Katie Markey and Selina Poulsen

Katie Markey, 22, and Selina Poulsen, 20, are currently running for ASPSU president and vice-president under the slate “Students First.”

Katie Markey, 22, and Selina Poulsen, 20, are currently running for ASPSU president and vice-president under the slate “Students First.”

“I had considered [running for office] during the summer, when the vote drive was underway,” Poulsen said. “However, Katie and I only seriously considered the possibility of running [during] winter term. We had seen the way this year had gone and knew some of the challenges that were to be faced next year and we decided that we wanted to be a part of it.”

Their platform revolves around a student voice in restructuring, student dignity and student control over services funded by student fees.  Markey and Poulsen feel that these themes are important because they impact every student at Portland State.

“It is our goal to consistently work for students, listening to their needs and incorporating them into our goals for next year,” Markey said.

She and Poulsen have several other candidates on their slate.

“For the SFC chair we are supporting Krystine McCants and for SFC member we are supporting Aaron Baker. On the senate side of things, we are supporting James Au, Cathy Symes, Matt Fleskes, Lucius Shields and Karen Ulbright,” Poulsen said.

Both Markey and Poulsen have now been involved in ASPSU for a year.  Markey got involved last year when she ran and was elected as a student senator. She is now the interim ASPSU legislative affairs director.

Markey met Poulsen when she became involved with the ASPSU voter registration drive.

“It started with the Vote Campaign where I was the canvassing coordinator and [Poulsen was] the class rep coordinator,” Markey said. “I chose to run with Selina because she is a hard working, compassionate individual who has students’ best interests at heart and is willing to ask the tough questions.”

Markey believes that the experience Poulsen gained as a senator and coordinator of the ASPSU food pantry will be invaluable next year if they are elected.

Poulsen, an applied linguistics major with a minor in classical studies, began in student government when she was recruited to help with the Vote Campaign.

“I decided that I loved the work that student government was doing and wanted to keep doing it,” Poulsen said. “I was appointed a senator by [ASPSU] President Sanford and have not stopped working for students since.

“I have been involved with ASPSU for a year now,” she said. “I have gotten to know the way the system works and have the skills to navigate it. As for what I can bring to the table that the other candidates cannot, I have been highly involved in the restructuring process since it was first presented to the student senate.

 “I am willing to sift through all the proposals for restructuring and advocate for the one that best fits students’ needs,” Poulsen said. “I have also successfully run the food pantry since the first major donation and I have the passion to make sure that wonderful programs like that continue.”

Markey, a political science major with a minor in international economics, ran the non-partisan vote drive at PSU for the special election, and has also lobbied for students at the capitol, where every bill she helped support was passed.

 “I think students want to see tangible results of what ASPSU does for them,” Markey said.  “I think they want more outreach and communication between students, branches of ASPSU and the [university] administration.”

“This past year, I have gotten to know the administration, our state and federal representatives, and I have earned their respect while still fighting for student’s issues,” she said. “Next year will be incredibly important for students with the restructuring of the Oregon University System, and students are going to need someone with extensive lobbying experience representing them at the state level.”