Hale’s platform aims to make student government more accessible to those with hectic schedules

Jackie Valley

  • Junior political science and sociology major from Painesville Township
  • Former USS Administrative Assistant
  • Festival Arts Director for the All Campus Programming Board
  • Creator and Chair of Student Athletic Advisory Board
  • Secretary of College Democrats

Katie Hale, executive director candidate for the Undergraduate Student Senate, said she views the current student government as a pyramid — with students at the bottom.

Hale said it is time to put student interests back at the top.

In the past two years, Hale said the “power struggle between conflicting forces” in USS about issues, such as block funding and membership, has led to less of an initiative to cater to student interests.

“But what about the 20-some thousand students who are detached from those issues?” she said.

Hale said her following seven platform goals are based on student accommodation and communication:

  • Keep the Student Center open later
  • Provide shuttle busses on Thursday and Saturday nights between downtown Kent and several stops on Main Street, Summit Street and the Student Center.
  • Expand and strengthen tailgating for football and basketball games
  • Provide Web design services to student organizations
  • Bring PickaProf.com to Kent State
  • Serve as the student voice on the Main Street Kent project committee
  • Place suggestion boxes around campus to enable students to easily voice their concerns or ideas

“In forming these goals, I tried to take a step back and see what has been a problem on this campus,” she said.

In addition, Hale said she tried to consider ways to help USS fit into the college lifestyle, in which many students must juggle demanding schedules so they can pay tuition. She wants to make it easier for students to participate in their student government.

“I think students are criticized too much for not caring,” she said. “That’s not it. They are students. They have lives and jobs.”

VIDEO: TV2 News interviews Hale.

Hale said she has already taken steps to ensure the tangibility of her platform goals, including meeting with Dean of Students Greg Jarvie to discuss the Student Center proposal and meeting with university administration and downtown bar owners about the shuttle buses.

If elected, Hale said she plans to use USS funds to work with PARTA and its downtowner bus to revamp the service to make it more student-friendly by adding additional service hours and stops. If PARTA cannot offer those services, Hale said she plans to seek partnership with other transportation companies.

“I would go to lengths to say, not only are my goals tangible, but they are necessary,” she said. “It’s not a question if they will happen in my mind.”

Even so, Hale said the majority of her platform goals can be accomplished early next year, allowing time to focus on the transition efforts for the 2008 to 2009 student government if the referendum on the ballot passes, which aims to revamp and expand USS to form the new Undergraduate Student Government.

To combat criticism regarding her level of USS experience, Hale said, as the USS administrative assistant for two years, she attended all USS and Allocations Committee meetings in addition to her involvement with other student organizations.

“While I have that internal knowledge, I also have external qualifications,” she said.

Hale said her involvement in ACPB programs, such as homecoming and BlastOff!, as well as her idea to create the Student Athletic Advisory Board, highlights her ability to accomplish goals.

Still, Hale said she tries not to focus on the negative criticism.

“If you want to portray me as the underdog, I feel like that’s OK because I’m all about the students,” she said. “I wouldn’t be running for this position just to run for it.”

Hale said her personality combined with her passion to serve others will aid in her mission to serve the undergraduate student body.

“I’m a very overall passionate person,” she said. “You can’t talk me out of doing the right thing.”

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].