ASOC election: statements from the candidates

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Dear Editor,

While we may have different policies and goals for ASOC Senate next year, we all agree on one thing: the need for a Vice President of Diversity and Equity position within ASOC Senate. We believe that this position has great potential and will allow Senate to better serve your needs. We publicly pledge that we will create this new position within the first semester of the 2014-2015 academic year.

The following is a list of students endorsing this statement and what they’re running for:

Chris Weeks, President

Karen Romero, VP for Academic Affairs

Jemma Parsons, VP for Internal Affairs

Will Huang, VP for Finance

Keven Duran, Senior Class Senator

Bobby Rodriguez-Donoso, Senior Class Senator

Kerry Sakimoto, Senior Class Senator

Abhilasha Bhola, Junior Class Senator

Sophie von Bergen, Junior Class Senator

Tiffany Odeka, Junior Class Senator

Kara Alam, Sophomore Class Senator

Adrian Adams, Sophomore Class Senator

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The Occidental Weekly asked the ASOC Presidential candidates: “Why are you running for ASOC President?”


From Christopher Weeks – Sophomore, DWA

My name is Christopher Weeks, and I am a rising junior here at Occidental College. I am running for ASOC Senate President because my two years at the college have prepared me with the skills necessary to make change happen.

I understand the value of listening to my fellow students and through listening I have learned quite a bit of what needs to be changed. Issues such as mental health, sustainability and diversity deserve to be the focus of ASOC Senate in the coming year. ASOC Senate has enormous potential, and I want to make sure that faculty and administration recognize ASOC Senate as a voice of the students. My platform is available on my Facebook page, and I would encourage you all to check it out!

Last year, I delivered results to the student body and with your support I hope to continue next year. I worked to find out how students would like the Bengal Room to look. I am happy to report that an architect has been hired and will hopefully begin constructing a spiral staircase connecting to the Green Bean in the near future. Next year I want to continue working with students to create a new hub for student life in the Bengal Room.

Last year, I wanted to help students find ways to make their projects happen. In the past month many of you attended the Date Night Done Well event in Berkus Hall. Next year I want to continue supporting students and organizations that want to see their projects come to fruition, but may not have nor know where to get the resources.

Last year, I wanted to make ASOC Senate more impactful on campus. I worked closely with my fellow Senators to revise the constitution and streamline the funding process. This made it possible for Bike Share to become a student service. This made it possible for student organizations to receive funding in a much simpler way. Next year I want to continue working to revise the funding process to ensure organizations know why they are funding at a certain amount and helping them so they know how to get the most out of their funding proposals.

Next year, I will work with Emmons, and organizations such as Active Minds and the Student Wellness Advisory Committee, to figure out how best to promote wellness on campus. I also will do my best to improve the services offered at Emmons because, let’s be honest, they could be better. Next year I want to put pressure on the administration to allocate resources to the faculty for the purposes of the creation of an Africana studies minor. Next year I want to host more Open Forums for all of campus to share their ideas and experiences with administration to make sure our voices are heard.

My record shows I follow through with my commitments. I will do the same next year. Thank you for your support!

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From Mary Fulham – First-year, Undeclared

I’m Mary Fulham and I would like to be your President.

Back in September, I was the typical eager first-year, ready to get involved. I ran for First-Year Class Senator knowing that I wanted to contribute to the Oxy community. To find out what my classmates were looking for in a senator, I stood on Branca Patio for two days handing out cookies, shaking hands, engaging with my peers, listening to their ideas and brainstorming how we could work together to address their concerns.

That campaign was my first window into the interests of Oxy first-years, and once I took office, my view broadened to include students campus-wide. As I listened to students talk about a wide range of issues and ideas, I heard some common themes:

Sustainability: Oxy students are concerned about how much we use and how much we waste.

Programming: Oxy students want more chances to just have fun at campus concerts and dances.

Clarity: Oxy students want a more user-friendly version of The Root that flags events so no one misses out, and that cuts down on email clutter.

In my term as First-Year Senator, I have already begun to address these concerns, and I’ve developed some long-term goals.

Sustainability:

I recently joined the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fund and have been working with the Campus Dining Committee since last fall. I am eager to continue our efforts to reduce single-use plastics on campus. As President, I will also push for a better waste disposal system at the Cooler and throughout campus.

Programming:

When many students approached me with concerns about the dance hiatus, I founded a Student Life Task Force and began a productive conversation with administrators and student leaders about how to offer more safe social opportunities on campus. Our work on the task force resulted in the ASOC DJ Showcase. I invited KOXY DJs to perform at the event, and many students came to enjoy the music. Oxy students proved at the DJ Showcase, and at SpringFest, that we are able to have fun responsibly. As President, I will work with Programming Board, students and the Administration to begin a new era for social life at Oxy.

Clarity:

At Oxy, we are fortunate to have speakers, active clubs and organizations and talented performers on campus all the time, but it is easy to miss out on opportunities when we are flooded with mass emails and hard-to-read root posts. Oxy needs an efficient and effective way of conveying information so every student can take advantage of the rich resources on campus. As President, I will work to establish a more student friendly notification and calendar system so that students can learn about the events that matter to them.

Ultimately, I believe that Senate can improve life on campus for all students by reaching beyond the Studenmund Meeting Room into every room on campus. Under my leadership, the ASOC Senate will be more visible, more receptive and more responsive.

I ask for your vote!

#ForwardWithFulham