ASUAF Fall Election Preview

Lakeidra Chavis and Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star Reporters
Nov. 26, 2013

 

The 2013 fall ASUAF election will take place from Monday, November 25 to Tuesday, November 26 until 11:59 p.m. There are five students, four of them incumbents, running for the election. Every student taking 3 or more credits can vote, which will take place online.

Matthew Carrick will be running for a second term as a senator.  Kaz Alvarez / Sun Star

Matthew Carrick will be running for a second term as a senator. Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star

Name: Mathew Carrick

Age: 19

Major: Mathematics

Class standing: Junior
Position/ (Senate Seat): Current Internal Affairs Committee Chair, Senator

Reason for running? I enjoy my position as a current Senator and would like to retain it in order to be an even more effective advocate for the student body and to gain experience working in organizations.
What are your goals as senator? To enhance the openness and accessibility of ASUAF, to establish a student government council at the Community Technical College, to offer more innovation- and creativity-based activities, and to improve access to campus for disabled students.

What is one thing you like most about ASUAF? As an incumbent, I really enjoy working with my fellow Senators. I love the feeling of working together with others to accomplish a common goal, and ASUAF offers me just the right opportunity.
Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on?  As a senator, how will you help improve that?

While ASUAF offers a wide variety of services, I feel that we are not necessarily accessible to students. When I talk to students around campus about ASUAF, some don’t even know what I’m talking about, and those who do often don’t realize we offer anything of use to them. We should do more to promote ourselves and to encourage interest in Senate business, which can be accomplished by more tabling and direct contact with the student body as well as advertising that presents the Senate as an interesting place that gets things done. ASUAF has recently made great strides in this respect, and I’d like to go on with that momentum.

Role Model/Motto:

Former President William McKinley. I admire his dedication, his ability to work with others, and his resilience in the face of opposition.
Favorite quote:

“One can’t be too dangerous, if they like to eat pancakes. Especially with jam.” — Moomintroll

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Lida Zakurdaew is running for a full fall senate seat term after finishing her first semester as a senator. Kaz Alvarez / Sun Star

Lida Zakurdaew is running for a full fall senate seat term after finishing her first semester as a senator. Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star

Name: Lida Zakurdaew

Age: 18

Major: Foreign Languages

Class standing: Sophomore

Position/ (Senate Seat): Seat L

Reason for running? 

To keep my senate seat and to continue working for the students.

What are your goals as senator?

Help start up and maintain the Residence Hall Association (RHA), improve communications between students, dining services and residence life, to improve outreach and get more UAF students involved in ASUAF, and to serve the students.

What is one thing you like most about ASUAF?

The ability of ASUAF to truly impact student experience at UAF for the better.

Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on?  As a senator, how will you help improve that?

Absolutely. I feel that there is not nearly enough involvement by the student body. ASUAF is an organization for the students, by the students, and if many students aren’t utilizing this organization, then we, representatives of ASUAF, cannot do our job to our full potential. For this reason, I feel outreach is one of the most important policies we as senators can improve.

Role Model/Motto:

There comes some good from every situation.

Favorite quote:

“To infinity and beyond”

Ashley Strauch is running for a fall seat on the senate with one semester of senate experience. Kaz Alvarez/ Sun Star

Ashley Strauch is running for a fall seat on the senate with one semester of senate experience. Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star

Name: Ashley Strauch

Age: 21

Major: Psychology

Class standing: Senior

Position/ (Senate Seat):  Currently Student Affairs Chair/ incumbent running for a Senate Seat

Reason for running? 

I have a passion for helping students and addressing their needs and concerns. I have a widespread knowledge of the University and feel that I am well equipped to provide an objective perspective to the Senate.

What are your goals as senator?

I want to see the Resolution for Residence Life through and continue to work with the University to see the evaluation get started.  I also love writing bills for students with great funding ideas, and want to keep working on whatever projects students feel are needed.

What is one thing you like most about ASUAF?

I like the people I get to work with. Being on the Senate is a time consuming, oftentimes difficult process. However, the Senators currently have a great dynamic that allows us to question each other but also to get things done in a timely fashion.

Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on?  As a senator, how will you help improve that?

With any organization, there is always room for improvement. Because ASUAF serves such a large population, I think our room to improve is even greater. One thing I think we can all work together on is outreach to the student body. So many students don’t realize what ASUAF is and what we can do for them. I would like to help get them more informed, interested, and involved in ASUAF.

Role Model/Motto:

I am a complete nerd.  I have always loved Gandalf and the quote, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Favorite quote:

“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” –Carlos Santana

 

Jordan Houlton is pursuing a senate position for her first year involved with student government. Kaz Alvarez /Sun Star

Jordan Houlton is pursuing a senate position for her first year involved with student government. Kaz Alvarez /Sun Star

Name: Jordyn Houlton

Age: 18

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Class standing: Freshman

Position/ (Senate Seat): Senate Seat

Reason for running?

I am running in order to be more involved in programs around campus, to be aware of the decisions being made for us, the students, and to make other’s aware as well. I want to be able to talk to people, get ideas and comments from them, and work everyone’s visions together for the best UAF we can get.

What are your goals as senator?

My main goal as a senator is to be a voice. I want my goals to be based off of the goals of my fellow students. Personally, I’d like to increase campus clean-up programs and focus on depression awareness and suicide prevention.

What is one thing you like most about ASUAF?

I like that ASUAF is dedicated to UAF, devoting hours upon hours every week to furthering programs  and writing/approving bills. Their dedication supports such great services as the Sun Star.

Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on?  As a senator, how will you help improve that?

I think that ASUAF needs to be more visible to the public, and more open to student concerns. They are working on this, but I think I could help, both through general word of mouth – talking to the students that I would represent and helping people be aware of what ASUAF is doing – and by contributing ideas to ASUAF such as simply making the location of the office more well known.

Role Model/Motto:

Role Model: I’m never very good at choosing a specific role model (besides my mother, of course), but if I had to choose someone, I’d choose (the fictional) Zoe Washburne from Firefly.

Motto: Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect nothing.

Favorite quote:

Another difficult one. My favorite would either be, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around,”  from Leo Buscaglia or “Work hard in silence, let success be your noise,” from Ritu Ghatourey.

McKinley Zakurdaew is also running in the fall election, could not be reached for an interview.

 

Updated November 26, 2013: This article was updated to include Jordyn Houldron’s interview.

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