Where do the USGT executive tickets stand on important issues?

As voting begins, the three executive tickets for USGT address different policy issues that students may care about

Voting for Undergraduate Student Government began Tuesday, and ASU Tempe students will be choosing between three tickets — the Salem ticket, the Simmons ticket and the Bartlemay ticket

Students can vote on the Tempe campus at the Changemaker Central space in the Memorial Union. Additionally, all students can access their ballots online through MyASU or the ASU app.

Voting will continue until Wednesday, and election results will be announced on Thursday.

Appropriations

The appropriations process has been rough this year for Undergraduate Student Government Tempe, with staff turnover requiring training new appropriation committee members. All three tickets have suggested ways to ease the funding process for USGT members and student organizations alike. 

Robert Bartlemay, the president candidate on his ticket and a junior double majoring in history and civic and economic thought and leadership, said that their plan would be to centralize appropriations information, so that clubs and organizations know what is required of them. 

Additionally, the Bartlemay ticket would take a proactive approach, reaching out to clubs and organizations that hold yearly events and providing them with the necessary paperwork early on. 

Chaz Simmons, the presidential candidate on his ticket and a junior double majoring in political science and economics, said that the issue is that the appropriations committee is currently understaffed and overworked. In order to lift some of the burden, Simmons proposed having OrgSync review the paperwork electronically. 

"By automating the funding process with tools already built into OrgSync, like 'if-loops' designed to expedite the process and ensure students have filled out all parts correctly, with no missing materials, the burden will be taken off of the human-powered system in a way that's even better for efficiency," Simmons wrote in an email. 

Having OrgSync evaluate budgets would not cost the students, and the system could be in place by this summer, Simmons said.

Hanna Salem, the president candidate on her ticket and junior studying public service and public policy, has proposed creating a director of finance position within USGT to act as an intermediary between the appropriations committee and the organizations requesting funding in order to improve their understanding of the appropriations process. 

Like the Bartlemay ticket, the Salem ticket would also centralize information for easier access for students, and the director of finance would ensure its accuracy as well.  

Civic Engagement

The Simmons ticket is campaigning on addressing policies that the student body brings to its attention. 

"We don't think it's USG's place to chime into every single piece of legislation on the Arizona Senate floor," Simmons wrote. "But when student interests are at stake, and when we have to go to bat to make sure the 50,000 voices of the Tempe campus don't go unheard, that's something we're ready to do."

The Bartlemay ticket would promote more hands on involvement from both USGT and ASU students.

"Part of our job is to advocate for students who have concerns at the state and national level," Bartlemay said. "USG should be willing to speak to representatives and to write letters, we should also be encouraging students who are concerned to get involved by writing letters and possibly organizing meetings with representatives."

The Salem ticket would establish a new committee, called the civic engagement university board and committee. The goal of the committee would be to encourage civic engagement on all campuses. 

Salem wrote that the committee's initiatives would include "ballot centers on all four campuses, voter registration sessions during student orientations, more election information and solutions to reducing barriers to voting." 

"Every campus faces different struggles," Salem wrote. "We want to ensure that everyone’s concerns are heard so that we can lay the foundation for civic engagement for the 2020 election and every election here on out." 


Sustainability

The Salem ticket has proposed an initiative that would provide more funding to clubs and organizations that hold waste-free events. 

"When clubs get the approval from our appropriations committee, executives will check invoices and documents to ensure that events are zero-waste certified before officially approving payments," Salem wrote. 

The qualifications for a zero-waste event would be based on the University's current zero-waste requirement

"Although events would be more costly, as a ticket we believe the University’s mission of implementing and practicing how to be sustainable is far more important than cost," Salem wrote. 

Transparency 

One of the Bartlemay ticket's main pillars of policy is transparency, and it hopes to accomplish this by promoting USGT to make students aware of what their representatives do for them. 

"We want to utilize the creative team more," Bartlemay said. "We feel they have a lot of potential that’s going unused, to create better marketing and engaging marketing."

The Bartlemay ticket also wants to update the USGT website more frequently and consolidate information so it is easier to find. 

"Right now, the average student can't find (director's reports) if they go looking," Bartlemay said. 


Reach the reporter at krquaran@asu.edu and follow @kiaraquaranta on Twitter. 

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