Student Government Elections: Candidate Profiles
Student Government elections began April 2 for the next academic year. SG serves as the chief advocate for students to the administration. It also provides programming and seeks to create a sense of community among students on campus.
To vote, go to your myAU portal, and click on the first option under Life @ AU. Students can vote April 2 and 3 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Here's a round-up of every candidate on the ballot. Click on the candidate to see their profile or click on the position to read profiles of all the candidates.
The SG president is mainly in charge of advocacy issues, usually choosing to focus his or her administration around a few core ideas. Effectively the face of SG, the president has a large cabinet with sections focused on different issues, like Women's Initiative. The president also works closely with the administration and the Board of Trustees to represent the students' interests.
Kelly wanted to run for SG President after his experience as an orientation leader, he said in an email.
"I want these students to love AU just as much on the day they accept their diploma from [AU President] Dr. [Neil] Kerwin as the day I first met them at Eagle Summit," Kelly said.
Kelly, a sophomore double major in secondary education and political science, is currently a Class of 2015 senator. If elected, Kelly said his first priority is to work on the financial aid appeals process and financial literacy.
Griscom decided to run for SG president because he believes the current SG tends to ostracize students, he said in an email.
Griscom, a sophomore studying political science, has no prior affiliation with SG, which he said is a strength.
If he wins, Griscom said he plans to focus on tuition hikes and absolute transparency.
"Getting an education should not be a burden," Griscom said," Griscom said. "Because of this I stand in solidarity with the student, because I am the student."
Shadburn's main focus in this campaign is opening up SG to students. An outsider to SG, the sophomore in the School of Public Affairs said he wants to "open up every process."
One way this would happen would be through the budget, he said.
"The Student Government budget process is incredibly secretive," Shadburn said. He criticized the secretive budget process, saying the Undergraduate Senate does not want outside pressure while making decisions.
"The Senate doesn't want students lobbying on how it spends student's money?" he said. "I would open up those meetings."
The SG presidency is not a political opportunity, but an opportunity to mobilize underrepresented student groups, SG president write-in candidate Howell said in an email.
Howell, a sophomore studying public health, was the SG deputy director of student health but "is not an SG 'insider,'" he said.
If elected, Howell said his goal is to form relationships with students and remain transparent.
"I'm committed to holding the University accountable for continuously enhancing our reputation, as we students financially invest in the University and its endeavors," Howell said.
School of Public Affairs sophomore Custard said he would focus his presidency on opening up the campus to students.
Specifically, Custard said he seeks to ease use of athletic facilities and other spaces on campus for student groups.
"We pay too much tuition not to have access," he said.
Student discontent with SG is another important issue, Custard said.
"Students think that Student Government is a bunch of politically-driven egos who are looking for a position instead of students," he said. "I agree with the students."
While the president focuses on advocacy and specific issues that face students, the vice president is in charge of programming and putting on big events, like Founders' Day, Kennedy Political Union and the Student Union Board.
School of International Service junior Arash Karimi said he seeks to fix some of the "recent failures" in SG.
"All this discontent is because of a perception students have that AUSG is opposed to student interests, not supporting student interests," he said. One of these interests, he added, involved the passage of the recent campus-wide smoking ban. If elected, Karimi will seek to stop the ban because he is focusing his run on "social deregulation" that would allow students to make the choice of smoking for themselves. "The University is trying to deal with young adults," he said. "Part of being an adult involves making choices."
Julia Reinstein, a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism, believes she is a candidate with fresh ideas and has the skills to make them a reality, she said in an email.
Reinstein is the current director of events on the SG Vice President's cabinet.
If elected, Reinstein plans to seek more student input on events and improve transparency, she said.
"I believe transparency begins outside of the AUSG office, which is why I will take the initiative to personally engage students," Reinstein said.
The Comptroller manages the budget of SG. It is the comptroller's job to balance requests for SG money as well as give reports to the Undergraduate Senate about finances. The comptroller also advocates for students in financial negotiations with the administration, working on issues such as tuition increases.
Johnson is running for comptroller because he wants to see where SG's money is going, he said in an email.
Johnson, a sophomore double major in women's, gender and sexuality studies as well as sociology, said he felt alienated from SG and does not believe it is effectively advocating for students.
"My theory is to never presume your constituents want something, but rather put forward an idea and then engage them about it," Johnson said.
If elected, Johnson said he plans improve budget transparency and develop a Social Justice Grant Program to support students' social justice projects.
Current Student Government Comptroller Joe Ste.Marie is seeking another term. A sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, Ste.Marie said he was proud of his past work as Comptroller. "We passed the lowest tuition raise in 40 years," he said. Ste.Marie also said his experience in working with Student Activities would be an advantage over the other candidates. Ste.Marie has previously held positions as Parliamentarian of the Senate and Speaker of the Senate.
The rest of the candidates are running unopposed on the ballot. However, students can write-in their own candidate for any race.
The SG secretary is the head of communications and outreach for SG. These duties may be as diverse as organizing town halls, connecting with student press or speaking to students directly through social media.
School of Communication sophomore Cipriano is the current executive director of communication and marketing for SG.
In her tenure as secretary, Cipriano said she seeks to bring SG closer to students.
"I want it so that SG isn't just this grandiose Facebook page," she said. "I want to interact with students and put a face to the name of Student Government."
Cipriano said she wanted to achieve this by arranging for more one-on-one contact between actual SG members and students.
Class council members are the intersection of many different functions in SG. Council members may provide programming for their classes. They also represent the interests of their grades to the rest of SG.
CJ Murphy: Class of 2015 Presidential Candidate
Murphy, the current vice president of the Class Council of 2015, wishes to continue to give back to her class by becoming the Class of 2015's president, she said in an email.
Murphy, a sophomore with an interdisciplinary studies major, believes being a part of the class council is about building community, she said.
If she wins, Murphy wants to increase the council's budget and organize more events, Murphy said.
"I think I can bring my dedication, organization and persistence [to SG], so that we can plan the best events ... I think I could be a strong advocate for our class to SG executives," Murphy said.
Lori Interluccio: Class of 2015 Vice Presidential Candidate
School of Public Affairs sophomore Interluccio said she hopes to reach students in her college through events.
"I'd like to see more diversity at events and get my class more close," she said.
Interluccio also said she was interested in the position because she liked being involved with her college beyond just being a student. She added that she would like to push events beyond the normal pattern of Z-burger fundraisers.
"We'll try to switch it up a bit and hold fundraisers in different places," she said.
Lex Loro: Class of 2016 Presidential Candidate
Loro is running for reelection as Class of 2016 president to address the failures in the current Student Government system, Loro said in an email.
Loro, a freshman studying print journalism, is also the co-director of Queers and Allies' Queer Women's Advocacy Committee.
If elected, Loro plans to help student clubs get proper funding and continue to advocate for her class' interests by facilitating discussions with Class of 2016 representatives.
School Councils focus on programming, planning events and fundraisers for their schools.
With interests ranging from poetry, weight lifting, Batman graphic novels to third-world memoirs, Gulban is now looking to add Student Government as another.
Gulban, a freshman majoring in international studies with an interest in international business and finance, is the deputy of academic programming for the SIS Undergraduate Council.
If elected, Gulban plans to increase student and faculty interaction by creating more opportunities for students to meet professors, such as panel discussions and lectures.
"My constituents are my employers, so it makes sense for them to want in me what any other boss would: an honest worker with a healthy attitude and the ability to learn through experience," Gulban said in an email.
Gabriela Preda: SIS Vice Presidential Candidate
Preda said she has experience in planning cultural events, service projects and panels, as she was previously the deputy of social programming for the SIS Undergraduate Council.
A freshman, Preda said she would focus her work around those types of events.
"I really liked being involved, and I knew that I wanted to have a higher position," she said.
Another goal was to foster connections between students and staff in SIS.
"We have lots of ideas for discussions we could have with the Dean [James Goldgeier], for example," she said.
Devin McNally: SIS Secretary Candidate
A freshman in the School of International Service, McNally seeks to use the post of secretary to increase communication within his school.
McNally was previously the deputy academic director for the SIS Undergraduate Council. Discussion is a key tenant of his campaign, he said.
"I want to make sure that the staff and students are having a healthy dialogue about problems and ways to fix them," McNally said.
With a love for writing about money saving ideas for students, Friedrich wanted to run for Undergraduate Business Association president to become a resource for incoming freshman and the Kogod community, Friedrich said in an email.
Friedrich, a freshman studying accounting and Spanish, is currently the Kogod senator in the SG Undergraduate Senate. If elected, she will enhance the UBA programming and create career preparation workshops, power lunches and alumni networking events, she said.
Alexander Kingston: UBA Vice Presidential Candidate
Alexander Kington, a freshman in the Kogod School of business, wants a deeper connection with his school.
"I wanted to be more involved with the student body," Kingston, said of his run.
Kingston said his main goal was to foster connection between faculty and students.
His main proposal was a program called the Bullpen, where students would make entrepreneurial pitches to a board of judges, and one pitch would be picked as the winner.
"It's just a way to connect student and faculty," Kingston said.
As the current president of the SOC Undergraduate Council, Fitzpatrick wishes to keep his position to continue rebranding the organization, he said in an email.
Fitzpatrick, a freshman studying broadcast journalism, said the council plans to rename the organization as the Undergraduate Communication Association.
If elected, Fitzpatrick will create more opportunities for students and faculty to network, he said.
Nobody is on the ballot for any of the following positions:
• Class of 2014 positions;
• Class of 2015 and 2016 treasurer and secretary;
• any of the CAS or SPA positions;
• SOC vice president, treasurer and secretary;
• and UBA treasurer and secretary.