlleben said. “He’s a big-picture thinker, which means he really studies an issue to be sure he makes the right decision.”
Wampler is also a natural listener, his mother said.
“Sam is really good with people, he likes listening to them,” she said. “It matters to him to do a good job at whatever he’s doing,” she said.
Wampler said he wants students to realize all of the things they can become involved with at the university.
“I’ve grown to have a large amount of love and passion for this school since coming here,” Wampler said. “This university has taught me that great things can happen if you step out of your comfort zone and try something new, that’s what we want to encourage students to do.”