Prospective USG candidates present platforms


Kent State Nicholas Peters and freshman Matthew Grimmett respond to questions at the Kent State Undergraduate Student Government debate on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in the Rathskeller. Both are running for the position of Director of Communications.

Olivia Minnier

A small crowd gathered at Quaker Stake & Lube inside the Student Center to hear platforms from prospective Undergraduate Student Government (USG) candidates for the 2017-18 school year.

All 29 candidates — vying for 25 different positions — focused their messages on spreading awareness of USG in order to utilize their various resources, bring together students, fix issues within the current USG and ensure diversity is a priority.

Candidate for USG president Daniel Oswald conveyed this with his message of putting students first. Oswald said by giving students priority, “We can become a bigger and better campus.”

He also expressed interest in creating liaisons within USG to help student organizations address issues involving the administration.  

His opponent, senior construction management major Logan Pringle, expressed similar goals. Pringle said the university should strive to have the mentality of other Ohio schools, like the University of Miami and The Ohio State University.

“What can we do to make Kent State one of those traditional value top schools?” Pringle asked.

Candidates for college senator positions seemed to take this message in a different direction, calling for more programs that cater to increased student involvement.

Prospective senator for the Honors College Sabrina Edwards wished to “promote a competitive environment” among students in the college.

Her opposition, senior biology major Mariah Kahwaji, said students need more ways to be involved with the Honors College other than living in the Stopher and Johnson Residence Halls. 

“You can learn best from someone you have nothing in common with,” Kahwaji said.

Other candidates echoed the same sentiment of diversity. Candidate for student advancement director Jacqueline Torto said she hopes to make Kent State more globally inclusive in addition to renaming the All-University Hearing Board to sound more inclusive.

Junior philosophy major Curtis Semanski, Torto’s opponent, mentioned that some basic housekeeping, such as updating the student organization information section on the Kent State website, is needed as well.

In contrast, candidates for the popular director of programming position said programming brought to the university is working well — with concerts and events like FlashFest – but campus should also host more programming of substance.

Candidate Emonte Wimbush suggested more programming that caters to specific majors. His opponent, junior exercise science major Bradley Banks, emphasized the need for great staff saying, “excellence only (should be) on (the) programming board.”

Senator-at-large Matthew Cherneskey said all of the candidates “are really invigorated.” He also said that “they seem open to new ideas and new ways of running USG.”

Alexis Atwater, a sophomore political science major, said students need to get more involved.

“I’m pretty politically active, but I just think it’s important to know who’s in student government,” Atwater said. “They represent us as undergraduate students.”

Elections run from March 13-15 on Flashline or on the USG website.

Olivia Minnier is a general assignment reporter, contact her at [email protected].