USS candidates spread Mardi Gras spirit

Breanne George

Senior history major Rick Wittkopp is running for University Affairs. He passes beads out to Devin Lowe, freshman sports managment major. MEGHAN GAURILOFF | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Undergraduate Student Senate candidates began campaigning Mardi Gras-style prior to the basketball game yesterday.

The candidates passed out Mardi Gras beads along with fliers at the entrance of the M.A.C. Center.

The purpose of the night was a “meet and greet” so students could associate a face with the name on the ballot.

The candidates were energetic and excited to talk to students and spread awareness of the election. They waited by the front doors as students walked into the game, reminding them of election day March 15.

The candidates, most of those on the ballot, acted like a team instead of opponents. They saw the night as a fun way to talk with students and find out what their concerns are about the university.

“It’s not about individual candidates; it’s about everyone,” said Preston Mitchum, student advancement senator and candidate for academic affairs senator. “Every single person here is qualified.”

USS candidate forum

What: Undergraduate Student Senate candidates will explain their platforms and take questions from students.

When: 4 to 6 p.m. tonight

Where: Centennial Court B conference room

This year’s election has diverse candidates, with students from many different organizations including PRIDE!Kent and Black United Students. A greater number of students are running than in last year’s election.

“I think a lot of issues surrounding funding have raised student interest in running,” said Ross Miltner, community affairs senator and candidate for executive director. “It’s not just Greeks running but a diverse group of people. I think it’s great.”

Voter turnout has been low in past years. Miltner said he hopes the increase in candidates also will mean an increase in voters.

“Tonight is not about campaigning. We need to increase the number of students voting,” said Nathan J. Williams, candidate for business and finance senator.

Some candidates will not be able to attend the forum tonight. PRIDE!Kent President Christopher Taylor, candidate for executive director, will not be able to attend because of a clinical for his nursing major.

“I’m not going to let this hinder me,” he said. “I’m going to capitalize on other areas where my strengths are.”

Taylor will have his next opportunity to debate March 8 in the Rathskeller from 5 to 7 p.m. Students will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions in a presidential-debate style.

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected].