Meet the USG candidates: unopposed directors

Baylee Sweitzer, Reporter

Undergraduate Student Government is an appointed group who serve to advocate for students based on which college they are in. USG works to further relations between students and the university. These are the candidates running unopposed for director positions. Students can vote on the USG election website

Seth Young: Director of Academic Affairs

Junior neuroscience pre-med major Seth Young is currently serving as USG Marketing Associate on the Allocations Board. He is a resident assistant and tutor on campus, as well as the Director of Scholarship for Interfraternal Council. 

Q: What is your platform?

Seth Young is a candidate for Director of Academic Affairs. (Courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government)

A: One of the biggest things is to oversee the senators of each college. With that in mind, I need to be able to work with them and advocate for them and with them, as well as hold them accountable to be able to get their jobs and duties done. So that was one of the biggest platforms. Also, I am a non-voting member. It would allow me to become a non-voting member of faculty staff meetings to be able to watch and hear what is being discussed and then bring that to USG.

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

A: I’m a Neuroscience major with a Chemistry minor, so I really am interested in academics and I need to do well in my academics to move forward with my goals in my career. So with that in mind, I felt through my leadership, I had the opportunity to help my peers. I also serve as an R.A. and I tutor on campus. With those two opportunities, I’ve been able to see students struggle with academics and have been able to help them. So just being able to take the leadership approach and be able to speak to the faculty to make sure that they are heard was very important to me.

Q: What changes are you looking to enact?

A: Advocating for mental health. Mental health really affects all of our students. If we can’t succeed with our own mental health, how can we succeed in other parts of our lives? Being able to really help the Senators with that and also other resources on campus is one of the biggest things that I change.

Grace Schick: Director of Business and Finance 

Grace Schick is a candidate for Director of Business and Finance. (Courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government)

Freshman anthropology major Grace Schick is the current USG Director of Business and Finance, appointed before winter break. She left her position as an Allocations Board Member to head the board as the director to sit on the Faculty Senate Budget Advisory Committee as USG’s representative. 

Q: What is your platform?

A: I want to push out the specific allocations committee to show that there are ways for students to get involved, as well as to broaden their horizon with going to conferences and showing off their skills to make them competitors when entering job fields.

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

A: I am the only incumbent running for the same position. While I was only in my position for a semester, I want to keep continuing. I want to keep improving what I had started back in the fall. And I think my age is also a huge thing, I am 19 years old. I was the youngest appointed doctor as of last year, so I want to keep pushing those barriers, between my age and being new leadership, I want to keep continuing my progress and offer a young perspective.

Q: What changes are you looking to enact?

A: I want to increase the funding provided for allocations, which will increase funding for students. Currently we’re at $1,000 for individual students, $3,000 for student organizations to go to conferences and $10,000 for programing. I’d like to increase those to $1,500, $5,000 and keep it at $10,000, just so I can give more students opportunities to go to these conferences. A lot of students maxed out that $1,000 limit.

Riley Elersich: Director of Community Affairs

Riley Elersich is a candidate for Director of Community Affairs. (Courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government)

Junior early childhood education major Riley Elersich is the current USG senator for the College of Education, Health and Human Services. 

Q: What is your platform?

A: I intend to use my passion to further improve the student and community life at Kent. I’ll organize and be responsible for monitoring all legal or local legislation and acting as kind of a bridge between the community and can and its students.

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

A: As the senator for the College of Education, Health and Human Services, I’ve grown so much from this experience and I want to continue to do that, continue to meet more people and to serve as the bridge for students and community and share my passion with others. I’m involved in other clubs outside of like USG. I’m always like in the community. I want to kind of build my relationship with the community, but also our students’ relationship with the community.

Q: What changes are you looking to enact?

A: My main thing is really communication right now. I think especially with the pandemic and things like that, now that we’re finally returning to normal, hopefully there will be more events held in the community. Just making sure these events are communicated, the different resources that are available. I know we just got the scooters and the bikes and everything like that. Everyone was very excited about that.

Sage Mason: Director of Student Involvement

Sage Mason is a candidate for Director of Student Involvement. (Courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government)

Sophomore public relations major Sage Mason is a current USG Freshman Intern.

Q: What is your platform?

A: I think it’s important to make a connection to campus and really feel like you belong. Being at Kent State is great for careers, but it’s also a great place for creating a social life and a place, a bond with other people who are like you. Getting involved is a great way to really get through college because there can be tough parts, so it’s something to look forward to every day being involved with the organization that you love.

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

A: I genuinely care. I love talking to other students and being involved on campus and just getting to know as many people as possible. I care about their issues and what they want to see. I love being able to be in a leadership position, but I want to make sure that isn’t seen as a way where it’s just my voice. I want to be able to amplify other people’s voices and their concerns to make sure, even if it’s the most minor thing, that they feel someone is on their side and cares for them.

Q: What changes are you looking to enact?

A: I want to bring in more student voices and see what they want from this position and just make sure that everyone feels like they have a place where they belong on campus. I want to ensure we get the word out about different resources, like identity centers and the Center for Student Involvement to help students find a place where they feel at-home on campus.

Matthew Clark: Director of Student Programming

Matthew Clark is a candidate for Director of Student Programming. (Courtesy of Undergraduate Student Government)

Junior fashion merchandising major Matthew Clark is the current vice chair of the USG programming committee, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and was the vice president of programming for the fraternity. 

Q: What is your platform?

A: I want the Kent State student experience to really be shaped by events, like concerts. Obviously, we’re all here for a degree, but at the end of the day, you aren’t going to necessarily remember every class you took, but you might remember these special concerts and other programming opportunities. I want to just really be receptive to student feedback as much as possible. I want to give events that not only cater to the entire student body’s interests, but also give student performers and artists the opportunity to perform. So with my programming, I plan on doing not just big concerts, but also for student-artists the chance to perform as well.

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

A: I’ve really grown so much through the experience I’ve had programming, it’s been really cool for me to learn under two different directors, work with both of them closely and create these really cool experiences for people. I know I’m capable of doing it and I have all the background experience. I know what goes on behind a concert; there’s a three four month contract process going back and forth with the agents. I really understand how that stuff works. I think I am the best person for the job. That’s my biggest motivation for running, I believe these experiences are super important and I know I’m capable of delivering.

Q: What changes are you looking to enact?

A: This is something that I’ve kind of struggled with. All the programming I’ve seen has been in this COVID world. Before, the programming events that get the most traction are our concerts. I want to give more opportunities for students. We have had very limited opportunities for that in the past, just because of resources, COVID and all that. So I wanted to really get back to having USG be a group that’s really amplifying student voices and giving them opportunities to perform and share whatever they got.

Baylee Sweitzer is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]