VANGUARD EDITORIAL: The Vanguard endorses Myrick and Buckner for ASPSU president and vice president

The ASPSU race for president and vice president is robust this year, with five pairs of candidates running for office—a major improvement over last year’s nearly uncontested race.

The ASPSU race for president and vice president is robust this year, with five pairs of candidates running for office—a major improvement over last year’s nearly uncontested race.

The candidate pool is very diverse and everyone seems to sincerely want the job, but one pair stands out from the rest as being particularly well-suited to lead ASPSU in the coming year: Jennifer Myrick and Nathaniel Buckner.

After conducting identical 20-minute interviews with all of the candidates, it was clear to the Vanguard editorial board that Myrick and Buckner are the best package. Myrick comes across as very bright and knowledgeable on the issues currently facing higher education. She is serious and dedicated, making her a credible representative of the student voice to administrators and legislators. Myrick and Buckner appear friendly and approachable, which is important for students trying to reach out to their government.

While Myrick is a student of political cooperation who currently works for a representative in Salem, Buckner is less politically savvy. However, as the Student Senate’s presiding officer he would draw upon his service in the army and his work as an artist to organize and creatively solve problems.

Though both are aware of student government’s operations and activities, they are currently ASPSU outsiders, which is an asset. Over the last two years, ASPSU has been plagued with infighting and a high turnover within the ranks of the executive staff. We are weary of the candidates who have spent a substantial amount of time in office, as they have been party to ASPSU’s discord and inertia. Fresh faces would benefit the organization.

Myrick is committed to working in Salem to represent students in the debate over the restructuring of higher education. She believes our tuition dollars should stay at Portland State, rather than be funneled to other state agencies. She is willing to look outside of the current paradigm to solve the funding woes, and we believe she would be successful because of her experience in both state politics and social activism.

Myrick is unique in her desire to make both academic scholarships and career services more accessible, because those are tangible, practical goals—goals that are lacking in some of the other campaigns. Absent from Myrick and Buckner’s rhetoric are the typical buzzwords, with the exception of “transparency.” They want to create a website that clearly explains the way in which student fees and tuition are spent, allowing students to better understand the process and how their dollars are used. (However, to be fair, another pair of candidates—Ethan Allen Smith and Anandi Hall—also plan to build a similar website if elected.)

By nature of being a political organization, it is unusual in ASPSU for the art department to be proportionately represented. However, Buckner himself is an art student, making him sensitive to the lack of resources and recognition of the department within the university despite the large creative community in Portland. Myrick and Buckner are both focused on looking beyond just representing student groups and prioritize reaching the larger student body and academic departments.

Because of their professionalism, intelligence and fresh perspective, the Vanguard editorial board endorses Myrick and Buckner’s candidacy for ASPSU president and vice president. Above all, however, we hope that more of you will decide to vote this year. An engaged student body lends legitimacy to whoever is elected and invigorates the idea that individual participation in governmental processes does make a difference at every level.

Virginia Vickery Editor-in-Chief Corie Charnley News Editor  Nicholas Kula Arts & Culture Editor

Richard Oxley Opinion Editor Kevin Fong Sports Editor Noah Emmet Chief Copy