Forks Estate: USG Candidate Chaz Simmons on the issues his ticket covers

Chaz Simmons answers questions about his three-pronged policy platform.

Podcaster Nolan Williams sits down with USG-Tempe Presidential candidate, Chaz Simmons. They talk about Simmons' platform and the experience his ticket brings to this election. If you want more information on their campaign, you can visit their website or Facebook page. 


Nolan Williams: Voting begins on March 26 for the Arizona State Student Government. Tempe students have 3 tickets to pick from, and I sat down with Chaz Simmons to hear his pitch. 

Chaz Simmons: My name is Chaz Simmons. I am a junior studying economics and political science, and I'm also a candidate for President in the Undergraduate Student Government race.

Nolan Williams: Tell me a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your ticket. 

Chaz Simmons: I have been in USG for two years now. I have served as a senator, a director and, more recently, as Vice President of Services. As a senator, I was responsible for reforming the USG bylaw documents. Additionally, I opposed Michael Crow’s tuition proposal, which saw tuition increases for international and out-of-state students. 

Then, as a director I served as director of student affairs, where I reformed the university board and committees process. What that meant is I served on the facilities fee board (and) revamped that board. I worked on a project with Dr. Crow on getting a bridge over Rural Road. I increased communication between committees, to make sure that conversations about sustainability and technology around campus were collaborated on. 

Then, more recently as Vice President of Services, I've worked with my Director of Wellness to start a new event known as Wellness Wednesdays – part of an initiative to foster mental wellness around campus by educating students about ASU health resources. Additionally, I have worked with the safety escort, bike co-op services, as well as the spirit pride and tradition initiatives.

My Vice President of Policy candidate, Nicole Morote, is the Senate President pro tempore, as well as the chairwoman of the University Affairs Committee in the Undergraduate Student Government Senate.

Nolan Williams: Tell me about your platform, point by point. 

Chaz Simmons: My platform is broken down into three major categories. The first is fixing the club appropriation process. Club funding through USG has received a lot of complaints. The appropriations process is primarily man powered right now. One big item of my platform is to automate the appropriations process via computer logic accessed on OrgSync. What that would look like is that OrgSync has "if statements," when a club submits a budget request, you can automate the process by going step by step through this request. “Did the club submit 'x' form? Yes or no?" If no, then the club would receive automatic feedback via this automated process.

The problem that clubs are facing with the appropriations process is that they often wait weeks or even months to hear back about their budgets. If we were to automate and streamline this process on OrgSync, they could hear back, theoretically, same day. Or at least, within a few days, depending on how much we automate this process. 

Part two, I had already touched on. It is fighting fee increases around campus. I talked a little bit about the Barrett fee — how students felt like there was a lack of transparency. It’s not just the Barrett fee increase that we're talking about, though. I also want to touch on the Student Government student fee. 

The ASU student fee is money collected from the students, obviously. It goes to the Council of Presidents and then is distributed across all campus student governments. It gets allocated depending on the size of the student body. Obviously, a bigger student body means more fee money for more services. I want a more transparent student fee. Therefore, my administration will look closely at where this fee is being utilized. Ideally, I would like to lower the student fee. I would like to lower the student fee and decrease Tempe surplus. 

My third point I would like to touch on is health, wellness and safety on campus. We’ve all seen the recent rise in crime alerts around ASU. We’ve all seen them. They've been increasing in numbers. Countless accounts of sexual assault and other serious matters. To that end, my administration would like to increase lighting on campus and build out the USG safety escort program. Our safety escort program runs seven days a week from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. I would actually like to increase the hours, the number of vehicles and staff. 

Nolan Williams: Remember to vote on March 26th and March 27th. You can find information at the ASU elections website here

For the State Press, I’m Nolan Williams. 


 Reach the reporter at njwilli2@asu.edu and on Twitter @NolanWilliamsAZ

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