The Vanguard editorial board endorses Mary Cunningham and Emily Garrick for president and vice president (respectively) of the Associated Students of Portland State University. The board also endorses Chris Moller for Student Fee Committee chair.
The online elections began yesterday and end tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Cunningham and Garrick’s platform includes one-stop financial support, non-traditional student outreach and building a stronger campus community. The candidates have solid, well-thought out plans to accomplish these goals, including centralizing services like child care, so that students don’t have to visit three locations before receiving answers.
Cunningham and Garrick also have plans to avoid many of the administrative problems that plagued this year’s staff. For example, attendance at student senate meetings was tragically poor this year, preventing the senate from accomplishing anything. Garrick, whose job would entail running the senate, plans on creating a meeting schedule that works, and fostering a community among senate members to aid retention.
The candidates also proposed solid plans for increasing student election turnout and recruiting responsible, committed members for ASPSU’s numerous but important committees that lacked solid membership this year. Most notably, this year’s elections committee was appointed two terms late, which has prevented the committee from properly marketing the elections.
Moller, though running unopposed, has taken the election seriously. The Student Fee Committee chair is responsible for allocating and managing the $127 fee every student pays each term. This job is possibly the most important student job on campus.
He is committed to keeping Portland State’s fee low (it is currently the second lowest among Oregon’s public universities). Moller is also dedicated to using the fees responsibly by eliminating waste among duplicated services.
State legislators have once again questioned the validity of the student fee system, in that the fee funds groups some students may not wish to support. However, the Supreme Court has upheld student fees as constitutional because the fees provide an open forum rather than support a single ideology.
Moller recognizes that some groups may be controversial but that they still have a right to have their voice heard.
Cunningham, Garrick and Moller take ASPSU seriously and have plans to effect true change in student government. They recognize where the current administration failed and already have action plans to avoid those pitfalls in the future.
Students can vote online until tomorrow at 4 p.m. by logging on to http://banweb.pdx.edu, the same place where most students register for classes, check grades and view transcripts.
The Vanguard editorial board encourages every student to vote because, if nothing else, you pay the student president’s salary.
The editorial board was only able to interview Cunningham and Garrick, and Stephen Archer for the president and vice president positions. Archer’s running mate, Salimeh Evjen, did not appear for the interview, casting doubt on the duo’s ability to communicate if elected. Alonso Melendez (pres.) and Juston Wood (vice), and Luis Trybom (pres.) and Paul Bronleewa (vice) did not respond to efforts to set up endorsement interviews, casting doubt on their desire to work with students and student groups.