Three consider vying for ASPSU presidency

The ASPSU elections will be held the second week of spring term, from Sunday, April 20 to Saturday, April 26. The voting will be held entirely online, and students can vote through the Banweb PSU Information System. Computers may be placed around campus for students to vote on throughout election week. In addition to voting in a student body president and vice president, students can vote for other ASPSU positions, including Student Fee Committee members and student senators. For profiles on prospective ASPSU presidential candidates, click on the image.

Hyung Cho

While serving in the National Guard in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, Hyung Cho said he has learned how to use good leadership and experience to solve hard problems.

Cho wants to run for ASPSU president for next year because he said he can take those skills and unify students and faculty with the university to create a positive atmosphere for academic success.

Solving issues that are important to PSU’s students and faculty requires an understanding of the nontraditional and diverse nature of the university’s population, Cho said.

There’s a difference between PSU, Cho said, and a more traditional campus, like Oregon State University, which he previously attended. A majority of students at PSU commute and already have work experience, and the difference between nontraditional and traditional campuses must be noted when solving the issues that are important to PSU, he said.

Cho said he wants to focus on the needs of both the majority of students who commute to school and the smaller population who live on campus.

One of the most important issues Cho said he is interested in tackling is making commuting easier for students, mainly by making the TriMet FlexPass more affordable. He said he plans to raise awareness on the issue through media outlets and build on the strengths and weaknesses of past ASPSU plans to reduce costs.

He said he is also concerned with making living on campus more affordable and easier for students who now have to commute long distances. He hopes to bring down the average cost of housing on campus, which PSU Housing documents put at $700 a month, to a lower, more affordable rate.

Another major issue Cho is concerned with is making tuition costs cheaper for students. He said he plans to use the experience he has gained from working on the SFC and student senate to work on that issue.

A reason the issue of tuition cost remains unresolved is a lack of communication and unbalance between student groups and the university, Cho said. If elected, he said he hopes to create a balance within ASPSU and other student groups to solve this and other problems.

Matt Alpert

Hannah Fisher

After weeks of telling friends she didn’t want to run for ASPSU president this year, Hannah Fisher changed her mind one morning in winter break.

Fisher, a sophomore, suddenly felt her candidacy for ASPSU president was completely necessary.

“I just thought there is so much potential for change and I know so much,” Fisher said. “I feel responsible. I feel like I have to run. Just being on the State Board of Higher Education has opened my eyes to so many problems that can be changed. And I’m the only one with that perspective.”

Fisher, who has served on the State Board since last summer, chose senior Kyle Cady as her vice presidential running mate.

Both have a history of involvement in student government. Fisher served as university affairs director for ASPSU last year, and Cady is former president of the Oregon Community College Student Association from his days at Portland Community College.

One issue Fisher and Cady are particularly adamant about is establishing institutional memory within student government. Fisher proposes creating an online archive that would chronicle why student government members made certain decisions and provide insights about decision-making for future administrations to view.

“There is a lot of thoughts that go into decisions that happen that are not chronicled,” Cady said. “This is not just a chronicle of events. This is a chronicle of why people made the decisions that they did and how they went about it, to really give students an insight into the past.”

Affordability, student diversity and facilitating Oregon’s adoption of a tuition equity policy, which grants students with undocumented citizen status in-state tuition rates, are all issues Fisher and Cady said they feel passionate about and plan to address if elected.

As a member of the State Board’s selection committee for a new Portland State president, Fisher said her focus is on selecting a president who will be inclined to listen to students and heed their advice. Fisher feels there is a great potential for change in the near future and said she and Cady are committed to making students feel empowered so they are more willing to advocate for that change.

“The potential for change next year at the state level, national level and at the institutional level are unparalleled,” Fisher said.

Nathan Hellman

Christian Aniciete

Portland State sophomore Christian Aniciete wants to reach out to other PSU students.

He said he represents the many faces a PSU student can have: a commuter, a full-time student with a part-time job, a member of a culturally diverse student group, and a student who is concerned with the rising cost of tuition.

Aniciete is considering running for ASPSU president to make student government more transparent and focus more on cultural diversity, he said, and that he hopes his charisma, leadership skills and passion for activism will help him get there.

“The ASPSU has had tremendous victories, but these victories have not been very transparent in the past,” Aniciete said.

Aniciete said he is not entirely sure that he wants to run for ASPSU president because of the time commitment and will decide by the end of this week.

“I’ve always considered myself to be a student before a student leader,” Aniciete said.

As a student senator and president of Kaibigan, a Filipino student group on campus, Aniciete said he’s learned about managing a student organization. The experience has also allowed him to reach out to some of the diverse cultures on campus, he said.

His work with Kaibigan and three years as a student senator have been empowering experiences, Aniciete said, and has given him leadership and organizational skills that would be crucial in managing PSU’s student body.

Aniciete said if elected he would focus on more visibility in the decisions made by student groups like ASPSU.

He also said as president he would work on getting recognition and appreciation for the various diverse cultures at PSU as well as working on reducing the cost of tuition.

Aniciete said it is important to help students with everyday issues that affect them.

“I hope to make people’s lives a little better,” he said.

Matt Alpert