With student elections just around the corner, presidential and vice presidential candidates revealed to students their stances on issues such as the affordability of higher education, the promotion of diversity and campus sustainability at an annual ASPSU debate Tuesday. The elections will occur March 6 ?” 10.
Three slates are vying for the top positions in the Associated Students of Portland State University this year. While the candidates cited similar platform goals and issues, each slate differed about how they would best serve students if elected.
Recognizing that a low percentage of the PSU student body participates in ASPSU and elections, each slate stressed the importance of increasing the visibility of student government and making the organization more accessible to students who may not be involved.
On the Progressive slate, presidential candidate Courtney Morse and vice presidential candidate Jesse Bufton emphasized a dedication to grassroots campaigning, saying that they believe the best way to reach students is to catch them in the Park Blocks. The pair also proposed having an hour-long KPSU radio show to discuss the inner workings of student government.
“We have actual solutions to the problems,” Morse said.
“I think what is most important is education,” Bufton said.
Presidential candidate Mario Campbell and vice presidential candidate Mayela Herrera said they would like to hold more open forums for students and make it clear exactly how student fees are spent. They said they could best serve students because their administration will be built on diversity and their goal will be to work with, rather than against, the administrators at PSU.
“We need to stop boycotting everything and start working with the administration,” Herrera said.
“We are the diversity of thought sitting right here in front of you,” Campbell said.
Presidential candidate Ryan Klute and vice presidential candidate Ana Johns said their previous experiences in student government indicated that they are already dedicated to improving the visibility of student government.
“Ana and I have the unique ability to talk about what we have already accomplished,” Klute said. He listed a number of activities and campaigns that he and Johns were a part of in previous years, including membership on the Student Fee Committee, organizing Midnight Breakfast, and being active in the boycott against Higher One.