Candidates in this year's Undergraduate Student Government Downtown election on the executive ticket and for open senate positions are running unopposed.
The executive ticket
The executive ticket is made up of Evan Lis for president, Dane Van Wagenen for vice president of service and Halah Berglin for vice president of policy.
Lis, a senior studying journalism and mass communication and geography with a concentration in meteorology and climatology, is running for president after being a senator for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Like the rest of the races on the Downtown Phoenix campus, he is running unopposed.
His campaign ideas circulate around the words "unity, collaboration and success." He wants to "reinvigorate" synergy among Downtown Phoenix campus student organizations. Lis thinks his experience as an active member of USG and in other clubs make him a perfect candidate for USGD president.
"I do feel fairly confident going into the executive role from my senator experience," Lis said. "There's a lot of room for leadership experience."
In an effort to bridge the gaps among the student body, organizations and USG, Lis plans to create a coalition to communicate and engage with the student body. Lis referenced the collaboration between Blaze Radio and Fusion on First as an example that could become more "commonplace." A podcast was launched about the newest student residential building on campus.
Dane Van Wagenen, a sophomore studying medical studies, is a senator for the College of Health Solutions and the USGD senate president. Van Wagenen plans on using his experience in student government to work with members of USG and other clubs.
"Our main point is more collaboration among the different clubs and organizations on campus," Van Wagenen said. "We found a lot of clubs will plan their own events and not really talk to each other about it, and you'll have five or six events on one night."
Van Wagenen wants to make USG accessible and meet students where they are to improve engagement, including using TikTok and integrating resources into the student body past freshman orientation.
Lis and Van Wagenen are running with Halah Berglin, who is a senator for Barrett, The Honors College. She looks to bring a heavy emphasis of service to campus activities. She said the downtown campus can follow the example of the Tempe campus in this regard. She also wants to bring more internship fairs to the downtown campus.
"I definitely want to bring back service. I am studying public service, public policy, and then nonprofit is my emphasis. I would love to see a week of service here on the downtown campus," said Berglin, a junior studying public service and public policy. "I know Tempe does a lot larger scale service events. We actually just had or are having our service events from lots of downtown, but I'd like to see our whole campus getting involved."
The senate candidates
Down the ticket, the senate races are filled with a diverse group of newcomers to student government. They are all running unopposed.
Charlotte Canada and Anna Montoya-Gaxiola are running for the two open seats for the Cronkite School. Seanika Mathis is running for one of two open seats Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Ashley Hung and Carly Vigeant are running for the two seats for Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
Canada, a junior studying journalism and mass communication, is focusing on advocating for international students, who could see a 5% increase in tuition.
"I have some friends who are international students, so I definitely had to talk to them and ask them what they feel is lacking and see if I can help help them with whatever the issues they have with ASU," Canada said.
Montoya-Gaxiola, a sophomore studying journalism and mass communication, is planning on starting out as senator by learning the ins and outs of the position while getting input from students across the Downtown Phoenix campus. She does not have any specific initiatives.
Mathis, a freshman studying criminology and criminal justice, hopes to increase collaboration and engagement between clubs and the student body. When she takes office, she plans to hold a "Black brilliance" event that will showcase academic and creative projects from Black students.
"Student engagement is really low and the student activity is very dull," Mathis said.
Hung, a freshman studying nursing, served as senator for Edson this year. She wants to find ways to get students who live off-campus in downtown Phoenix more involved.
"Since I am living on campus, sometimes you forget to put your perspective into students who aren't living on campus or students who have jobs and they can't participate in X, Y, Z events," Hung said. "I think that going in with multiple scopes next year will definitely be super helpful."
Carly Vigeant did not respond to request for comment.
There are no candidates running for two positions representing Barrett, The Honors College, College of Health Solutions, College of Integrative Sciences and the Arts and Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.
Voting will take place in-person and online over SunDevilSync on March 29 and 30. The results will be announced on March 31.
Shane Brennan is the Editor-in-Chief at The State Press. He was a sports and politics reporter, before becoming the editor of the politics desk. He has covered local and state politics for the Arizona Capitol Times and Cronkite News.