Student government presidents Smith, Waldie, Cadenas bring new plans for new terms
Howard Waldie IV, Frank Smith III and German Cadenas were all elected presidents of their colleges Friday and are preparing to implement portions of their platforms as the end of spring semester nears.
Howard Waldie IV was re-elected and is ready to get back to work for the students and off the campaign trail.
"The campaign went really well for us, but I’m a little ashamed that we had to run against a smear campaign," he said. "It is politics, and it is an election, so you can’t avoid that entirely, but I am glad that my ticket didn’t get involved in it."
Waldie said he was most proud with how his vice presidents handled themselves during the debates, calling it a high point of the campaign.
"My vice presidents did a fantastic job, and I think as a team we were able to solidify our standing as the ticket to vote for and allow ASU West to realize that we are going to have a fantastic year," he said.
Waldie said moving forward is important now, as he has already begun working on implementing parts of his platform.
"We have already started moving forward with the build up of the community at ASU to create a real ideal college town for the students out here," he said. "That means partnerships with the city of Peoria, the city of Phoenix (and) the city of Glendale to build up some of the vacant lots we have. Like bringing entertainment, restaurants, and shopping centers over for students and watch this place grow since we are supposed to have 20,000 students in the next five years, so I’m going to do everything possible to make this happen."
As the fall semester starts, the focus of Waldie and his team will be tuition and doing what they can to make it as low as possible, not just for ASU students but for the other state universities as well, he said.
"We are going to be working with the student regents to work on a couple of policy plans and one of them is to get the Arizona Board of Regents to agree to a 0 percent or 3 percent minimal tuition increase, not just for ASU but for the entire state," Waldie said. "We already have our commitment from (University President) Michael Crow but I want to see if we can extend that to other universities. We are all students in Arizona and we want to see Arizona do better and attract more students to our universities."
Frank Smith III also won re-election and will start his second term as USGD president in the fall, and he said he was extremely pleased with how his campaign ran.
"I feel like the campaign went really well," he said. "This year was the record number of votes we have had at Downtown, so we really got the students to the polls and especially a lot of my supporters showed up and voted. I’m really proud of that."
High points of the campaign were getting out and talking to the students and hearing what they wanted out of a president, he added.
"Being outside talking to the students and seeing what the students wanted for next year," Smith said. "I just feel like it was a good campaign all around, because we were always visible wearing our shirts, and students knew who we were."
Smith said he and his vice presidents will be working through the summer to implement portions of their platform and be able to hit the ground running when the fall semester begins.
"I want my vice presidents to meet with other vice presidents from other campuses at least once every two weeks and all of the other presidents are on board with that," he said. "I have a meeting with the ASU police department next week to talk about improving safety downtown, like getting a traffic regulator between First Street and Taylor, improving lighting and also revamping the safety escort service."
Being a resource for students and organizations is high on his list of priorities as USGD president, he said.
"I am a resource for the students, and if they want to reach out to me, they can email me and I want them to reach out to me so I can hear their concerns," he said. "I really want to know what the students are feeling so I can serve them to the best of my ability."
Long-time Sun Devil German Cadenas ran uncontested for president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association but still did all he could to bring his platform to students.
"We didn't have to campaign that much, but most of what we did was through word of mouth," he said. "It was a lot of fun to talk to students and let them know about the plans we have for the fall."
Cadenas ran his campaign as if he had an opponent because he said he wanted to make sure his ticket's message was available for the students.
"We still came out with a platform and all of our materials because we really care about what we do and want to do a good job," Cadenas said.
Looking forward to the fall, Cadenas said he wants to finalize the programs he hopes to implement over the summer.
"In the fall, we are going to have more resources so we are going to be working really hard over the summer finalizing what our programs are," he said. "We want to continue what is working well for our students, but we also want to create new programs that focus on social justice so we are making sure we are representing all students."
Having many years of experience at ASU prepared Cadenas well to be GPSA president, he said.
"I was actually an undergrad at ASU, so I've been a Sun Devil for a long time, and I graduated in 2009 with a bachelors of science in business and a bachelors of arts in psychology from ASU," he said. "When I was an undergrad, I attended Tempe and Polytechnic, so I've been around a long time, and I feel that I know ASU very well as a student, and also as an instructor, so I can see from different perspectives."
USGP President elect Ryan Olkes did not return multiple calls for comment.
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