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A look at Student Senate candidates

April 1, 2011

The UW-River Falls Student Senate candidates for the 2011-2012 academic year have identified themselves and the official list has been presented. These candidates have started campaigns for the general elections, which will be held from April 4 at 8 a.m. and will close on April 5 at 4 p.m.

Of the fifteen people running, there are two presidential candidates and two vice-presidential candidates. The candidates running are allowed to run for as many positions as they are elligible for. For example, a student must to be studying from the same college that they are representing, said Elections Chair Patrick Okan.

Each of the students running for election were asked four questions pertaining to Student Senate and their candidacy.

What is your past experience with student government?
How many student senate meetings have you attended?
If elected, what do you wish to reform and work on?
Why are you running for Senate?

Jason Keck, running for: President and At-Large position

1. In the fall of 2010, Keck served as vice president to Leigh Monson. After Monson stepped down in the spring of 2011, he has been serving as interim president.
2. Prior to running for for Senate, Keck attended “some meetings”. He has not missed a meeting since the beginning of his term.
3. Primary goals: maintain effectiveness and order over Student Senate; increase student involvement; continue strong relations with the faculty and staff; and to address the increase of student tuition and the construction of the Health and Human Performance building (H&HP).
4. “I want to see UWRF seen as a positive and well-run university by the UW System,” said Keck on why he is running for office. “I want to shed a positive light on this campus and I think that I have a lot to offer for its future.”

Tyler Halverson, running for: President, College of Education and Professional Studies Representative, At-Large position

1. With the exception of the first 30 days at UWRF, Halverson has been serving on Student Senate. He has held many positions including first-year representative, chair of the Club Sports Allocation Board (CSAB),  Allocable Fees Appropriation Board, and Student Affairs and Academic Service.
2. He started coming to Senate meetings since the fall of 2007, in that time, he has not missed many meetings.
3. Primary goals: to be more vocal to the administration about tuition increases and state budget concerns, invest in supplementing student activities, to address student issues by putting student organizations on a more even “playing field” and lifting the requirement of sophomore on-campus living.
4. “I definitely have some ideas about what direction to take this senate,” said Halverson on why he is running for president. “There is nothing new to this spectrum of goals, except I am really going to get fired up about them.”

Ashley Goettl, running for: Vice President, At-Large position

1. Goettl is currently vice president of Student Senate, previously the Shared Governance director, and a first-year representative.
2. She has been attending Student Senate meetings for the past year and a half.
3. Primary goals: getting funding for the H&HP building, help with the Ramer Field renovations, advocate for student organizations and make sure organizations have what is needed to be successful.
4. “I want to be a voice for student organizations and represent the student body as best as I can,” Goettl said. “I have a broad range background because I come from many different organizations, such as athletics, media, and students orgs.”

Ryan Bartsch, running for: Vice President, At-Large position

1. Bartsch has no student government experience.
2.  He has never been to a Student Senate meeting.
3.Primary goals: the new HH&P building proposal; the football field, running track, and bleacher renovations; and is open to anything else that people may need help with. Bartsch has an emphasized interest in athletic representation.
4. “I have always been interested in Student Senate, but I never took that step into that direction,” Bartsch said. “But after my football team meeting I was really pushed into wanting to do it.”

Jayne Dalton, running for: College of Arts and Sciences Representative, At-Large position

1. Joined Student Senate in the spring of 2010, as a Greek representative. This year, she has served as Student Affairs and Academic Services Director.
2. Has missed one Senate meeting in a year and a half due to illness.
3. Having enjoyed working on Student Senate so far, her primary goal is to work on communication from Senate with the students.
4. “I’m running (for Student Senate) because it’s a higher calling for public service, to put it in a nutshell,” Dalton said. “This really is far reaching and I have the chance to work on something far greater than myself.”

Joseph Hamblin, running for: College of Arts and Sciences Representative, At-Large position (no picture available)

1. Hamblin has no previous experience with student government but became interested in it after being introduced to it in a class.
2. He has never been to a Student Senate meeting.
3. Being new to student government, Hamblin does not have any specific issues he wants to address. However, he said he thinks that will be an asset because he will have a fresh look at all issues presented.
4. “I am running for Senate because I believe that I will be able to help my fellow students by making good decisions on issues facing this school,” Hamblin said.

Asher Heer, running for: At-Large position

1. Heer is currently acting as a First-Year Representative and chair of the Ethics Committee on Student Senate.
2. Over the past year, he has missed two Senate meetings.
3. Primary goal: continuing work on the Ethics Committee.
4. “I really like politics and I am in this for the experience,” Heer said. “I want to represent the student populous.”

Tyler Latz, running for: At-Large position

1. Latz has been on Student Senate, first as an At-Large senator and is currently the director of the Diversity and Inclusivity Issues Committee.
2. He has not missed a Senate meeting for his entire term in office.
3. Primary goals: Improving communication with the student body, properly funding student organizations, and would like to put wheelchairs in some of the campus buildings.
4. “I am running because this last year has been a good experience- better than I thought it would be,” Latz said. “I want to be a voice for the students. This year has been interesting and I want to keep shaking it up a bit.”

Aaron Mehan, running for: At-Large position

1. Mehan has no student government experience.
2. He has never been to a Student Senate meeting.
3. Primary goal: addressing the H&HP building proposal. He is also open to addressing any other concerns presented to him.
4. “We had a meeting with our football team and talked about how athletics really isn’t represented that much,” said Mehan, on why he was running for Student Senate.

Connor Sparks, running for: College of Business and Economics Representative, At-Large position

1. Sparks has no student government experience.
2. He has never been to a Student Senate meeting.
3. Primary goal: to represent CBE on a greater scale than previous years.
4. “I love politics and I love debate,” said Sparks. “I am very hard working and I hope to bring my fiery personality to Student Senate, to breakdown issues, and debate them.”

 

Jessica Pett, running for: Non-Traditional, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Representative, At-Large position

1. Pett does not have any student government experience, however, has held leadership positions in the past while serving in the Army.
2. She has never attended a Senate meetings, but said she has a good idea about what goes on at the meetings based on what she has heard at the College Republicans meetings.
3. Primary goal: making Student Senate more visible to the rest of campus.
4. “I am a non-traditional student and I have another side of the story that most don’t have,” said Pett, on why she is running for Student Senate.

Allison Riske, running for: At-Large position

1. Riske joined Student Senate this spring after being asked to fill one of the vacancies.
2. She started attending meetings when she joined Senate this spring.
3. Primary goals: to give students a voice and to oversee the funding of club sports.
4. “I really want to have a voice on the funding of CSAB,” said Riske, on why she is running for Student Senate.

Trevor Semann, running for: At-Large position

1. Semann has no student government experience.
2. He has never been to a Student Senate meeting.
3. Primary goal: to get better funding for the athletics of UWRF and the promotion of the H&HP building.
4. “I play football and Coach told us that he would like some athletes to be on Student Senate,” Semann said. “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

Carlan Strand, running for: At-Large position

1. Strand has no student government experience, however, has been actively communicating with current Senators about expressing his viewpoint.
2. He has “been to a couple” of meetings and tries to stay informed on what is going on within Senate.
3. Primary goals: to make sure that Senate is fiscally responsible, protect the rights of students, help the university move forward with education and building projects, such as the new H&HP building.
4. “In short, I am running for Student Senate because I believe the University should be in the hands of the students that are paying tuition and not in the hands of the overbearing administrators,” Strand said. “Students are the heart and soul of the University and therefore need their voices heard.”

Oliver White, running for: At-Large position

1. White has some student government experience from when he was on his high school’s Student Senate. He is currently on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
2. Still trying to learn his way around campus, he has never been to a Senate meeting.
3. Primary goal: bring attention to the athletics department and looking into the considerations of the financial aspects of the University.
4. “I am really interested in the process of Student Senate and if elected, I hope to learn and help everyone else,” White said. “I am pretty outspoken and I think that I can help get my voice and other peoples voices heard.”

Senate elections will be held on April 4 and 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students are advised to check their University email for a link to vote.