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Student government election winners plan for next year

Downtown Undergraduate Student Government:

President: General studies freshman Frank Smith III

“This is amazing,” Smith said. “I’m making my dreams come true.”

Vice President of Services: Journalism freshman Marcus Dudas

Vice President of Policy: Nursing freshman Melber Macainan

The ticket won with 54.3 percent of the vote.

Smith said he plans to implement multi-payment parking options for students who can’t afford the semesterly prices, so students can choose a parking plan that works for them.

“A lot of students don’t have between $200 and $800 to pay every semester for parking,” Smith said.

He said he will establish transparency between the student body, USGD and ASU by streaming USGD meetings live, showing what student fees are used for and hosting bi-monthly Q&A; sessions for students to voice their concerns.

“When the students know the people who represent them, they're more inclined to get involved and tell their representatives what they think,” Smith said. “We need that on the Downtown campus, especially since we're growing so quickly.”

Smith said he has been meeting with student organizations and the University, so he can learn what is wanted from him by the student body.

“I can lead; I can represent students at the Capitol and with our faculty, and I've been networking with the people who determine how the University operates,” Smith said.

He said he will sever all ties with the Arizona Students’ Association, because USGD can provide any services ASA can.

“We don’t need the ASA," he said. "We don’t want the ASA."

Macainan said it is important for USGD to be involved with the other ASU student governments and stressed the importance of cooperation.

“ASU, Downtown specifically, is still a growing community, and with that, we want to connect with the other campuses more and establish what works,” Macainan said. “I hope to lessen the notion of ‘everything is in Tempe.’”

Graduate and Professional Student Association:

President: Communication graduate student Megan Fisk won with 86.3 percent of the vote

“I love ASU and treasure my time as a student and student leader,” Fisk said. “GPSA needs a leader who will be one step ahead, able to anticipate the changes that will come to post-graduate education. I am this leader.”

Vice President of Internal Affairs: Special education doctoral student Lisa Lacy

Vice President of External Affairs: Second year psychology doctoral student German Cadeñas

Vice President of Professional Development: Second year communication studies and advocacy student Jason Striker

GPSA will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in the fall, and Fisk said she will launch a planning process to determine what has worked for GPSA in the past and what can be done to guarantee that the next 10 years are good for graduate students.

She said she will launch an innovation challenge to inspire students to come up with alternative methods of funding for GPSA.

“I will work to expand funding opportunities for individuals and student organizations by looking for alternative revenue, such as selling GPSA's intellectual property,” Fisk said.

She said she will improve ASU’s Writing Centers, so they address the needs of graduate students by establishing support groups and a mass tutoring center.

Fisk said the Writing Centers are designed for undergraduate students who are learning how to write college essays, but graduate students need their entire, often lengthy, essays read all the way through.

She said support groups allow graduate students to read each other’s work and help each other succeed.

“We want things that are going to help us be better in the field we’ve chosen,” Fisk said.

Lacy said she will use her new position to educate graduate students about available programs, of which they may not be aware, particularly travel grants for conferences and professional trips.

“As a recipient of a travel grant, I want to make sure all graduate and professional students have the same opportunity as I have had in receiving a travel grant for a conference,” Lacy said. “I will make sure that the graduate student website has constant reminders of the travel grants.”

Cadeñas said he plans to increase the amount of civic engagement conducted by ASU graduate students.

“I am very passionate about student advocacy, “Cadeñas said. “I want to see more social justice oriented projects, which is something we have seen increase in the last couple of years, but we can do more.

Undergraduate Student Government Polytechnic:

President: Operations management and technology junior Franz Ferguson

“I will improve the relationship between our students and their individual experiences with ASU so that when they leave this University, they can honestly say what it meant to be a Sun Devil rather than just attending school for a degree," Ferguson said.

Vice President of Services: Mechanical engineering junior Jhonathan Rendon

Vice President of Policy: Applied computer science junior Jason Scribner

The Ferguson ticket ran uncontested.

Ferguson said it is crucial for USGP to improve the roads around the Polytechnic campus that are in disrepair.

“We are really working on getting the roads paved,” Ferguson said. “Students cannot even ride their bikes and their longboards on them.”

Ferguson said he will also work with Aramark to improve the dining experience at the Polytechnic campus.

“Students get sick of the same old food,” Ferguson said. “We want to establish some variety and improve the quality of the dining.”

Ferguson said it is important for him to be familiar to students, so that the relationship between the student body and USGP can flourish.

“I want the students of this University to be aware of and grasp all the opportunities this establishment has to offer,” Ferguson said. “I really hope I can give them whatever they want out of their student experience.”

Scribner said he has faith in the current generation of college students who will be responsible for the future of the country, and USGP can have impact on their college experience.

“I believe I can help elevate and motivate the student population to succeed in their college experience, because then they will succeed ever more when they graduate,” Scribner said. “That will be the silver lining for ASU and its students.”

Tempe Undergraduate Student Government:

President: Political science sophomore Jordan Davis

“It was an amazing experience to win the election,” Davis said. “All of the hard work we did paid off. I’m really excited to get started, and I’m really thankful for everyone that voted for me.”

Vice President of Services: Psychology and biology sophomore Adam Silverman

Vice President of Policy: Public service and public policy and women and gender studies junior Casey Clowes

Davis and his ticket won with 50.4 percent of the vote.

Davis was endorsed by student members of the Arizona Board of Regents, Tyler Bowyer and Kaitlin Thompson, and current Tempe USG president Mark Naufel, who said he was pleased with the election process and result.

“It was a good turnout, and it was pretty close election,” Naufel said. “I saw a lot students really involved. I’m happy for the Davis ticket. I’m proud and excited for them.”

Davis said he will improve the appropriations process so clubs can use appropriations money received from USG to buy equipment.

“With more than 800 clubs on campus and thousands of students in clubs, this is the best way to reach the most students and make the most change,” Davis said. “We recognize that clubs are a crucial part for the student experience, and we want to do everything we can to help the students.”

Davis said he will continue the efforts of the current administration to push for on-campus Greek living and prevent future contention between ASU Greek life and Tempe residents.

“Greek life offers a lot to the University,” Davis said. “It would be really great to have them back on the University, where they are more connected.”

Clowes said she would work hard to advocate for ASU students at the state level to fight against tuition hikes and overcome the disparity in funding between Arizona universities.

Silverman said he will work to incorporate test preparation courses for the LSAT, MCAT and GMAT into ASU curriculum to cut costs for students.

“There is no reason that students should pay an additional ($2,000 to $3,000) to prepare themselves for any test,” Silverman said. “Our goal is to allow students to take these classes for credit, thus allowing them to apply their tuition scholarships to these preparation classes.”

Undergraduate Student Government West:

President: Political science and religion and applied ethics sophomore Howard Waldie IV

“I believe USG’s role should change to take a more interactive role in participating and helping promote student success, rather than simply acting as a financial institution that gives organizations money,” Waldie said. “The potential that the West campus has, which comes from its students, inspired and continues to inspire me to want to lead this campus.”

Vice President of Services: English and political science sophomore Kyle Lambros

Vice President of Policy: Business major Aleksandra Grozic

The ticket won with 76.4 percent of the vote.

Waldie said he will improve USGW’s transparency and increasing student involvement.

“We want to be engaged not just with initiatives, but express results so the students are able to feel the presence of USGW,” Waldie said. “USGW needs to be a part of the positive atmosphere that we create by continually looking for new ways to innovate and streamline our processes.”

Lambros said he plans to establish the role of the Sun Devil Coalition as an opportunity for students at the West campus to get involved.

“I will solidify the Sun Devil Coalition and define its roles and responsibilities clearly for the benefit of the students,” Lambros said. “It will streamline the channels in which students, clubs, organizations, groups, classes, residents, commuters, student workers and the community have their voices heard.”

Reach the reporter at or follow him on Twitter @jthrall1

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