USG Elections | 2010

DKS Staff

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s that time of year again: Undergraduate Student Government elections. Throughout the week, the Daily Kent Stater will be running candidate profiles for the nine director and 16 senator positions. The USG election is Tuesday, March 9. Students can vote then by logging onto their FlashLine accounts.

Executive Director

Matthew Gustoff

Ever since Matthew Gustoff was initiated into Sigma Chi in spring 2008, he has held an elected position in the fraternity. Four semesters of leadership experience later, he said he feels he has what it takes to hold Undergraduate Student Government’s executive director position.

Gustoff, a junior business management major, said he knows how much responsibility is required to be executive director and feels he can handle it. If he is elected, Gustoff said he is looking forward to being a liaison between the student body, student organizations and the administration.

“Leadership’s never been a problem for me,” Gustoff said. “That’s one of my greatest assets: to be able to get a group of people together to achieve a common goal.”

In addition to his positions in Sigma Chi, Gustoff is also the vice president of programming for the Interfraternity Council. He worked as a hall representative for Wright Hall his freshman year. He is also involved in the city of Kent’s parks and recreation, where he does mostly athletics with children.

If Gustoff is elected, he has six main goals he wants to accomplish. He wants to improve campus security, make the campus “greener,” work with the director of business and finance to produce a public annual report and to help voice the concerns of students to the administration staff.

He also wants to inform President Lester Lefton of student organizations and to create a listserv to the presidents of all organizations on campus. He said he thinks organizations are important to Kent State because they help improve the college experience for students.

“The goals that I have,” Gustoff said, “I want them to be realistic.”

He said he doesn’t want to be some politician that makes “obnoxious goals” that never pan out.

Gustoff said security at Kent State is the main issue he wants to address. He hopes to do so by working with the city police, campus security, the city of Kent, residence halls, the administration staff and Kent Interhall Council.

He said he has a dream of putting up some kind of security post on Main Street to enhance the security of students coming back to campus from downtown Kent.

Another goal of his is to attend one meeting of every student organization on campus. He wants to be acquainted and familiar with every organization.

“The passion that I would have for this position,” Gustoff said, “is second to none. Bottom line.”

— Nick Glunt

Justin Pierce

These programs will allow better communication between all the different student organizations, between students and the administration and between the university and the university to the city of Kent. He wants to put a string of chains in the Student Center to represent the “strong chain of the student organizations at Kent State.”

Secondly, he said he doesn’t think USG is well-known enough on campus. He said a lot of students didn’t even know USG was responsible for Jay Sean coming to Kent State. He wants to expose USG and its accomplishments to the student body. Pierce wants new, educational programming for shows and such.

He also wants to work on a freshman outreach program, which would work to make freshman more involved on campus in order to get a proper college experience.

Pierce’s third point is the idea of accountability. This includes goal setting, director and student accountability and guidance. All of these points, Pierce said, push for progress. He wants next year’s student government to affect the student government 10 years from now.

His final point is that of diversity. He wants to work with different cultures and organizations in Kent State to “diffuse culture,” which, he said, will show what every culture and organization has in common. This involves utilizing what he called the tipping point.

“The tipping point is what I’m going to be pushing,” Pierce said, “and that is bringing student organizations together and collaborating on projects, student organizations that would never come together.” He mentioned an example that he has connected UNICEF with the Dodgeball for Haiti event.

“My personality has grown,” Pierce said, “into one where I just won’t feel worthwhile if I’m not doing something significant, if I’m not helping make a difference on campus.”

— Nick Glunt

Director of Business and Finance

David Kubena

David Kubena says he will bring something new and unique to the Allocations Committee’s table.

Kubena, a junior accounting major, is running for director of business and finance.

Kubena said he wants to expand the Allocations Committee, making it so that Greeks don’t have to be the majority.

“I want to ensure fairness in the allocation of funds,” Kubena said, adding that he would like to collaborate with more diverse groups such as Black United Students.

“I am running because I know I can make the government more successful,” he said.

— Antonio Stephenson

Mikayla Farrell

Sophomore nursing major Mikayla Farrell says she “wants you to put your money where it counts.”

Farrell, the current vice president of foundation for Delta Gamma sorority, is running for the position of director of business and finance.

Farrell said she wants to improve the allocations process by providing more diverse programming and increasing student interest.

“I want to make sure there’s something for everyone,” Farrell said.

She said she also wants to make sure all student organizations are informed about how the allocations committee functions.

— Antonio Stephenson

Joseph Andulics

Joseph Andulics pledges that when students attend an Allocations Committee meeting to request funds, they will get what they ask for.

Andulics is a sophomore marketing and entrepreneurship major and is the vice president of alumni public relations and alumni relations of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He is running for the position of director of business and finance.

His campaign slogan is “Don’t trust your money with just anybody.”

Andulics said he would like to be more involved with the Allocations Committee in terms of how students’ money is spent.

He says he also wants to bring more beneficial things to Kent campus — for example, more seminars to increase campus involvement and participation.

— Antonio Stephenson

Director of Student Involvement

Megan Cerne

Megan Cerne said she wants to build relationships between student government and other Kent State organizations.

Cerne is a junior Spanish and psychology major. She’s running for director of student involvement.

Cerne said her primary goal is to promote student involvement in clubs, sports and organizations. She said she wants to see the student government support other campus organizations, and she hopes those groups will return the support.

“I have met some of my closest friends through organizations I joined here,” Cerne said. “That’s why I have such a passion for encouraging others to get involved as well.”

— Jessica White

Tessa Villers

Tessa Villers said she wants students to become more involved and more aware of the organizations on campus.

Villers is a junior health care administration major with minors in business and management. She is running for director of student involvement.

Villers said she wants to increase involvement by improving communication between organizations and by making events and resources more convenient for students.

She said she plans to update the student government Web site to provide more information about each organization, as well as provide contacts and create listservs to send out event information.

— Jessica White

Director of Community Affairs

Brianna Lawhorn

Brianna Lawhorn served this academic year as Undergraduate Student Government’s director of academic affairs, which she describes as “less hands-on” than what she wants to do. Seeing the work of the current director of community affairs, Lawhorn said she believes she has what it takes to do the job.

Lawhorn, a junior middle-childhood education major, is busy with her student teaching, current role in USG and as president of Pan-Hellenic Council, yet she still finds the time to campaign. She attributes this to her strong time-management skills.

Though Lawhorn is counting on the Greek vote, she hopes her leadership experience and passion will sway voters her way.

“There’s been a lot of issues,” Lawhorn said, mentioning last year’s College Fest incident and recent safety problems on campus. She wants to address these issues.

“I love getting involved with things,” she said. She hopes to bring some of her sorority’s events to student government, including a community service awareness week and another event focused on safety awareness.

Jennifer Mani

When Jennifer Mani first came to Kent State, she served as the corresponding secretary for Leebrick and Korb Hall Council. After three years in that position, she moved on to serve as the council’s president for two more years.

Mani, a senior psychology major, used to work with the current director of community affairs. She said he always seemed to enjoy it, so she would like to take the reins.

“I want to take (student) opinions and bring (them) to the city of Kent,” Mani said, “because I want to continue on with the relationship we have (with the city) so far and make it bigger and better.” She hopes to do surveys to get opinions that reflect the whole student body.

Because of her time on the Leebrick and Korb Hall Council, Mani has had experience with Kent Interhall Council. She has worked as a tutor and currently works with a group home, which she says makes her a “really good role model.”

“I want the students who live on-campus and off-campus to feel comfortable with the city they’re living in,” she said.

Director of Programming

Jeffrey Hammond

Jeffrey Hammond’s brother served as the programming board chair for two years, and he said he has been involved with Undergraduate Student Government programming as early as high school. Hammond, a sophomore health and physical education major, is now running for USG’s director of programming in the hope of serving the Kent State student body.

Hammond is the vice president for loss prevention in Delta Upsilon, served on the food committee his freshman year and is currently the house chair for USG’s programming board.

“With the concerts,” Hammond said, “I want the students to actually be involved with what we’re trying to bring. I want to get input from them.”

He said he wants to bring bigger-named bands to Kent State by instituting polls and surveys to receive feedback. Hammond also wants to check into speakers and comedians that students might want.

Hammond doesn’t have any specific people in mind because he wants to make sure all the programming at Kent State is what the students want, rather than the programming board.

“It’s not just USG’s campus,” Hammond said, “but it’s the student body’s campus.”

Alex Tucker

When Alex Tucker was a senior in high school, he interned at the Grog Shop, a live music venue in Cleveland. He says he learned the skills there that will help him if he is elected as the Undergraduate Student Government’s director of programming.

Tucker, a junior communications studies major, spent a year on the All-Campus Programming Boardat Kent State, working as the Rathskeller programmer. He said he planned 30 shows, mostly concerts, while holding that position. He now works as the promotions chair for USG’s programming board.

“I just want people to know I have enough experience, and I want to make sure that we can get … a lot of good programs to happen,” Tucker said.

He wants to book at least one more concert and comedian at Kent State, “the bigger, the better.” However, he knows budget constraints may hinder this goal. Tucker also said he would like to see better guest lecturers come, but he doesn’t have any specific lecturers in mind yet.

Tucker also said he hopes to add a Rathskeller liaison to the programming board to build a better relationship between USG and the Rathskeller.

He said he is aware that he can’t please every student with every event.

“As a whole, at the end of the year, I want to make sure all the students were happy about something,” Tucker said.

College of the Arts

Name: Emily Orians

Year: Junior

Major: Fashion Merchandising

“If elected for this position, one of my main goals is to facilitate open forums between students and select members of the administration.

Many students may currently feel that their school does not care about their needs, when in truth, the school simply is not aware that such deficits exist. Open communication is the best path towards a fully successful

academic experience.”

Director of Governmental Affairs

Written by Jessica White

Allison Rapp

Allison Rapp said she assures students she will not take her student government responsibilities lightly.

Rapp is a sophomore political science major with a concentration in American politics. She’s running for director of governmental affairs.

“Through creating a monthly newsletter and holding open forums for discussing legislation, I hope to inform and also excite our student body about governmental affairs,” she said.

Rapp said her primary goal is to increase student involvement in politics.

Rapp said she also plans to write grant proposals to receive the funding needed to “continue enhancing our campus.”


Kevin Papp

Kevin Papp said he wants to help foster the flow of communication between policy makers and students.

“I want to facilitate a strong link between the student body and the local, state and national government,” he said.

Papp is a sophomore international relations major with a minor in justice studies. He’s running for director of governmental affairs.

Papp said he plans to frequently publish bulletins on state legislature and congressional issues that affect Kent State students. He said he also wants to hold forums during which students can discuss these issues. Papp said he intends to voice any student concerns to the university, Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio state legislature if necessary.

“Students should have an active voice in legislation that affects them,” he said.

Taiwo Adesina

Taiwo Adesina said she wants to put students’ ideas to action.

Adesina is a junior psychology and pre-med major. She’s running for Director of Academic Affairs.

Adesina said she plans to increase study abroad involvement, look into diversity training for college advisers and extend library hours to 24/7 during finals week.

She said she also wants to improve the annual “Meet the Deans” event. Adesina said she would like the event to be more interactive and to give all students the opportunity to meet deans from every college, in case students are thinking about changing or doubling majors.

“I want to find out what students need to make their stay at Kent successful,” she said.

Brett Fodor

Brett Fodor said he wants to provide education outside the classroom for students.

“I feel like there’s a gap between education and real world application,” he said.

Fodor is a sophomore philosophy major. He’s running for Director of Academic Affairs.

Fodor said he wants to improve tutoring services and increase student awareness of current events.

“Too many students are detached from prominent issues in our society,” he said.

Fodor said he also wants to institute screening for learning disabilities.

“Many people are unaware they even have a learning disability because they are uneducated on the subject,” he said. “If we provide free testing for STDs, why not learning disabilities?”

College of Arts and Sciences

Name: Samuel Chambers

Major: Political Sciences

Year: Junior

Chambers said the communication between faculty and students is paramount, and he will work to facilitate that relationship. If elected, he said he would communicate with Timothy Moerland, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to get students’ ideas taken seriously.

— Kathryn McGonagle

Name: Christopher D. Jones

Major: Political Science

Year: Freshman

Jones said his goals are to be the connecting piece between students and USG, and he wants to help students understand USG and allow them to get their voices heard.

— Kathryn McGonagle

College of Business Administration

Name: Carl Fejko

Major: Marketing

Year: Sophomore

Fejko is running for senator of the College of Business Administration because he wants to address issues that are important to business students. His goals include creating a student committee to meet regularly to address these issues and others such as the condition of Room 200 in the Business Building and the time that honors college classes are offered.

— Amanda Klitsch

Name: D’Angelo McCornell

Major: Business Management

Year: Junior

McCornell is running for senator of the College of Business Administration because he wants to use his leadership ability to become more involved with his collegiate peers. His goals include getting more conference rooms that are accessible to everyone so that business students will have more space and opportunity to get projects done.

— Amanda Klitsch

College of Communication and Information

Name: Vaughn Stull

Major: Electronic Media Production

Year: Senior

Stull, who is a write-in candidate, said he hopes to facilitate direct communication and transparency between himself and the students he is representing by raising awareness about what is going on with the Undergraduate Student Government.

— Rabab Al-Sharif

Name: Margaret Thompson

Major: Broadcast journalism and architectural studies major

Year: Junior

Thompson said she wants students to be aware of what Undergraduate Student Government does. She said she has no personal motives for running and just wants to represent what students want in terms of entertainment and on-campus renovations.

— Rabab Al-Sharif

College of Technology

Name: Somadina Nwaokafor

Major: Construction Management

Year: Junior

Nwaokafor is the current senator looking for reelection. He said he would like to put emphasis on the construction management program to make it better known and to promote the College of Technology.

— Nicole Aikens

Name: Kenneth Wayne Smith, Jr.

Major: Aeronautics

Year: Sophomore

Smith is running because he believes he can get more attendance for the College of Technology. Smith’s main goal is to promote the aeronautics program so prospective students will consider the program more seriously.

— Nicole Aikens

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Name: Carolyn Isaacson

Major: Architecture

Year: Freshman

Isaacson said her goals are to make more lectures and presentations that are associated with the College of Architecture and Environmental Design available to the students more often and to get the college involved in some more university-wide activities.

— Nicole Aikens

College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Name: Andrew Carr

Year: Junior

Major: Integrated Social Studies

“Being an R.A. keeps me busy, but I thought I could do more to get involved. You can’t just get an education by going to classes. A degree counts but the experience is what matters.”

— Dan Richardson

Director of Communications

JaRel Clay

JaRel Clay said he wants to give the student body a sense of community through communication.

“You have to try to find a bridge between what students want to hear and what students need to hear,” Clay said.

“When you find that common median, you can relate to each other more.”

Clay is a junior applied communications major. He is running for director of communications.

“I feel as though USG needs to have a bigger part in knowing how other organizations work on campus,” he said.

Clay said he wants to make sure students know about “positive things going on on campus.”

“My main goal is just to give students a reason to say ‘Kent State University is my home away from home,’” he said.

— Lydia Coutré

George Antwi-Obimpeh

George Antwi-Obimpeh said he wants to open up communication between USG and students.

“That’s who USG is supposed to cater to: the people of Kent State, the undergraduate students,” he said.

Antwi-Obimpeh is a sophomore integrated social studies major. He’s running for director of communications.

“I feel like actually getting out there and giving different surveys and polls to the students would help us find out more about the students,” Antwi-Obimpeh said.

He said he wants to provide a way for students to share their complaints because such issues “shouldn’t fall upon deaf ears.”

“In perfection, I would want every student on this campus to know what USG is, what they stand for (and) what they do,” he said.

—Lydia Coutré

Director of Student Advancement

Director of Student Advancement

Drew Patenaude wants to provide more hands-on activities for students.

Patenaude is a sophomore business management major with a minor in entrepreneurship and is the vice president of community service and philanthropy for Delta Upsilon. He is running for the position of director of student advancement.

Maximizing the judicial advocate program as well as appointing different committees and incorporating more reflective programming is what he would like to accomplish as director of student advancement.

Patenaude also said that he is a previous member of judicial affairs so he considers the director position one step higher.

“I want to get more involved with campus and lead by example,” he said.

— Antonio Stephenson

Chad Budy

Chad Budy believes the more students are involved on campus the more successful they will be.

Budy is a sophomore accounting major and the inductee of finance for Delta Upsilon. He is running for the position of director of student advancement.

“Kent State has been very influential to me and I would like to give back by encouraging and passing down experience to other students,” he said.

Budy says that he would like to build a better relationship with the Kent State faculty as well as the campus police department.

He would also like to provide more judicial advocate programs.

“It’s best to be less of an idealist and have realistic goals,” he said “Justice is my foundation.”

— Antonio Stephenson

Kathryn Hetz

Kathryn Hetz said she wants to make USG more transparent with the student body.

“With any communication, you want your programs to be out there,” Hetz said. “You want Kent state to know about what’s going on within USG because it is a huge organization at Kent State, and it’s just very important to get the word out about it.”

She said she wants to encourage students to get involved in organizations by informing them of what is available.

Hetz said she wants to do this through monthly newsletters, an info table, up-to-date Facebook and Twitter accounts and surveys.

“I feel like if I got the position, after I got it, I would just keep coming up with ideas,” she said.

—Lydia Coutré