Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com over the course of the year. Jordan Hibbs has been nominated by Arizona State University as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of a new series at msnbc, “Women of 2014,” these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women of 2014” is a home for all women in politics – notably those in some of the year’s most pivotal races – with newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, a Twitter trail following more than 35 candidates, and deep dives into the key conversations.
From the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten to liberal arts colleges and beyond, young women are making a difference across the country – meet them here!
School: Arizona State University
Hometown: South Bend, Indiana
Concentration: Psychology (major), Political Science (Minor)
Role in student government: Associated Students of Arizona State University, Undergraduate Student Government Senate
Dream job: United States Senator
Class year: 2014
What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?
The biggest challenge as a leader at Arizona State University is remaining transparent to a student body of over 70,000 students. I was elected to the undergraduate student government senate on a platform of reforming the Barrett transfer student process to better represent non-traditional and transfer students to build a broader sense of community. In order to remain true to my platform, I worked to remain transparent by maintaining a website with my voting record, sponsored legislation, and office hours. Additionally, to further allow my constituents to stay engaged with the undergraduate student government, I used social media as a tool to reach a wider audience.
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
It is hard to name only one! But a female figure who inspires me is Senator Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren is the kind of leader we need in politics because she is an advocate for students and ensuring all children have access to a quality education. I am inspired by Senator Warren’s Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (S.2432), which failed to reach cloture in the Senate, but was an important step toward alleviating the more than $1.2 trillion of debt carried by 40 million Americans. As a graduate student without any student loan debt, I am fortunate to have financed my education by earning college credits in high school, attending community college, earning academic scholarships, and receiving financial aid. But I know that many other students are not as lucky and I am concerned about the 70 percent of recent graduates who have student loan debt. The student debt crisis is an issue for millions of students, parents, and the entire American economy and I am so inspired by Senator Warren’s efforts to fix this growing problem.
What comes to mind first when you think about important moments in history?
There are many important moments in history that come to mind -- the start of the human race, the invention of the wheel, or the creation of the first written language. Today we see how our lives have been completely changed, and continue to be changed, by something relatively recent -- the invention of the computer and the internet. These tools have transformed our communications, economies, marketing, entertainment, access to information, and so much more. I believe that the invention of the computer and the internet was a very important moment in history and we will continue to see the positive and negative outcomes of these technologies.
What do you think should be President Obama’s No. 1 priority?
It is shocking to me that even in 2014, women systemically earn less than men for the same work. Even at the same job, with the same experience, and the same education, 40% of women earn less than men. President Obama should continue to focus on closing this systemic wage gap and continue to push Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act which would fulfill the promise of the Equal Pay Act by closing loopholes that perpetuate wage discrimination and hold large corporations accountable for unjust wage practices.
What your most-used smartphone app?
My most used smartphone app is Twitter. I use Twitter throughout the day to get quick updates on what is going on in the world. Twitter also allows me to update my followers on what is going on in my world and what I believe is important for them to know.
Follow Jordan Hibbs on Twitter @jordanahibbs and check out last week’s female leader at Roanoke College
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com