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USG candidates discuss election platforms with students at meet and greet

Courtesy of Kent State USG
USG candidates pose for a photo at a meet and greet event Thursday, Feb. 29.

Undergraduate Student Government (USG) candidates discussed their election platforms with fellow students at a meet and greet event Thursday. USG will hold elections on March 19 and March 20 to elect officials for the upcoming school year. 

USG is the main communication line between university administration and the student body. USG has numerous positions up for election this year, including president and vice president, a handful of director positions and a senator position for each college across campus. 

The two candidates running for president and vice president respectively are Shannon Brown (President) and Jessica Starkey (Vice President) along with Emmanuel David (President) and Courtney Simpson (Vice President). 

“The collective goal is to make sure that every student is represented. What we are looking to do is put all of our personal goals aside and let’s come together as a collective,” David, a senior computer science major, said of his vision if he were to be elected.

David said he chose Simpson as a running mate because she is the type of person that can call him out on things when it is needed.

Simpson, a junior public relations major, wanted to run for the vice president position for more representation. 

“Representation was something that pushed me to want to do it and actually get other people involved on campus. So knowing that I can have a voice and let other people’s voices be heard, that’s something really important,” Simpson said.

Brown and Starkey, the opposing candidates running for the same positions have just as strong of a platform. 

“One of our biggest needs and interests is accessibility on campus. We found a lot of accessibility [lacking] within our campus and truthfully I was not able to do as much as I wanted within my position,” said Brown, a junior psychology major whose current position with USG is as the senator for the Honors College.

Brown and Starkey, both students with disabilities, have seen where the system on campus can be improved. 

“Another one of our platform points is our syllabus bank, which other campuses have utilized. It would actually tell you what the class entails and you could get an accurate look before you take the class,” Starkey said.

While this is the race that most people will focus on, there are other positions that will be just as fierce of a race, including the race for senator of the Honors College. 

“I felt like it was an area in which I can make a more significant change,” said Giovanni Tripi, a first year biology major running for this position. “My focus is very much on community engagement and making sure that the Honors College is an approachable area.” 

With a focus on community engagement, Tripi wants to ensure that students within the Honors College know what it has to offer. 

Jordan Gallegos, a senior with a double major in Spanish and anthropology, is the other candidate running for Honors College senator. She wants to work to provide more resources for members of the Honors College.

“Mental health, specifically burnout resources, kind of better understanding how you can go through the Honors College smoothly, because I have seen so many people have a really tough time,” Gallegos said. 

Debates for those running for director and president/vice president positions will take place on March 12 at 6 p.m. with the senator debates taking place on March 14 at the same time.

Lauren Vaughn is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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