Statesman View: Pros and cons of final USUSA election candidates

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Editor’s note: This pros and cons list was compiled by the Statesman Editorial Board. While each candidate has many things we could say about them we decided to try and keep the lists short. We are not endorsing any candidates with this list.

USUSA President
Mitchell Stevens
Pros:

  • Has experience in different areas of campus: President’s Cabinet, Service Center, Student Conduct Hearing Board.

  • Wants and plans to work with diverse group of students on important USUSA issues and to create an Aggie Support Network for mental health awareness.

  • Has started working with organizations and leaders to help with changes: current student body president, dining services.

Cons:

  • Not much experience with student government and other boards at USU.

  • Some unrealistic goals and plans that would also be pretty costly, specifically dining service and free online textbooks.

Ashley Waddoups
Pros:

  • Current officer with experience on USUSA that could help with learning curve in presidential office and working on executive council.

  • Has specific goals for talking to students about issues they want resolved through Pizza with the President, and specifically wanting to increase visibility of student fees.

  • Has plans to increase mental health awareness with more additions to the initiatives, including lobbying to hire more mental health professionals, and the 911 Cellular app.

Cons:

  • Focuses a lot on transparency, which isn’t actually much of an issue. Officers tell students anything they ask, especially where to find fees. Also, fees is mostly the executive VP’s concern.

  • Cost of lowering wait times for more help with psychological services is a good objective, but could be costly and somewhat unrealistic to expect soon.

Executive VP
Ryan Bentall
Pros:

  • Wants to get more students involved in student fee decision process, and for awareness of fees.

  • Wants to try and combat depression and anxiety on campus in a different way.

Cons:

  • Experience in committees related to EC limited; most experience is in School of Business.

Maegan Kasteler
Pros:

  • Has experience in variety of things that USUSA EC oversees, as well as SAA and college council member involvement.

  • Has proven she can think critically on student fees (sat on student fee board this past year).

Cons:

  • Goals on textbooks are specific, but may be too difficult to accomplish.

Student Advocate VP
Matthew Clewett
Pros:

  • Experience on Government Relations Council and with lobbying for students directly and with other students and leaders.

  • Has specific plans with new webpage for fees, and better lobbying training for GRC, things that can matter more to students with more awareness raised.

Cons:

  • Most of his experience in advocating for students outside of lobbying is at another school and in a different position.

  • Goals in regards to increasing awareness of USUSA programs and GRC a bit vague.

Brenna Kelly
Pros:

  • Has specific plans that are already being put into action to help students with housing problems.

  • Wants to implement long-term solutions for aiding students with issues/problems they may have, and has ideas to do so.

Cons:

  • USU would lose her as an investigative reporter as she advocates for students.

  • Hasn’t done much legislating or lobbying. Little GRC experience.

Athletics & Campus Recreation VP
Blake Lyman
Pros:

  • Been around HURD management, athletics and President’s Cabinet.

  • Specific goals in regards to events for games and HURD stuff BUT….

Cons:

  • These events and his plans to boost attendance at them could be VERY costly–where will the money come from, with wanting to give so many rewards for HURD program and drone dollar drop idea (and not knowing how funding for athletics will stretch, anyway…).

  • Plans in regards to campus rec and increasing capabilities of ARC somewhat vague.

Nolan Wilcock
Pros:

  • Spirit Squad. Has experience with athletes and those involved with athletics.

  • Knows the people who could probably help in some efforts to increase spirit at events.

  • Wants to better promote both men’s and women’s sporting events.

Cons:

  • Spirit Squad. Still going to do both? How will that work?

  • Goals seem to be specific, but plans to reach the goals are a bit vague or impossible?

Programming VP
Ryan Jensen
Pros:

  • Wants to create more diverse Blue Crew and work with other on-campus groups, which could get more people involved with events.

  • Revamping of STAB meetings for those involved could help students share opinions more about events and involvement.

Cons:

  • Every year the programming director says they will have an inviting office. How do any of us know this will actually happen, and HOW will it be inviting and open?

Organizations & Campus Diversity VP
Luis Armenta
Pros:

  • Been in the position already. Understands EC and the position’s expectations and roles.

  • Has formed Diversity Council and brought Access & Diversity and Global Engagement together.

Cons

  • Not many visible changes for the average student to see in regards to clubs at USU since in office.

Grace Jimenez
Pros:

  • Wants to figure out every club’s main goal and help them achieve that as soon as she begins in office.

  • Lots of experience with Access & Diversity, and some experience with USUSA-specific groups.

Cons:

  • Not much experience working with clubs on campus outside of Access & Diversity.

Service VP
Todd Brown
Pros:

  • Has experience with service in other capacities than are typical for this position.

  • Specific goals for who to work with in regards to getting more people involved on campus and in the community, including advertising efforts.

Cons:

  • Little experience with Val R. Christensen Service Center.

  • Goals are a little broad and could be focused down more.

Hope Newman
Pros:

  • Idea to take student submissions — unique and could get more people involved.

  • Wants to educate about the Service Center and reach lots of students and has some specific plans in regards to social media and email usage for the goal.

Cons:

  • Goals to increase attendance at service events and participation in programs are currently pretty vague.

  • Not much time at USU and Service Center, young student just starting up experience this year.

Student Alumni VP
Jamie Crandal
Pros:

  • Has years of SAA involvement experience in all branches, as well as planning events experience.

  • Wants to allow students to start new traditions, which would be a nice change in some regards with USU liking to stick to only the traditional stuff, usually.

Cons:

  • A lot of experience with SAA, little experience with USUSA student council.

Rachael Fresh
Pros:

  • Experience in USUSA groups (President’s Cabinet and Student Activities Board) as well as with SAA.

  • Marketing skills demonstrated in Aggie Radio and SAA.

Cons:

  • Has been around EC since Fiefia years. Bring change or business as usual?