On Friday night, junior Sage Taylor and sophomore Kila Ung were elected Associated Students of the University of Portland (ASUP) president and vice president, respectively, for the 2020-21 school year.
The pair ran unopposed and received 87.6% of the vote from the 18.8% of the student body that voted, according to senator and chair of the Elections Committee, Nate Thomas.
Taylor has served as a class senator for the past three years, and Ung served as the sophomore class senator this year.
“I see this as the beginning of a whole new thing,” Taylor said. “These three years of past work — not to diminish them — were all steps towards this moment, and it's this moment right now where that work is really going to pay off and we're really going to be able to bring big changes to the table.”
Taylor and Ung ran on a pledge to increase social justice on campus. As senators this year, Taylor spearheaded increasing the student activities fee from $95 to $135 and Ung heavily pushed for Pilots Matter Period, which put menstrual products in select bathrooms on campus.
“I fully believe that change happens on the small scale and then it gets bigger and bigger,” Ung said. “We can see that from like a Pilots Matter Period thing that happened this semester, and a lot of other smaller things.”
Taylor and the rest of the executive board are planning on preparing materials and legislation over the summer, so when the fall semester starts they are prepared and ready to make an immediate impact.
“The hope is to get all the materials, everything prepped over summer,” Taylor said. “Then when school starts, ‘bam’, we're out there (with) relationships already established, we've already talked to people, and we have just hit the ground running … not to start the semester ready to run, but the semester starts, and we're already running.”
Sophomore Joey Paumier was narrowly elected director of finance, receiving 50.8% of the vote with junior Cameron Lyons receiving 47.1%. Last year, Paumier lost in a runoff election for director of finance to Brendon Wexted Hand. The director of finance oversees ASUP’s funds and serves as the chair of the Financial Management Board.
Paumier currently serves as a sophomore class senator and ran on a platform of providing greater transparency about the financial decisions of both the university and ASUP, as well as increasing funding for clubs that promote diversity and engage with the UP community.
The other executive board candidates ran unopposed.
Junior Ryan Thoms was re-elected director of communications, receiving 92.1% of the vote. The director of communication's responsibilities includes recording the minutes of Senate meetings, managing communication between ASUP and the student body, and managing ASUP social media accounts.
In his speech posted on Youtube, Thoms highlighted his involvement and advocacy for student health on campus and discussed his desire to continue the dialogue about the issues that LGBTQ+ and other minorities face at UP.
Sophomore Jessica Cramm was elected Campus Program Board director receiving 95.8% of the vote. Cramm started working with CPB during her freshman year and in her role as director, she wants to continue to increase the size and scale of events like Dance of The Decades and Rock the Bluff.
There is no date set for the senate to elect a Speaker of the Senate.
Below is a complete list of the newly elected senators:
Drew Jones, Sophomore Class
Harris Harris, Sophomore Class
Connor Heffernan, Junior Class
Calvin Strong, Junior Class
Jimmy Meza, Senior Class
Thomas Vogl, Senior Class
Ashley Martinez, College of Arts & Sciences
Zachary Sessa, College of Arts & Sciences
Emma Fuller, Pamplin School of Business
Cole Stoker, Pamplin School of Business
Karen Kim, School of Education
Samone Watkins, Shiley School of Engineering
Natalie Tashchuk, Shiley School of Engineering
Valerie Stulz, School of Nursing
Andrea Millet, School of Nursing
William Seekamp is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.