Purdue quarterback Rob Henry is attempting to put his name on the ballot for Purdue Student Government vice president, partnering with presidential hopeful Ishmael Aristide, a reserve safety on the football team.
Henry added there is “no doubt” he is fully committed to playing football for Purdue in the 2012 season.
“Ish and I have been talking about it,” Henry said. “We’re roommates and we just decided we might as well. We have an opportunity. You’re only in college once. We look at it as an opportunity to interact with everybody a lot more and get to know not just people that are athletes, but everybody on campus.”
Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said he “completely encourages” the pair to run for office and believes students are more likely to show up to Ross-Ade Stadium if they can relate to the players on the field.
“First and foremost, it’s important to remember they are students and have the right to get involved,” Burke said. “I think more of our athletes need to get involved on campus. When I was here (at Purdue), I was able to balance athletics and other events on campus. Ishmael and Rob are outstanding young men.”
Henry said he’s confident he and Aristide can handle the major time commitment that would come from playing football and handling the duties of PSG president and vice president.
“We manage football pretty easily,” Henry said. “We’ve met with the current PSG president Brett (Highley) and I’m meeting with the vice president (Monica Harvey) shortly. We’re going to talk about the time commitment, but we know we can get it done.”
Highley said at the very least, the presidency has been a 25 hour per week time commitment.
“But on average it is comparable to a full-time job, 40 to 50 hours,” Highley said. “There are also occasional conferences or retreats that take up partial or full weekends. I would say three or four per semester.”
Burke said several other student-athletes are finding ways to get involved on campus.
“We have a lot of student-athletes involved in Mortar Board,” Burke said. “Our athletes are doing some great things, Chelsea Jones has a 4.0 and was accepted to medical school and Brittany Rayburn just got into the (veterinary) school.”
Henry said running for PSG is something he and Ishmael “have kind of brought up” with head football coach Danny Hope.
“This is kind of me and Ish’s thing,” Henry said. “If he has something to say, then we can talk to him.”
Henry started at quarterback as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and threw for 996 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 547 yards and four touchdowns. He was voted a team captain last spring and was slated to be Purdue’s starting quarterback in 2011 before tearing his right ACL in August.
Aristide is a reserve safety who appeared in seven games in 2010 after redshirting in 2009. Injury prevented the Orlando, Fla., native from playing in 2011.