The 2015 ASUO presidential candidates
This year’s ASUO presidential election features three candidates who have spent at least one year working in student government: Helena Schlegel, Miles Sisk and Joaquin Ramos.
Schlegel is a former ASUO senator and holds the student seat on the board of trustees. She is a junior majoring in economics and Spanish.
How do you hope to improve communication within the ASUO?
We have two points that are kind of related. We want students to be aware of what the ASUO is doing and then have the government serving them. We want to implement some kind of newsletter that goes out to students so they are kept up to date on the current ASUO campaigns.
We also want to create more executive positions for communities that have traditionally been left out of the ASUO, such as a grad student liaison, a law student liaison, a freshman liaison, so communities that don’t have such a set spot in the ASUO have a position that they can work with the ASUO and the communities that they’re a part of.
How are you planning on increasing inclusivity?
Right now, our ASUO Executive has a cultural competency campaign and we want to ensure that if we are elected we continue that campaign, but also expand it to students, faculty and staff so it’s more enveloping, so it’s open to all walks of campus instead of focusing on students.
What direction do you hope to take the ASUO in regarding Fraternity and Sorority Life and sexual assault?
I think that the resolution that was brought before senate, that’s their decision to make. If a similar resolution were presented to me, I would consider it, but I haven’t really taken a personal stance and our campaign hasn’t taken a stance on that. We have had conversations about creating a Greek liaison and having them work with sexual assault prevention programs on campus to create that healthy dialogue.
Ramos is the ASUO state affairs commissioner and a junior majoring in ethnic studies.
What kind of specific cultural competency trainings and policies are you planning on implementing for students?
There are definitely oppressive moments that occur all over campus all the time. I hear racial slurs all over campus, especially at football games. I hear the word “gay” being used with negative connotations. All of these are examples of oppressive speech to certain people, and if we don’t find a way to stop that, I feel that our campus could become very exclusive.
Myself and my two campaign managers have worked on cultural competency for students this year, and we have been trying to implement a training during IntroDUCKtion and when freshmen start coming into residence halls.
How do you plan to start homeless advocacy? What will you do after you collect data about homeless students?
What I plan on doing is starting data collection with the student-led survey that they send out at the end of the year to get information about how many students on campus are homeless or have experienced homelessness and with that, start moving towards helping these students by giving them the resources that they may need to better their educational experience.
How does your slate plan on tackling the issue of FSL and sexual assault prevention?
I feel like the purpose of the FSL resolution is to fix a structure that isn’t doing so well and then moving onto the rest of the campus as well. So it’s not just to target fraternity and sorority life, it’s like we are noticing that there’s a problem there and we want to implement what we learn from there to other parts of campus. Personally, I feel like there’s a sexual assault problem within the FSL community and they should address that before expanding.
Sisk is the ASUO senate vice president and a junior political science major.
What stance does your campaign take with regards to FSL and potential halts to expansion?
I absolutely think that the issue of sexual assault in Greek life is something that needs to be attended to. But I don’t believe that ultimately halting the expansion will alleviate the issue. We have a very strong Greek life team on our campaign. They go around to chapter meetings and talk to different Greek houses during elections week to encourage voting. I don’t want that to just be something that just disappears once the elections weeks are over. I think that we should be going to chapter meetings regularly to talk to Greek life students about the projects that we are doing — how they can help make campus better.
Why did you decide to focus on the international student community?
I’ve seen all of the things that the ASUO can accomplish. When I hear personal stories from international students about things that are not getting done, about things that they are missing out on or that some don’t feel welcome at this university, it makes me think that we should be doing something at the ASUO. We have the ability to do it, to make things happen, so let’s do it.
What challenges about allocating funds to student resources do you want to overcome?
There are a lot of things that are currently being funded by the ASUO that we feel that the administration should be picking up on. Things like the (LGBT Education and Support Services Program), a department underneath the Student Life umbrella, for example, that should be funded by the administration because they are an administrative body that reports to the dean of students. But a lot of it is currently funded by the ASUO budget.
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