Guest viewpoint: Duck Squad has experience in serving the community

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Spring has returned to Eugene, and with it comes the ASUO elections. Unlike the ongoing national race, which has lasted for months, students have little more than a week to differentiate and decide which campaign best represents our interests. This task is made all the more difficult by the bold claims made by every one of the tickets. The question of who to vote for then becomes not who can promise the most, but rather who is most likely to keep their promises.

Experience level in the ASUO is framed year after year as the basis upon which candidates will accomplish the goals they set forth, and it is true that the presidential tickets of I’m With UO and One Oregon are established in the ASUO. Yet theirs is not the only kind of experience that qualifies a person to lead.

Samara Mokaya, the presidential candidate of Duck Squad, is and has been a member of the Black Student Union, the Outreach Coordinator for the Multicultural Center and the Co-Director of the Coalition Against Environmental Racism. In addition, she has helped organize protests that led to the formation of the Black Student Task Force, a group who has been instrumental in addressing injustice on our campus.

Abel Cerros, the Internal Vice-Presidential candidate, has two years of experience on the ASUO Senate, during which time he has been that body’s Academic Chair, as well as an active participant in the University Senate advocating for students. Abel’s work extends beyond student government, however, as he sits on the board of Beyond Toxics and as part of MEChA-organized mentoring and tutoring programs for middle school youth.

Sophie Albanis, Duck Squad’s External Vice-Presidential candidate, is the former editor-in-chief and current managing editor of the Siren Magazine. She has helped organize Take Back the Night and Out/Loud. As the Sexual and Mental Health Advocate of the ASUO Executive, Sophie also founded the Summit on Sexual Assault and continued the Anti-Sexual Violence Poetry Slam. She is also an experienced lobbyist.

In truth, the work that these candidates have done in service to the student community could be listed on page after page, without even delving into the extensive body of work accomplished by Duck Squad’s slate and campaign managers. What should be understood is that even when the members of this team have been without positions of power in the ASUO, they have achieved victories that have had lasting benefits for our students. Imagine then what such a team could accomplish if elected to office.

It is one thing to promise great acts when one might be elected to a prestigious office. It is another thing entirely to do such vital work when nobody is watching, when you do the work not because you seek power, but because it needs to be done. As such, it is the firmly held belief of the undersigned that Samara Mokaya, Abel Cerros, Sophie Albanis and the entire Duck Squad campaign have the experience that students need and a track record that demonstrates they will truly accomplish what they promise.

Aaron Porter, ASUO Men’s Center Director, Men of Strength Club Co-Founder

Adrion Trujillo, ASUO Senate Seat 5 EMU Board, ASUO Men’s Center LGBTQ+ Rights Coordinator

AJ Dickson, ASUO Black Male Alliance Director

Akilah Powell, ASUO Women’s Center Racial Justice Coordinator, Oregon Students of Color Coalition Board

Amber Potratz, ASUO Executive State Affairs Commissioner

Carolina Arredondo, ASUO Executive International Student Advocate

Cholena Wright, ASUO Native Student Union Co-Director

Demiliza Saramosing, Asian/Pacific Islander Strategy Initiative Co-Chair

Ednaly Jimenez-Gomez, ASUO Senate Seat 1 PFC, MEChA de UO Finance Director, Mujeres Finance Coordinator

Emily Mason, SLAP Co-Director

Eva Murtaugh, ASUO Native Student Union Co-Director

Hannah Lewman, Siren Magazine Editor-in-Chief

Helena Richardson, ASUO LGBTQA3 Intern

Katty Kaunang, ASUO Executive Events Coordinator

Martin Martinez-Santoyo, ASUO Senate Seat 12: History, English, and Language, Senate Treasurer

Matt Stephens, ASUO Executive Environmental Advocate

Michelle Nguyen, Vietnamese Student Association Co-Director

Morgan Snook, ASUO Senate Seat 13: Music, Art, Public Policy

Perla Alvarez, CMAE Pipeline Programs Assistant, Coalition Against Environmental Racism Co-Director

Rachel Mallinga, Department of Public Planning Policy and Management Peer Exchange Program Co-Founder and Facilitator

Rilee Dockins, ASUO Safe Ride Co-Director

Rio Lehman, SLAP Co-Director

Rhaine Clarke, CHCSA Vice President of Volunteer Service and Student Sustainability Center Student Project Coordinator

Shaniece Curry, ASUO Black Women of Achievement Co-Director, Black Student Task Force Founding Member

Sierra Jager, ASUO LGBTQA3 Education Coordinator

Suzie Barrientos, ASUO Women’s Center Public Relations Coordinator and UO Teach Graduate Student (‘16-’17)

Tran Dinh, UO MultiCultural Center Co-Director, 2014-2015 ASUO Vice President Emeritus

Valentina Chau, ASUO Asian and Pacific American Student Union Co-Director

Valeria Olguin, MEChA de UO External Director

Vickie Gimm, ASUO Executive Multicultural Advocate, ASUO Multi-Ethnic Student Alliance Director

Victoria Blanger, ASUO Executive Legislative Assistant

Wing Ng, UCTC Student Mental Health Advocate, Student Advisory Board member

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