On Monday of next week the polls will open for the 2013 Associated Students of Southern Oregon University general elections.
The polls will be open from Monday, April 29 at 10 a.m. to Friday, May 3 at 5 p.m. The results of the election will be announced by the elections committee by 6 p.m. that Friday.
According to Kyle Pate, ASSOU communication and technology director, there will be a debate between the presidential candidates and presentations from senatorial candidates on the same Monday the polls open, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room. There will be free food at the debate.
ASSOU is currently crowd sourcing questions for the debate, which can be submitted here.
There are 20 candidates running for the presidential, vice presidential, and senate positions. Below are profiles of the candidates who replied to our inquiries.
Candidates for president and vice president:
The position of student body president has attracted three candidates this year: Jazmin Roque, Tommy Letchworth, and Andrew Ensslin, paired with vice presidential candidates Torii Uyehara, Max Goldman, and Daniel Breaux respectively.
If elected, Roque, a junior, plans to focus her efforts on empowering the student body to take the initiative to get involved in helping to find solutions for the issues that exist on campus.
“We think the best way to empower the student body is by providing them with the tools they need to reach their goals,” said Roque, 21. “We know that true change, on our campus, in our community and in our world, begins with ourselves.”
As student body president, Roque aims to provide students with “an affordable and accessible education and a campus community free from oppression.”
Presidential and vice presidential candidates Letchworth, 20 and a junior, and Goldman, 20 and a sophomore, plan on strengthening the campus community through open and continuous communication with the student body regarding developments such as the results of SOU’s Program Prioritization Process.
According to Goldman, the pair plans on keeping up the sustainable campaigns on campus and encouraging academic excellence from the student body. They plan to extend their efforts to focus on bigger issues, such as the increasing disinvestment in higher education, at more authoritative levels of government as well.
“We intend to strengthen our community by building bridges and encouraging stronger cooperation among the different stakeholders on campus,” said Goldman.
Ensslin, 21 and a senior, and Breaux, 19 and a sophomore, are taking a slightly different approach to their potential positions as president and vice president.
According to Ensslin, their objectives are to garner student feedback and suggestions on ASSOU’s decision process beforehand, rather than after the fact. They plan to focus their main energies on the satisfaction of the student body, while still maintaining a presence on the state level.
“Daniel Breaux and I are very excited about seeking student support to accomplish these things,” said Ensslin. “We want to make the campus a better place for students NOW.”
Ensslin said his qualifications for the position come from his extensive experience in student government leadership positions, such serving as speaker of the ASSOU senate for almost a year and serving as the campus life and housing senator for more than a year. In this time, Ensslin said, he gained experience by supervising 18 other senators, running ASSOU meetings and working on the student fee allocation process, among other things.
“As the only candidate who has the experience of being a head of government, I am the most prepared for the high demands of the presidency,” he said.
Ensslin said he will be living in the North Campus Village residence halls next year, making him the first student body president in years to live among students and giving him a unique accessibility.
Candidates for senate positions:
Adam Hobbs is a senior majoring in political science. He is running for the housing and campus life senator position. The reason Hobbs is running is because he is “invested in the campus life,” and “wishes to give back and assist the campus community” that has helped him succeed as a student at SOU. Hobb’s objectives for the year are to “assist students that are transitioning into the SOU campus lifestyle.” Hobbs is running uncontested.
Caleb Bryant is a 23-year-old sophomore majoring in business with a minor in international studies. He is running for the position of international senator. As international senator, he will represent all of the exchange students at SOU. Bryant has a passion for eastern cultures, and plans to spend a year studying abroad. In a statement, Bryant said he wants to represent “all of his friends to the best of his ability, and have a say in the changes that will affect our exchange program in any way.” His objectives are to “support decisions that will positively affect my constituents and make SOU an appealing institution for future exchange students by working closely with the International Department.”
Eva Albert is a 46-year-old senior majoring in human services. Albert is running for the Higher Education Center senator position. She is running for the position because she “wants to engage and represent the students at the Higher Education Center in Medford.” She feels that the “students who attend classes at the HEC are underrepresented and disengaged at the Ashland campus.” Her objectives for the year are to inform students of the issues that affect them, engage students in campaigns and events by bringing them to the HEC campus, and advocating for services that are offered at the SOU campus, but not at the HEC. Albert is running uncontested.
Joshua Belieu Vaughn is a 20-year-old junior majoring in economics. Vaughn is running for the clubs and organizations senator position. He has had experience as the secretary of ASSOU’s Stevenson Union Advisory Committee, and as an OSA intern under the ASSOU director of finance and administration. He also participated in various activist events such as Youth, Justice and Safety Day, and he helped organize the Schools Not Prisons event. Vaughn’s objectives for this year are to “facilitate better participation between the Inter-Club Council, and ASSOU members.” Vaughn is running uncontested.
Kelsie Lawson is an 18-year-old freshman with sophomore standing pursuing a degree in psychology while also studying mathematics. Lawson is running for the business and social science senator position. What motivates Lawson is her desire to “make a difference at SOU, and … make sure that students have the opportunities and support they need to succeed.” Her goals for the year are to create opportunities for her peers, and be “an active voice, as well as listener.” Lawson believes she can carry out such a plan because she has the fundamental skills to do so, such as organization and punctuality.
Samuel Longnecker is a 32-year-old junior majoring in history and minoring in business administration. Longecker is running for the position of at-large senator. Longnecker has experience as the at-large senator in previous years, and as the current vice-chair of the Student Fee Committee. In his candidate’s statement, Longnecker said he is running because he believes in “ fighting for what is right, and will hold his ground even if it is not popular” and that he “completely believes in the power of the students.” Longnecker is “dedicated to finding solutions that will benefit everyone.” Longnecker is running uncontested.
As student rights senator, Isaac Taylor, 21 and a junior, promises to turn his attention to the needs and wants of the students on campus, focusing on health care and food initiatives. Taylor says he will focus on the accessibility and affordability of these issues, and work to bring about changes on the issue of the disinvestment in higher education.
As a 19-year-old freshman, Devin Hutchings became interested in the Stevenson Union senator position due to her experience as a member of the Student Union Advisory Committee, a campus resource that directly advises the Director of the Student Activities and Leadership of the SU. Hutchings says that her internship for Casey Swanson, current SU senator, has provided her with the necessary experience and passion that the position requires.
“Next year I want make sure SOU’s hub is the best that it can be, meaning I want every student to benefit from all the great programs that it has to offer and make sure it remains a community oriented place,” she said. Hutchings is running uncontested.
Running for the multicultural affairs senate position, Su-Hwei DeWitt, a 19-year-old sophomore, aims to promote cultural integration, learning and understanding on campus through an increase of programs and events.
“I hope that this will allow for more than just cultural integration on campus but social integration and student unity,” she said. DeWitt is running uncontested.
Sean Lowry, a 25-year-old senior working on a second degree through the post-baccalaureate program, is running for the senator position for the natural and physical sciences. According to Lowry, his objectives are to “bridge the gap” between the science department and student government through collaboration on projects such as the GreenHouse initiative, or the potential sustainability center.
“Allowing students the chance to do a more tangible and hands-on project that will leave a lasting impact is invaluable experience, and goes hand-in-hand with the vision for the future of campus,” Lowry said.
James Grieve, Alexandria Russell, Drew Koch, and Kathryn Requa, all candidates for senatorial positions, did not respond to our inquiries. Kyle Pate, ASSOU director of communications, said that senatorial candidate Dylan Bloom did not meet the requirements for the position.