The Undergraduate Student Government Tempe campus candidates have begun campaigning for the 2021 USG elections, with three executive tickets running for USGT president and students from seven colleges campaigning for senate seats.
The executive tickets
Kate Hostal is running for president, with Alexander Lewis running for vice president of service and Aidan Sigmund running for vice president of policy.
Within USGT, Hostal has served as the government operations committee chair, Barrett senator and is currently the Senate president. She is also the tournament director for Sun Devil Mock Trial.
Lewis is USGT's director of student affairs and Sigmund is USGT's director of civic engagement.
The ticket is running on its campaign called "All Together ASU" in which they have six platforms: expanding health services, promoting sustainability, advancing civic engagement, advocating for transparency, promoting visibility and emphasizing inclusion, as stated on their website.
"We really, really want to emphasize that the student voice deserves to be heard, and that means all student voices, not just our own," said Hostal, a junior studying finance and business law. "If we promote (our platforms), it will improve the experience of students at ASU."
In terms of specific policy, the Hostal ticket plans on making sure students have equal access to vaccines and menstrual products. The ticket also wants to work on a paperless dining hall receipt program, an increased USG presence by holding more student forums and advocating for the 2024 election to be a school holiday, among other initiatives.
Despite a very clear platform, the Hostal ticket's initiatives are malleable.
"We believe we should be changing our approach based off of what the student voice is actually saying," Hostal said. "(The policies can) absolutely, unequivocally (be) able to change based on what students actually want."
Joshua Pardhe is also running for president, with Sloane Dunn running for vice president of services and Alejandro Urbina-Bernal running for vice president of policy.
Pardhe was appointed as a Fulton Senator back in November and is the deputy chief of staff for the Next Generation Service Corps. He is also president of the Sun Devil Alka Rocketeers, a student organization which builds rockets. Dunn serves alongside Pardhe in those clubs, as she is the Chief of Staff of Service Corps and vice president of Alka Rocketeers.
The Pardhe ticket's platform is called the "Deserve Better" platform, stating students deserve better when it comes to their education. They want to make sure communication and transparency between ASU's administration and its students is improved and increased.
"(We will) be working with these student voices on campus to make sure that we build a campus that students deserve as we come back to an in-person modality," said Pardhe, a junior studying computer systems engineering.
With ASU planning on being completely in-person for the Fall 2021 semester, the Pardhe ticket has made this a top concern.
READ MORE: ASU plans for in-person Fall 2021 semester
"Students should be able to know what resources they will have available to them to ensure their safety in the dorms, in the classroom and just on campus," Pardhe said.
The ticket wants to make sure students continue to have access to counseling services and administration is clear with their vaccine distribution policies.
Outside of COVID-19 concerns, the Pardhe ticket wants to ensure the rape center Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault has been working toward comes to fruition.
"If we're so proud of the No. 1 in innovation status, let's make sure that we keep that, especially with student safety," said Urbina-Bernal, a junior studying political science. "Put in the rape center and make sure that the students have the procedures and resources that they need so that they can feel safe and not overwhelmed in that scary environment."
John Hopkins is running for president, with Victoria Shannon Hayes running for vice president of service and Taryn Christine Quigley running for vice president of policy.
Hopkins was a USGT Senator for W.P. Carey his freshman and sophomore year, now on the executive board for the Childhelp AZ Young Professionals nonprofit organization and is the VP of brotherhood for the Sigma Nu fraternity.
The Hopkins ticket, which is called the "Better Together" campaign, emphasized the need for a safe and emphatic return to in-person learning in the fall over their Instagram. Their platform includes mental health awareness, sexual assault prevention, sustainability and security and campus safety, as stated on their website.
“Sexual assault prevention and mental health resources have to be improved, and we will work closely with students organizations to fund these initiatives,” Hopkins, a junior studying finance, said in an email. “With a balance of engaging virtual experiences and in-person opportunities next year, we will make sure your student experience is safe, yet never compromised.”
With the pandemic being a big factor in this election, Hopkins said the upcoming school year will be a "turning point for college students."
We are emerging from a pandemic, and we have to work together to make sure no student, organization, or initiative is left behind or forgotten," Hopkins said in the email. “I truly believe that I represent the average student, experienced enough in USG to ensure that the essentials of the organization are not lost, but also enough outside experience to bring in fresh, new ideas and perspectives to ongoing issues."
There are two seats for Barrett, The Honors College.
Running for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering are Alexia Roberts, Idika Malpe, Andrew Kalthoff, Jake Hohu, Jaafar Al Shamari, Ryne Bolick, Harikrishna Kommineni and Nathaniel Anbar. The School has four seats within the Senate.
There are five seats for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Running for those seats are Ainor Elgamal, Konya Saidu, Clay Robinson, Jasmine Perez, Arjun Rondla, Miguel Ortega, Cohlton Kieffer, Benjamin Greenberg, Elijah Rusk, Brenden Castellanos, Astika Joshi, Brandon Adu-Minta and Hannah Grace Berryman.
W.P. Carey School of Business has four seats in the Senate.
Elections will take place in-person outside the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and online over SunDevilSync on March 30 and 31. The results will be announced on April 1.
Editor's note: This story was updated March 19, 2021, at 2:40 p.m. to include comment from John Hopkins.
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Morgan Fischer is the politics editor, she works with her desk to cover topics related to politics in the ASU community. She has previously worked as an intern for RightThisMinute.