The two candidates for Undergraduate Student Government West are wrapping up their campaigns and are giving their final pitches to students as elections begin Tuesday.
RussL Altabtabaee and Howard Waldie IV have run very different campaigns with different platforms but both have had a major focus on the students.
“My campaign went great and it was a great experience,” Altabtabaee said. “Our main goal wasn’t about winning or losing, but more about the experience. And we want to learn and find out how to help the students but just by getting this experience we feel that we are winners.”
Altabtabaee’s platform centered on interaction with students and working on their ideas.
“The main thing that we highlighted and the main message for the students is we want the students to know that even though we may have a lack of knowledge in USG, we can use that to learn from the students,” she said.
Having an increased focus on knowing where tuition dollars are being used is the main part of the Altabtabaee ticket’s platform.
“We want to increase the focus on stewardship,” she said. “Even if we can’t control tuition, if more money was being added to education in any part of the college, we will make sure that this money is being used in the right way and for the advantage of the students.”
Sitting president Howard Waldie IV said he is very proud of his team and the wonderful job they did.
“We were really able to get ourselves out there and get a lot of people aware that we were running and why we were running,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support, not only from students but from clubs and organizations, and that is really good to see because it means that we have been successful in our current roles.”
Working with the community and the experience of the Waldie team benefits them in the long run, Waldie said.
“The fact that we are so (community-centric) and have the experience, and we have had so much success while taking forward the student initiative, there is no better ticket to lead the campus, especially when you look between the two tickets,” he said.
Waldie reiterated the amount of experience his ticket has and how his team are prepared to start from day one if elected.
“We have the experience, we have the success, here are some ideas the students have already given us so we are going to move forward with them and we are ready for even more ideas,” he said.
Both opponents have led clean campaigns.
“I wish them good luck in the voting,” Altabtabaee said.
Waldie emphasized if he is elected he is open to working with Altabtabaee and any ideas she may present.
“I don’t know for sure if it was them running the smear campaign, but I wish them the best of luck and as voting occurs and whether or not they win I hope they do recognize that everyone has the potential to be a student leader, and we value their opinion,” he said.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @joey_hancock