Elections for executive positions for 2019-20 ASWU Senate are underway! While the campaigning period has only lasted for one week in previous elections, this year current executive members made the decision to expand that time frame to two weeks. Voting begins next Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 a.m., and closes on Friday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m. Students will receive an email with a link to the ballot, along with a username and password to access their specialized voting accounts. Currently, the three ASWU Executive positions of president, vice president and treasurer are occupied by Akerah Watkins (‘19), Erica Noble (‘19) and Sarah Mische (‘19), respectively. The fourth member of ASWU leadership is the appointed Chief Justice, currently Quinlyn Manfull (‘19). The ASWU president is responsible for meeting regularly with University administrators, attending Board of Trustees meetings and other relevant meetings and reporting their findings back to the Senate. The Vice President has the duties of leading Senate meetings, running elections and handling other internal affairs. Finally, the treasurer facilitates the allocation of funds for student organizations, working closely with the Senate Finance Board. All photos and biographies were submitted courtesy of the candidates
Tatiana Amrein (‘20)
Hello Bearcats! My name is Tatiana Amrein, and I am officially announcing my candidacy for Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU) vice president for the 2019-2020 school year! I am a politics, policy, law and ethics major, so I hold accountability for elected positions very seriously. As ASWU vice president, I would strive to ensure ASWU Senate is a place for accurate and fair representation for each respective class through inclusion promotion. In this past year, I have served as an ASWU senator for the Class of 2020. As the whip for my class caucus, last semester I helped facilitate a poster campaign and tabling event to encourage students to “Think About Sleep” around finals and generally emphasize personal wellness during that stressful time. As vice president, I would love to help future senators with projects that would benefit Willamette students. Throughout my time at Willamette, I have held other positions that have allowed me to positively impact Willamette and the communities surrounding it such as being a layout editor for The Collegian and lead team for Tiger Club. Please consider voting for me, Tatiana Amrein, for ASWU vice president.
Carlo Rivas (‘20)
An institution which fails to inform those it serves and maintain transparency is doomed to be an unrepresentative and failing system. At Willamette, we suffer from a lack of clear communication with the student body and poor maintenance of transparency. This is a university-wide issue that affects many aspects of this school, however we need to start at a student level if we want to see institutional change. Regardless of how much good we think we do behind the scenes, it is pointless if we are not able to communicate our efforts effectively to our peers. If elected to be your treasurer, I would dedicate myself fully to expanding the transparency of ASWU with our student body. To me, this specifically means greater public communication about our budget status, and more direct communication with student leaders and organizations about funding decisions. I envision public forums about ASWU’s budget, where students at large will have the chance to see where their money is going, and how it is being stewarded. I envision more direct and detailed communication with student leaders about funding decisions to ensure transparency regarding these choices, and equitable management of this money.
Colin Troesken (‘20)
I have served on ASWU for five of my six semesters at Willamette, all of them as a member of Finance Board. Through my time on ASWU, I worked closely with the treasurer as well as other members of the board to enact equitable and fair finance practices. Because of my experience, I have developed a unique understanding of the role of treasurer. As the ASWU treasurer, I plan to run an efficient schedule that allows for quick and effective responses. My goal as treasurer is to reform our funding practices so that we can have a more open funding procedures. I believe that ASWU should be open and transparent in all aspects, and I believe finance and funding is no different. Students have every right to know what thoughts go into finance decisions, and I do not believe that transparency currently exists. I pledge to create such an environment of transparency through my decisions as treasurer. The job will be my first priority, and I will make myself available to anyone and everyone.
Tessa Harvey (‘20)
Last semester, I joined ASWU as a senator and learned a substantial amount about Willamette student government in a short amount of time. This semester, I am fulfilling my lifelong dream of studying abroad. While this means I am not currently present on campus, it also means that when I return I will be able to apply all that I have learned abroad to make ASWU and the Willamette community a better place. Study abroad has prepared me to serve as president because it has improved my communication skills, enhanced my ability to connect with people from different backgrounds and advanced my problem-solving capabilities. As president, I want to improve the communication on our campus: between administration and ASWU, ASWU and students and between students themselves. As a small school, we have a greater opportunity to learn from each other and enact change on the university level. If elected, I would work to be an effective liaison between students and administrators by being accessible, accountable and by taking action on issues that matter the most to current students. I also want to empower ASWU representatives of all classes to utilize their knowledge of their constituents to improve our community together.
Amar Kshetrapal (‘20)
As a child of immigrants, my mother taught me the importance of helping others and my father would echo to me the words of president Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Right now, our school is facing turbulent times and I ask myself the question, “what can I do for my university?” Our school is made up of many disparate views and understandings of life. Yet as of now, we struggle to fully accept one another; even though someone has an opinion antithetical to your own, that should not preclude discussion. We cannot give in to our emotions, regardless of difficulty, instead, we must maintain calm rationality. Even though tempers may flare, and emotions run high, cooler heads must prevail. It is for this reason that I declare my candidacy for president of ASWU. I would like to be one of those cooler heads, working with anyone who is willing to come to an equitable solution. I’d like to end this feeling of hopelessness and apathy so many students feel and make a more representative ASWU.
Amarit Ubhi (‘20)
If you want an ASWU president who values accountability, honesty and progress, you should elect me. As an ASWU senator, I spearheaded a Wellness Campaign to encourage students to prioritize sleeping and health. On the Calendar Taskforce, I documented our preferences, and communicated them to faculty and administration. In The Collegian, I improved procedures to ensure that the Willamette community is provided with accurate news. As an intern in Governor Kate Brown’s office, I learned the importance of accountable representatives committed to being transparent about their work to constituents. Willamette is facing challenges that require that students acknowledge its efforts and push it to get better. As your ASWU president, I will listen to you effectively and represent you strategically to faculty governance and administration. I will dedicate myself to being transparent and accessible through frequent office hours and open communication. To broaden student understanding, I will hold forums on issues like Title I X , our budget and processes for filling essential positions, like the CSL coordinator. We must honor the legacy of past student activism on this campus, recognize how far we have come and encourage all involved to make Willamette a better and more just place for students who follow us.
Joel Westby (‘21)
Hi, I’m Joel! In high school, I was the student body president my senior year. During that time, I created a tutor program that matched elementary, middle and high school students who needed academic help with those who could. At Willamette, I have continued to be active in the community by joining several student groups. I’m running for ASWU president because I want to add more structure and education to our campus leaders. We lost GreenDot a couple years ago and lost a lot of structure with it. Real-life practices regarding equity, diversity, inclusion, sexual assault and safety should be addressed to every student leader. This means that not only those in ASWU, but also the leadership in other student groups, would have support in creating a welcome environment for the people on our campus. Further, I would establish a consistent line of communication with the student body regarding important campus info, such as the creation of new student clubs, budget updates a n d others. Similarly, I have a working relationship with many administrators and would continue that to efficiently advocate policy to both students and staff. Thanks for considering me!