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USG launches campaigns with an emphasis on student engagement

Candidates emphasize togetherness and involvement ahead of next week's elections

Aly Perkins

USGD presidential candidate and public service and policy sophomore Aly Perkins poses for a photo in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. 

Candidates for Associated Students of Arizona State University executive positions on all campuses and the Graduate and Professional Student Association launched their two-week campaigns on March 13.

Downtown and Tempe campuses are flooded with signs and posters with the names and slogans of the various tickets, all with a common goal — increasing student engagement and creating change throughout ASU.

Aly Perkins, a public service and public policy sophomore and current senate president of Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, is running for USGD president. The executive ticket is also made up of journalism junior Angelica Cabral, who is running for vice president of policy, and Laila Kabongi, who is running for vice president of student engagement services.

The ticket's purple signs fill Taylor Mall, reading "Involve. Advocate. Collaborate." Perkins is running unopposed, but she continues to campaign to spread name recognition. 

"One of the reasons why my ticket and I came together is because we really care about student involvement on campus," Perkins said. "Because at the end of the day, these decisions really affect students."

Perkins joined USG when she was a freshman, starting as an intern and eventually rising to the position of senate president. She said she loves being a part of USG because of the work it does on behalf of students, a passion that continues to fuel her motivation to create change within the organization.

"I really care about USG, and I'm really passionate about the organization and the work that we do," Perkins said.

Perkins said she wanted to take the work that she was doing now as senate president and to the next level by running for USGD president. Throughout her campaign, she has focused on interacting with students.

"So really the bulk of our campaign has been social media, signs on campus, talking to people, having volunteers talk to their friends and speaking in classrooms," Perkins said. 

The USG election codes were recently changed to allow students to bring the campaign into classrooms by advertising that elections were going on. 

Government Operations committee member  and W.P. Carey Senator Joshua Blinkoff said the codes were revised in order to further engage students. 

"This year we are allowed to do some classroom outreach to advertise that elections are happening," Blinkoff said. "So we can really make a huge difference on campus life and make things more fun for students."

School of Public Service and Community Solutions Senator Yasmin Alvarado is running for Barrett, the Honors College senator. She said being a part of USG and engaging with the University has shaped her college experience for the better. 

"It just gives students that college experience, especially for those who live off campus," Alvarado said. 

Alvarado is doing most of her campaign through social media with the slogan "Diversity. Inclusion. Opportunity." Her campaign focuses on engaging students not only with USG, but also with the broader opportunities that ASU has to offer.  

School of Sustainability Senator Elyse Kats, a sustainability sophomore, is running for reelection. She said she also plans execute her campaign in a more personal way by connecting with students.

Kats is running unopposed, though she said it's still important to campaign.

"If I wanted to continue to take further leadership positions within student government, it's obviously still really important that I still get people to vote for me," Kats said.

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