2017 SGA Top Four candidates share their objectives

By on February 19, 2017

To prepare for SGA’s upcoming elections on Feb. 27, The Louisville Cardinal asked candidates for the Top Four positions to share their objectives should they be elected.

President candidates

Keith Owen Auspland:

1. Transparency for SGA Top Four, and not only the legislature and the Supreme Court, but to each and every student who attends the University of Louisville, regardless of the individual school that they attend.

2. Leadership. I want to bring my many years in government and business to bear on the position. I am a mediator. I am a leader and I have the ability to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities along with classwork and academic interests, along with the general and special interests of the student body of all schools here at the University of Louisville.

3. I want this year coming up to be the best year not only for myself, but for each and every student of the University of Louisville. We have a unique opportunity in the coming year to make plans and go forward and make a lasting impression on the university and the board of trustees along with the general public in Kentucky as to how they view not only the university but more importantly, how they view the student body of the university.

Together I believe firmly that we can lead the Cardinals into the next year and beyond with enthusiasm while advocating for each and every student that needs advocacy and social justice. Having my background in social work lends me a unique perspective and a responsibility that is inherent in each and everything that I accomplish. Representing not just one portion of the student body, but all of the student body of the entire University of Louisville. So, lastly I would be the voice of all students, not simply a chosen few.

Zoe Barrow:

1. Help the university in every way possible to keep our SACS-COC accreditation.

2. Increase or give more benefits to students paying the ridiculous prices of campus affiliated housing.

3. Issue regular surveys for students to express their sentiments directly to the SGA about the university and current events.

Jonas Bastien:

1. Build a new cultural/identity center.

2. Restructure the campus escort service.

3. Restructure the student senate to empower its committees and work more efficiently.

X’Zashea Lawson-Mayes:

1. Uniting the campus by providing more transparency between campus administration and the student body.

2. Uplifting diversity on campus striving to allocate more funding for RSOs through increasing the Club Programming Committee budget.

3. Uniting the campus by allocating a budget for fraternity and sorority life. It is no secret that Greek life strongly impacts, and it is also no secret that it is extremely segregated. By funding the umbrella organization, the councils would have more resources to collaborate.

Abdul Hasib Abdul Rasool:

1. Lower the tuition cost.

2. Refine parking lots.

3. Provide a better studying environment for all students with any cultural background.

Georgie Sook:

1. Improve mental health services by allocating the resources needed to decrease wait times and improve the platform to request appointments, including the implementation of an online portal.

2. Improve student safety by removing blue lights, installing lighting across campus, increasing police patrol, drafting plans for a student-run escort system, looking into crosswalk alternatives for Third Street in front of the library and advocating for more transparent crime incident reporting.

3. Improve the student academic experience by implementing a mandatory syllabus bank, creating a ULink app and making free printing available to all students.

Vishnu Tirumala:

As Student Body President, I want to make sure everyone is able to have a positive and successful college experience. There are a few major ways to provide that:

1. Inclusion: You cannot learn in an environment where you do not feel safe. We will work to hire more ULPD patrol officers, secure the establishment of the new Identity Center, making our campus more accessible to students with disabilities and advocating for increasing funds for mental health counseling, particularly for veterans, LGBTQ students, international students, etc.

2. Campus life: Part of a rich college experience is making connections with your peers. We are no longer a commuter school, but our campus life could still be better. We will set aside funding for more concerts, speakers and other major campus events to help attract students to the campus. A strong campus life also means good housing: we will hold all landlords accountable when they fail to meet their promises. Students are tired of listening to excuses from private properties. They deserve better.

3. Scaling up: As we prepare to select a new university president, U of L students need to begin thinking about how we must scale up and think bigger. The university that James Ramsey inherited in the early 2000s is long gone. We must now consider new innovative ideas to meet the needs of students: affordable housing options, free access to lawyers, student-reviewed housing database, childcare grants, an off campus greek row and campus-wide investments in sustainability. We must substantially revise and expand the 2020 plan in a way that reflects what students hope too see on our campus.

You can read more of our campaign proposals at CardinalSpirit.org. I’m looking forward to hearing more from students about the issues they confront so that we can all leave the university better than when we arrived.

Executive VP candidates

Kyle Bilyeu:

1. Increase awareness of and accountability for mental health services offered on campus.

2. Create a Diversity and Inclusion Council that serves as a student-driven cabinet and meets bi-weekly with the Student Body President and Vice President in order to present needs, problems and solutions to unite the campus.

3. Improve ULink: We will work with IT department to create mobile app for ULink, while simultaneously helping streamline the system to make for a more efficient and effective platform.

Destinee Germany:

If elected to this position, three things that I would like to do are highlighted throughout X’Zashea Lawson-Mayes and I’s campaign:

UofU — the University of Unity, Uplift and most importantly, “U.” I would truly strive for my tenure to be focused on uniting students through different programs and initiatives that would positively affect the current campus climate holistically. I would strive for this programming to be done through a multi-cultural lens that would allow students to feel as though they can thrive at our institution. I would work hard to continue the efforts that have been put into place that would create an Identity Center that would increase the satisfaction of marginalized populations here at the University of Louisville.

Next, I would work hard to uplift the campus through various situations that may be thrown our way. It is imperative for students to know that through times of uncertainty, they have great leaders who will have their backs. Keeping the campus uplifted during such a transitional phase at our great university would be one of my top priorities if I were elected as Executive Vice President.

Lastly, the most important initiative for me would be to ensure that whatever decisions are made are for the students and by the students. Although I would serve as a liaison, my main goal would be to serve “U.” As a leader within this role, I know how significant it is to only make moves if they are done for the greater good with the students always in mind. In order to accomplish this, I plan to listen to what the students actually want through different avenues. After all, there would be no Student Government Association without students, right?

Sarah Love:

If elected, I would foster the creation of several new initiatives within each category overseen by the EVP: diversity and inclusiveness, university athletics and the student senate.

I will ensure that every building on campus is accessible for all students, including affiliated housing. I will work closely with university administration toward the completion of our new Identity Center, which will allow for more open-forum events and discussions between students, as well as faculty. I will support and defend students whose dietary needs are not met with current dining options and work to add more vegetarian, vegan, halal and kosher options within our campus meal plan.

Regarding athletics, I will work with the U of L Athletic Association, the Athletics Student Advisory Group and others to ensure students are satisfied with their experiences at sporting events and the football/basketball ticket packages.

Within the student senate, I will advocate for the creation of new ad-hoc committees which will be focused on relevant campus issues such as the hiring of new U of L administrators, outreach to underperforming students and construction.

In short, I will advocate for students from all corners of campus. Your voices will be heard and acted upon in the important decisions our university will make during the upcoming year. Together, we will make U of L a better place to live, work and learn. To learn more in-depth about our new initiatives, visit our website at CardinalSpirit.org. Go Cards!

Karen Udoh:

There are multiple initiatives I want to pursue if elected to be the next Executive VP. Yet, the three main changes I hope to accomplish if elected would be to expand the senate to include multicultural RSOs.

Currently, SGA is too small and does not represent the diverse population we have here at U of L. Secondly, I believe it is time for SGA to empower its multicultural RSOs that are bringing about diversity initiatives to this campus by providing them more resources and financial support.

I plan to work with U of L athletics to increase student attendance at games by developing more promotional incentives for students and increasing marketing for games.

Service VP candidates

Chris Bird:

Above all I want to engage our diverse student voice for all service enhancements.

First, I will reach out to students and organizations for input with completing the SAC renovation, constructing our new academic building and holding our food service Aramark accountable to its contract deliverables.

Second, I want to work to improve protection systems on and around campus through reinvigorating escort services, marketing use of the Rave Guardian app and expanding campus lighting improvements.

Third, I want to integrate sustainability into U of L’s long-term trajectory by establishing green building design standards for our current and future developments.

Michael Lee Hardy:

If elected I would like to ensure that the University of Louisville remains the best institution of higher learning that it can be by creating more accessibility for students to worthwhile initiatives that help them and our community grow.

Also I believe that through inclusion our diversity is honored, so I would fight for the inclusion of all students from all backgrounds.

Finally I would strive for self accountability as well as the accountability of the faculty and staff to ensure that our money being spent toward our educations is not being wasted, and, as a result, driving the cost of tuition up for students who typically can’t afford it. I believe in the acronym T.E.A.M. or Together Everyone Achieves More.

Avery Pryor:

If elected to this position, I would work to increase staff at the counseling center so that students can get in to see a counselor without waiting for long periods of time. I would work to increase lighting on Belknap campus so that the entire campus is well lit and students are not forced to only feel safe walking on one trail. And I would work to gain university sponsored food options on HSC so that students can go to class and have a food option while downtown.

Robert Dylan Martin:

If I am elected, I would first like to expand upon some existing projects, such as parking and dining. I would also like to begin dynamically advocating for Student Health and Well-being and ensure that our services have the means and support systems to fully benefit all students and lay the foundation for a resilient student body.

Finally, I would immediately begin working with Physical Plant and the IT Center to update technology across campus. A very frequent complaint, among professors and students alike, is that we still have extremely outdated technology in many of our facilities, and I strongly believe that faculty members should have access to the latest technologies for the benefit of their students.

These are just a few of many things that I would work toward if I am elected as Services Vice President.

Academic VP candidates

Kyle Hornback:

As Academic Vice President, I plan to work with the Career Development Center to match students with mentors and internships to prepare them for academic and professional success, create and improve study spaces in Ekstrom and around campus and consolidate all U of L scholarships into an accessible, comprehensive scholarship database.

Raymond Michael Myers:

If elected to this position I would like to further extend library hours, raise awareness of financial aid opportunities and deadlines and ensure students have access to necessary academic resources such as advising and study spaces.

Responses have been edited for AP style and clarity.

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