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Choose your leadership

March 31, 2016

UA’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is now holding elections for next year’s president, vice president, and senate members. If you are an undergraduate, you should have received an email this morning explaining how to vote. There is also a link to the bio page of the candidates.

Voting closes next Wednesday, April 6, at 5 p.m. You can vote online or in voting booths, which will be set up next Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Student Union market. Winners will be announced at the senate’s meeting on Thursday, April 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Union room 316.

Below are the presidential and vice presidential candidates’ own responses to identical questions sent by The Buchtelite.

Yesterday, around 50 students and administrators, including President Scott Scarborough, gathered in the Union Starbucks lounge to watch the USG Presidential Debate.

The two-hour event featured USG presidential candidates Isaac Lampner and Megan Bodenschatz as well as their vice presidents, Cassaundra Spaeder and Sterling Galehouse. Topics included diversity, UA’s scholarship cap, transparency, and open carrying of weapons on campus.

Bodenschatz stressed building a bridge between students and administrators. She said her experience as USG’s Chief of Staff and her internship under Vice President of Advancement Larry Burns has given her more channels to communicate with the administration.

Later questions raised worries that her position under Burns may be a conflict of interest.

Bodenschatz dismissed the concerns, saying she would no longer serve in Buchtel Hall if she were president. In addition, she noted her ties with the administration could help push legislation through.

At the other podium, Lampner stressed the need for a stronger relationship between USG and students. He said polling and tabling in high-traffic areas were important, while Bodenschatz and Galehouse proposed an idea to assign USG senators to resident halls where they’d weigh student opinion each month.

Lampner and Spaeder, both members of USG’s legislative branch, were asked if their lack of executive experience would harm them.

Noting his position as vice chairman under current USG President Taylor Swift, Lampner said he would be able to adapt to the changes.

Early in the debate, the microphone was turned over to President Scarborough. When he asked a question about the candidates’ conflict management, Bodenschatz said she was “the ground of reason” in her argumentative family.

As a peer mentor, Lampner said he “deals with conflict all the time.” He also noted that he is being certified in conflict management.

When questioned about UA’s scholarship cap, Lampner said he wants to make the cap a percentage of the cost to attend UA. In other words, if tuition and fees rise, the amount students receive in scholarships would match that rise.

Bodenschatz agreed, but worried that it isn’t “feasible” for the University at the moment.

The vice presidential candidates debated for the second hour of the event, largely reiterating the platforms of their running mates.  

A full list of Lampner and Spaeder’s policies and stances can be found on their website, bit.ly/25soYd4.

Bodenschatz and Galehouse do not have a website. For their policies and stances, email them at mdb116@zips.uakron.edu and swg10@zips.uakron.edu.

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Isaac Lampner for president, Cassaundra Spaeder for vice president

Kristina Aiad-Toss, Ted Boyer

Kristina Aiad-Toss, Ted Boyer

 

  1. Why do you want to be president? 

P: I love Akron and I think I can make it better. I have a connection with this school that a lot of our students never make [and] I want others to have the Akron experience I’ve been able to have.

VP: Isaac and I have worked together on many projects this year, and we led the Facilities and Services Committee together. We work together very well and both have the desire to make UA the best it can be.

2. What are some of the most important things you have done is USG so far?

P: [Getting] swipes back at Freshen’s and the Rec Café, pushing for WiFi upgrades that the board recently agreed to, [and] writing USG’s opposition to The Safe Campus Act (which passed), which would have stripped sexual assault victims of their rights.

VP: Last semester, I led the initiative and urged the administration to make sure that the Off-Campus Patrol services were renewed, and it worked.

3. What is your experience outside of USG?

P: I have served as a judicial board member and PR Chairman of my fraternity, been a peer mentor, and I represent USG in the University Council Steering Committee, and the Ohio Student Government Association.

VP: I work at the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and serve as USG representative on Faculty Senate and University Council. This past summer, I interned in the district office of a Pennsylvania Senator, doing a lot of constituent outreach and event planning.

4. What do you think needs to change on this campus, if anything?

P: The absolute biggest problem on our campus right now is a lack of transparency and communication. Nearly all decision[s] are made top down without the administration consulting those they are making decisions about. Because of this, they make a lot of decisions without necessary information, and many decisions come as a surprise. This creates instability for students, faculty and staff. Another major concern is the rapidly increasing cost to attend UA, despite a statewide tuition freeze.

VP: I agree with Isaac. I want to hold administration accountable to the students.

5. How will you create that change? And, anything different from the status quo?

P: USG needs to have a better understanding of the student opinion on all issues. We’ll do this through short monthly polls, continuing our town hall programs, and doing a better job distributing information that is given to USG. We also have a graduation guarantee as a solution for rising tuition costs, this guarantee would freeze both fees and tuition.

VP: Transparency needs to start between USG and the undergraduate students they represent. I want to help be that change, whether it be through tabling, or more USG events, or visiting student organizations.

6. Besides academics, what other obligations will you have outside of USG when you are president?

P: Assuming I win, I will be taking less credits than I have previously and stepping down from all organizations and jobs besides my fraternity, where I will be a general member instead of serving on the executive board.

VP: I would like to keep working at the Bliss Institute, but cut back on hours, and I will maintain my membership in a few student organizations.

Miscellaneous

  1. Who do you admire most as a leader, thinker, or in any other way influential person?

P: Current USG President Taylor Swift has done the most to shape me as a leader.

VPI get my love of civic service from my grandmother. 

2. What would students be surprised to hear about you?

P: I love underground music and seeing live bands. Everything from punk rock, to acoustic performances.  

VP: I have danced all my life. When I was little, I wanted to be a Radio City Rockette, but sadly, I’m not tall enough.

3. Favorite book: TV show: movie

P: Extraordinary Means: Fight Club: House of Cards, How I Met Your Mother

VP: Harry Potter and A Song of Fire and Ice: Jane the Virgin: The Notebook

4. Free time activities:

P: Playing tennis and watching soccer. I’m pretty good at FIFA and I like to read when I get the chance.

VPI love spending time with my family, watching hockey, and dancing.

 

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    Megan Bodenschatz for president, Sterling Galehouse for vice president

    Kristina Aiad-Toss, Ted Boyer

    Kristina Aiad-Toss, Ted Boyer

    1. Why do you want to be president? 

    P: I want to be a part of the process that helps make the changes students want and deserve by listening to my peers’ needs and accurately advocating for them.

    VP: I believe that Megan offers the most experience and knowledge when it comes to USG and the leadership skills required to be successful. I would not run with anyone else.

    2. What are some of the most important things you have done is USG so far?

    P: My biggest accomplishment in USG was successfully planning the Ohio Student Government Summit in which speakers and students facilitated discussions to further understand their roles in student government and to better serve their students.

    VP: Winning the election for Chairman of the Ohio Student Government Association. It is the largest lobbying group in the state of Ohio that fights for the needs of students.

    3. What is your experience outside of USG? 

    P: I am currently an intern at Diebold, Inc. with the Global Events team. In my two years with Diebold, I have had a unique opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of people as well as solve and participate in high-level situations. I also have an internship in Larry Burns’, the vice president of advancement, office. My role in this internship has allowed me to develop relationships with senior administration members and gain a greater understanding of the University’s operations.

    VP: For the past two school years I have had an internship with Dr. Scott Scarborough in the President’s Office. During my time there I have been a part of numerous decision making processes, assisted input with the operating budget, and helped with enrollment initiatives for future students. This internship has helped me establish multiple valuable relationships with higher administration members, which I believe plays a key role in what Megan and I could accomplish.

    4. What do you think needs to change on this campus, if anything?

    P: There needs to be stronger communication and relationship between the students, faculty/staff, and administration.

    VP: I believe we need to bridge the gap between students and administration. By doing this we are setting up the opportunity to accomplish our initiatives with efficiency and positive communication.

    5. How will you create that change? And, anything different from the status quo?

    P: I believe that because of the relationships I have already developed with a variety of administrators, I am well equipped to successfully advocate on behalf of the students. I have the experience to advocate for students and empower the members of USG to get to the hard hitting issues students are facing.

    VP: We would like to see projects and ideas by the Senators get completed from start to finish. Our relationships with administrators allows for us to follow up and make sure good things are happening for students.

    6. Besides academics, what other obligations will you have outside of USG when you are president? 

    P: As of right now, I will be job hunting for post graduation and spending time with my family when I am not in class or working diligently for USG.

    VP: I will keep my job in the Presidents Office, by doing this I will secure a relationship with Dr. Scarborough, making sure the voices of students are heard and achieving the goals set forth by USG as a whole.

    Miscellaneous

    1. Who do you admire most as a leader, thinker, or in any other way influential person?

    P: My older sister, Rachel.

    VP: Ronald Reagan.

    2. What would students be surprised to hear about you?

    P: I am a certified Novice Faceter by the United States Faceters Guild.

    VP: I collect cigars, it’s not the healthiest thing to do, but I enjoy it.

    3. Favorite book: TV show: movie

    P: Hamlet: Gilmore Girls: Les Miserables

    VP: America In Retreat: Mad Men: The Great Gatsby

    4. Free time activities: 

    P: Crocheting, running, cooking/baking, spending time with family.

    VP: Smoking cigars, traveling, networking, spending time with close friends.

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    Leave a Comment

    To post a comment on a story, you must provide your name and a valid email address. The Comments Forum is a place for civil discussion and debate. The editors reserve to right to remove any comment that is submitted under false pretenses or that includes personal attack, libel, hate speech, or inaccurate or misleading information. Readers who notice comments that appear to violate these standards are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief at 330-972-6184.




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