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Running on the Edge: Steven Jackson

October 21, 2008

Student Government Vice President Steven Jackson takes life by the horns, sometimes literally.

Jackson, his brother and a friend traveled to Pamplona, Spain, in July during summer break to run with the bulls in the nine-day-long San Fermin Festival made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

“Running with the bulls was scary,” Jackson said, “but, it was quite an experience.” 

He said all the runners were wearing white outfits with red bandannas and sashes. The object of the run was to lead the bulls about 800 yards to an arena where bullfights with matadors take place. The trio escaped the bulls’ horns unscathed.

Jackson’s daredevil pursuits are not limited to running with the bulls. He also likes to snowboard in New Mexico.

“I’m from Artesia and my family has a tradition of going to Ruidoso, N.M., in the winter,” Jackson said. “I’ve been snowboarding for eight years. I like riding down a hill in the snow. It’s kind of peaceful.”

Jackson’s idea of fun usually involves the outdoors including camping, nature hikes and bow hunting for deer. When he is in San Angelo, he spends time on the South Concho River and at the ASU Lake House on Lake Nasworthy.

“I just started going out to the Lake House this spring,” Jackson said. “There is so much to do out there. They have volleyball courts, a dock and barbecue grills. It’s something that can make life in college more fun.”

Jackson extends his love for the outdoors to his transportation, a bicycle his father gave him when he was a junior in high school. He said he has made a hobby of fixing it up with colorful accessories. “It’s a very unique bike,” Jackson said. “Some of my friends laugh when they see it, but I enjoy having something no one else has even if it’s a bit outdated. I live really close to campus, so riding a bike is a more logical choice for me. Sometimes it gets tough when the weather gets cold.” Jackson also competes in triathlons for the enjoyment of the training rides and competition. When it is time to study, Jackson works toward a physics degree with minors in math and geology. He also found an interest in biology after taking an anatomy class.

Jackson plans to get a master’s in medical physics or biomedical engineering. From there, he would go into research related to biomechanics or work alongside oncologists to monitor and plan radiation doses for cancer patients.

In his quest for science, Jackson became acquainted with Seth Chomout, who convinced him to run for student body vice-president while Chomout sought the presidential post. The Chomout-Jackson ticket won during spring elections.

“I actually got into it with limited knowledge of student government,” Jackson said. “I’ve been spending a lot of time on our plans since April.”

Jackson wants to see students access student government more than they do to deal with their concerns.

“We don’t want to just sit around and say we are president and vice president,” Jackson said. “We want students to bring their issues to us. Our offices are open and we have a suggestion box out in the UC. We encourage students to come talk to us.  We have more of a say in what goes on than a lot of people think.”

Jackson said the ASU administration gives the student government a lot of respect and is receptive to their ideas.

“If there is an issue that arises and students want it solved, we’ll try to change it directly,” Jackson said, “or one of the senators will author a resolution and bring it before the senate. If it passes, it’s up to me to call whoever the issue needs to go to and to keep plugging away until we make progress.”