ASUP elections: Reelect Chadwick and Gaona

By The Beacon | March 20, 2014 2:47am

Over the past year, ASUP President Quin Chadwick and Vice President Elvia Gaona have proven their leadership experience and their ability to form focused, realistic goals for ASUP. We recommend reelecting them to next year’s ASUP executive board.

Rarely has UP had the opportunity to have an ASUP president and vice president for two consecutive terms. The experience Chadwick and Gaona have already gained puts them in a unique position to make changes on campus. Because they won’t have to spend the first few months of next year forming relationships with administrators and learning how to lead ASUP Senate, they will be able to work on their projects right away.

Chadwick and Gaona have also shown themselves to be committed to building a more diverse and inclusive community at the University of Portland. Diversity has proven to be one of the most important topics to UP students. Last year’s Redefine Purple Pride Movement and the Los Pilots incident at the basketball game against BYU earlier this semester show the need for greater awareness on campus.

Both Chadwick and Gaona were instrumental in writing and passing Resolution 13-06 last spring, which asked the administration to change the Nondiscrimination Policy to include sexual orientation.

They are also committed to continuing their work in improving the on-campus environment for minority students. Chadwick and Gaona plan to improve the inclusivity of the campus environment by creating a workshop during Freshman Orientation on diversity and cultural competency.

Chadwick and Gaona have also talked to administrators about developing a long-term strategy for fostering diversity through classes. They hope to work with the administration to create classes that focus on inclusion and cultural competency. Their focused, realistic efforts to improve the campus environment for marginalized students shows their commitment to these students’ success and wellbeing.

Although John Julius Muwulya and Josh Cleary, who are also running for ASUP president and vice president, have a concrete, ambitious platform, their ideas may not be as practical as they seem. Some of their plans for the presidency are to improve WiFi on campus, oversee the creation of an Office of Inclusion and potentially hold a small music festival at the beginning of next year.

While these are all ideas we would love to see implemented, they simply are not feasible. An Office of Inclusion requires hiring and paying an entire staff. Better WiFi is not a simple fix -- it requires a great deal of expensive equipment.

Chadwick and Gaona, on the other hand, have a year of experience under their belt, which gives them a better idea of which projects are feasible and which are outside the ASUP’s budget and means. Although an Office of Inclusion would benefit students, Chadwick and Gaona’s plan to focus on diversity through education is much more likely to be done.