Candidates in USG race speak out

Jenna Staul

Candidates seeking a position on the new Undergraduate Student Government’s executive cabinet had their chance to voice their platforms for candidacy last night in the Rathskeller.

Candidates had to answer a slew of questions from the audience, many of whom came from current members of Undergraduate Student Senate, who are not up for re-election. Several candidates running in contested positions found themselves engaged in heated debates with one another about issues ranging from experience to platform ideas.

Tommy Krecic, a member of USG’s election commission, said he felt it was appropriate for audience members to ask the candidates tough questions.

“Some of the candidates were a little shaky on the material,” Krecic said. “Experience has a lot of importance. For some of them, it is lacking. You could see that with the some of the stuttering and lack of information.”

Stephen Ontko, also a member of USG’s election commission, said he felt the forum went smoothly, but some of the platforms lacked originality.

“I thought it was a great event,” Ontko said. “A few of them brought their supporters to try to make a statement. I don’t think there are too many revolutionary platforms.”

Ronnie McArdle: Director of Governmental Affairs

• Plans to hold a large voter registration drive.

• Wants to find ways to combat the lack of participation in politics among Kent State students.

• Will work with students to better inform them on public policy that will affect them.

Nikole Keslar: Director of Business and Finance

• Said she hopes to continue the work of Andrew Ljubi, current senator for Business and Finance.

• Said she wants to continue funding programs that Allocations has funded in the past and reach out to new organizations.

Jonathan Bey: Executive Director

• Pledges to effectively managed the transition from USS to USG.

• Wants to create a “bike share” program where USG purchases bikes to be used by students to more easily get around campus.

• Will work with the Director of Communications to put out a more positive perception of USG.

Sean Mostov: Director of Academic Affairs

• Will hold bi-monthly personal meetings with each of the 16 USG senators.

• Plans to hold a round table event involving students and faculty members.

• Looks to create a Web site where students can more easily access information about scholarships.

Adam Patterson: Director of Community Affairs

• Wants to promote a “party control” group. The group will issue warnings to parties before law enforcement intervenes.

• Plans to work with the Downtown Kent program to help revitalize the city.

Andrew Fontanarosa: Director of Community Affairs

• Wants to hold a forum between students, Kent city council members and Kent police.

• Would like to maintain a community task force.

• Also plans to work with the Downtown Kent revitalization program.

Adam Smithberger: Director of Communication

• Wants to find ways to get students more involved in university programs as a whole.

• Will work to increase communication between student organizations as well as students and the administration.

Scott Sherwood: Director of Student Advancement

• Plans to use the USG senators to gauge the concerns of the student body.

• Would like to use freshman orientation to educate students on how they can get involved in campus organizations.

• Looks to give residence halls wireless Internet access.

Emily Kiracofe: Director of Student Involvement

• Will continue and improve upon Meet the Deans week.

• Plans to start a message board on USG’s Web site.

• Will work to promote Late Night Kent programs on campus.

William Hilbert: Director for Student Involvement

• Plans to increase student attendance at USG meetings.

• Will regularly attend meetings of other student organizations.

• Would like to work to increase student involvement on campus as a whole.

Marie Daher: Director of Programming

• Plans to bring a “welcome back” event to campus in the fall and in the spring.

• Plans to bring a Homecoming event to campus.

• Said she will sit outside the Student Center and speak to students directly about what types of events they would like to see on campus.

Michael Szabo: Director of Programming

• Said he has already begun to circulate a survey to find out what events students would like to see on campus.

• Said he is open to hearing direct requests from students about acts they would like brought to campus.

• Said he would like to eliminate Kent State police involvement in event planning.

Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected].