Voting Guide: Polytechnic USG Presidential Election

Undergraduate Student Government election season is in full swing, and students on all campuses are on the campaign trail, vying for representation and control in student government.

There is only one candidate for USG president on the Polytechnic campus, along with vice presidents of policy and services. 

That candidate is Ryan O'Hara, who spoke with The State Press about his campaign and his policies. The following is the result of that conversation, edited for clarity and concision. The full audio of the interview is available below as well. 

Ryan O'Hara, Sara Brancati (VP of Services), Mary Curtiss (VP of Policy):

What are some of the basic tenets of your campaign?

O'Hara: "We're looking to create a greater sense of unity. What we do have is a really excellent community out here, and we really want to play on that. Some of our bigger influencers on our campus are USG, PAB, RHA and Changemaker. We really want to leverage all of the strengths that each of these organizations have, so that way we can better serve the students. If that means us empowering PAB, and lending support in the form of staffing or finance, we're open to doing that. 

"The same thing goes for Changemaker and RHA. One thing we've noticed this year is there's kind of this lag-time. There's a lot of stepping on each other's toes when it comes to events. We don't want to create an environment where students are overwhelmed. We want to create an environment where we thoughtful plan out events to maximize our spread and reach to the student body.

"Other than creating unity, right now, another thing that we really want to do is leverage our strengths individually within USG. Myself, I'm the chief of staff this year. And this is my third year with USG. Mary, this is her second year. She's a rockstar. She started out last year when I was the outreach committee chair, and she was one of my interns. I brought her on as a senator, and pushed her to run as VP of Policy in the current administration. Sara is in the same boat. She jumped on as an intern. She was a rockstar. I pulled her on to student government as a senator, and I tapped her for the VP of Services position.

"All of us have this real sense of pride and excitement and passion for what we do. We all have been a part of student government for a very long time. We see that we have a great team here, and a great environment, and all we have to do is pull everything together. We have a lot of really cool things that go on out here, and we just want to make sure that the community is aware of them, to build a sense of pride behind Polytechnic, and continue to work on making Polytechnic a really a great place."

What motivated you to run, and how did your ticket get assembled?

O'Hara: "I'll be approaching about 10 years that I've been involved in student government. I've always thought student government to be important. What I think is really great about it is we have an opportunity, and actually an obligation to serve students and make sure their voices are heard. It's a real cool honor and privilege to have to be able to speak on behalf of students and voice their concerns.

"I met (my running mates) through USG — they applied as interns. They were so eager, so hungry, and you could see the passion behind their eyes. So I said, 'Hey, I know you guys are interns right now, but as soon as a position becomes available for senator, I'm absolutely going to recommend you guys.' I was very excited to pull them on board."

Reach the reporter at or follow @akimbelsannit on Twitter.

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