Mock draws from SEC experience



By Will Seiler

In what remains a wide-open search, Robert Mock Jr. thinks he would be “a good fit” for UK.

The fourth and final candidate for the position of vice president of Student Affairs spoke Thursday to students and faculty on the importance of raising the awareness of Student Affairs, and how students can take advantage of what he called an underutilized resource.

The only candidate coming from a Southeastern Conference school, Mock said his “familiarity with a public land-grant university” makes him the right candidate for the job.

Mock addressed some of the key issues surrounding UK’s campus today, such as the smoking ban.  He said he is capable of dealing with the controversy because he is coming from a school that has encountered the issue.

“The University of Arkansas was the first school in the SEC to develop a tobacco ban on campus.” Mock said.  “I am very familiar with this issue, and realize its importance, but this is something that will take time.”

Mock said he wants UK to follow in Arkansas’ footsteps.

“We gave the people a year to get used to this plan,” Mock said. “It’s going to take time. We are just now entering year two of the smoking ban, and we will begin to write sanctions. Ultimately, there will be a financial dollar attached to the penalty.”

Mock also addressed the importance of Greek life on campus and said he is involved with the Greek community at Arkansas.

“We must understand that we are recruiting future alumni,” he said. “The campus will look to Greeks for direction.

“It’s important for the Greeks to demonstrate a leadership role for not only the campus but also the community.”

Alex Brewer, a sophomore and member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity said he attended the forum because he is concerned with future communication between Greeks and Student Affairs.

“The most important issue to me is how he views Greek life, and how available and committed he will be to working with us,” Brewer said.

Having had athletic success in the past at Arkansas, Mock said this provides a unique situation for the university in regards to alcohol consumption. With the success of the UK men’s basketball team, Mock stressed the importance of alcohol awareness because of the number of students who celebrate the team victories by drinking.

“In March, when this university experiences a possible Final Four appearance, I expect to see the number of alcohol-related crimes to increase,” he said.

Mock said he was involved with the local police department and understands the importance of surveillance cameras in highly populated areas.  In regards to the gun policy on campus, however, Mock said he is, “not a fan of having weapons on campus.”

Mock said he was dedicated not only to his students and faculty, but also his country. At 37, Mock joined the military and reported to basic training after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Mock felt it was his duty to his country, and said he proudly wears his military pin on his jacket.