ASUAF Spring 2012 Election Preview

Lakeidra Chavis/Sun Star Reporter
April 24, 2012

It’s springtime. The sun is out, the semester is almost over and ASUAF’s Spring Election is almost here.

Eight people are running for senate. There are six additional vacant seats, not counting the current senators who are running. Everyone is running unopposed. All vacant seats are open to write-in campaigns. The elections will be held from Wednesday, April 25 to Friday, April 27. There are many places for students to vote on campus. This includes the Wood Center, the Moore-Bartlett-Skarland complex, the Community and Technical College and online, at www.asuaf.org.

Five of the eight students running for the Fall 2012ASUAF Senate submitted the following biographies.

Will Collingwood. Photo by Amelia Cooper/Sun Star

Name: Will Collingwood
Age: 30
Major:
Mining engineering
Minor:
n/a
Senate Seat: A
Why do you feel you are qualified to run? I feel that I can bring a unique perspective to student government since I have been an undergraduate student, a graduate student, and have worked a full time job in the, so called, “real world.”  I live on campus, eat at the Tilly, and I am active in a number of campus organizations, so I believe that I have the proper frame of reference to identify with most of the students at UAF.
Goals: I want to look into the possibility of putting ASUAF’s legacy money into an investment fund.  This is exactly what the business students at UAF have already done with their Student Investment Fund (SIF).  They have realized substantial gains through prudent investment of these funds.  Although this may not sound like a compelling issue, responsible investment of ASUAF funds could allow for some exciting projects in the future.
Name one thing that you like most about ASUAF?  ASUAF is one of the best platforms for voicing the opinions and concerns of the student body.  In my experience, administrators and faculty do take ASUAF’s viewpoint very seriously.
Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on?  If so, as a senator, how will you help improve that? Historically, ASUAF hasn’t done a very good job with publicity.  What is ASUAF?  What does ASUAF do?  How can I get involved?  These are all questions that we need to do a better job of answering.  I think the best approach to this problem is to provide more information about ASUAF during freshman and graduate student orientations.  Students should have enough knowledge about ASUAF to have a voice in their student government.
What is one thing that people don’t know about you? Sometimes, I spontaneously combust.  I try to keep a fire extinguisher around at all times.
Favorite quote: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.  Specialization is for insects.” – Robert A. Heinlein

Name: Virginia Miner
Age: 22
Major: Political Science
Minor: n/a
Senate Seat: D

Why do you feel you are qualified to run? I feel qualified to run because I am very involved in the UAF community (I play intramural sports, am a member of Circle K International—which is a community service based club—am a resident assistant for Bartlett Hall, and will be a student ambassador for the 2012-2013 academic year).  I served on the fall 2012 elections board for ASUAF. I feel that my excellent work ethic (when I broke my ankle last April, I showed up to work the next day!) and passion for helping others can be channeled effortlessly into the work of an ASUAF senator.

Goals:  I would like to get more students involved in ASUAF.

Name one thing that you like most about ASUAF? I really like that ASUAF is so active in improving the quality of student life.

Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on? If so, as a senator, how will you help improve that?  ASUAF needs to improve upon its publicity. If students are to get involved and passionate about ASUAF, they need to be more aware of what ASUAF can do for them.

What is one thing that people don’t know about you? My ultimate fear is coming face-to-face with a Grolar bear (a polar bear, grizzly bear hybrid) found in the Canadian Arctic.

Favorite quote:  “Battle not with the monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”-Nietzsche

Photo provided by Nate O'Connor

Name: Nathanael O’Connor
Age: 23
Major: Philosophy
Minor: Linguistics
Senate Seat: H

Why do you feel you are qualified to run?

I’ve been a senator for one semester already, and because of this, I have a good understanding of the nuances and process of the senate and what it can accomplish on campus.

Goals: Student outreach, specifically students’ opinions of issues that they wish to see improvements in.

Name one thing that you like most about ASUAF?

All the different people you get to meet and talk to.

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

ASUAF needs to drastically improve its student outreach and interaction.  This fall I would like to table weekly in high traffic areas of campus in order to engage students and learn about issues that concern them, so that the senate can address these problems.  I think open houses and regular polling will also provide important feedback for us to act on.

One thing people don’t know about you: n/a

Favorite quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

O’Connor is currently an ASUAF senator.

Ayla O'Scannell. Photo by Amelia Cooper/Sun Star

Name: Ayla O’Scannell
Age: 20
Major: Political Science
Minor: French

Senate Seat: F

Why do you feel you are qualified to run?

As a political science student, it is interesting to see the what I have learned in the classroom be applied to our campus community and I believe that the knowledge I have gained so far at UAF can be be an asset to ASUAF.

Goals: I personally wish to see more student involvement in the campus life. There are many opportunities that are not taken advantage of, whether that be clubs, activities, or ASUAF. I hope that through my own involvement I will be able to encourage others to seek out similar opportunities.

Name one thing that you like most about UAF: The campus community. It includes not only the students, but also  the professors and other staff.

Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on? If so, as a Senator, how will you help improve that? I think that ASUAF should work on improving its public image; there are many students who do not even know what ASUAF stands for, let alone where it is located or that it exists to improve their campus experience. Outreach is the best way to combat this issue, and this ranges from setting up student forums, to events, and to activities for students.

What is one thing that people don’t know about you?

I’m the middle child with four siblings.

Favorite quote:“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

O’Scannell is currently an ASUAF senator.

Sara Walker. Photo by Amelia Cooper/Sun Star

Name: Sarah Walker
Age: 19
Major: Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development (Two degrees)
Minor: Yup’ik
Senate Seat:  I

Why do you feel you are qualified to run? I am involved with many UAF organizations and activities.

Goals:   Provide an Alaska Native voice, because it seems like there haven’t been many “minorities” on the senate.

Name one thing that you like most about ASUAF?  It’s basically student-run.

Do you feel there are some things that ASUAF needs to continue to work on? If so, as a senator, how will you help improve that? Various student voices and public outreach; I can help improve that because…I’m a great leader.

What is one thing that people don’t know about you? There’s many things people don’t know about me…can’t choose just one thing.

Favorite quote: Make it happen.

Current senator Michael Golub declined to fill out the interview form. Current senator Bryant Hopkins and student Michael Magnan did not respond to requests for interviews.

President and Vice President

Mari Freitag and Dillon Ball are running to keep their current seats. Freitag is the current President and Ball is the current Vice President. They are running unopposed.

Concert Board

Rosemary Paz is running to be a member of Concert Board. Paz is the ASUAF Public Relations Director. 

The following questions will appear on the 2012 ASUAF general election ballot: 

  • Do you use the new filtered water fountains located in the Wood Center and MBS complex?
  • Do you agree the sidewalks on campus are too dangerous due to ice and snow and should be changed more regularly?
  • Do you approve of the effectiveness of ASUAF’s summer committee?
  • Do you participate in a club on campus? If so are you aware of the Ad Hoc Committee and club council funding process?
  • How strongly do you feel that ASUAF should have an advisor?
  • How active do you think ASUAF is on campus regarding hosting student events?
  • How well do you think ASUAF works on outreach to the student population?
  • How would you feel about allowing an award to go to individuals who perform a service to their school and uphold all their duties as an ASUAF senator?
  • Do you agree that ASUAF does its job representing the needs of their fellow student associates?

Shall the following amendments be made to the ASUAF bylaws in order to change the number of ASUAF Senate seats from 20 to 14?

  • Bylaw 200.6.1 be amended to read “Seats on the Senate are divided into two classes, Fall and Spring.” effective January 1st, 2012
  • Bylaw 200.6.4 be amended to “Seven seats are Fall seats, labeled Seat H through N,.” effective January 1st, 2013
  • Bylaw 200.6.3 be amended to “Seven seats are Spring Seats, labeled Seat A through Seat G.” effective September 1st, 2013
  • 204.3 (“Ten seats on the Senate shall be considered Fall seats”) and 204.4 (“Ten seats on the Senate shall be considered Spring Seats”) of the elections manual be stricken
  • An additional bylaw be added: “Seven senators will be elected in each general election.” following 204.1 in the Elections Manual

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