OPINION: Meet your 2021-22 ASUP candidates

Spring elections for ASUP executive board and senators close April 1st

By 2021-22 ASUP Candidates | March 30, 2021 8:13pm
Candidates in the spring 2021 ASUP election share what they hope to accomplish if elected.
Media Credit: Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

The Beacon invited all candidates to share what they hope to accomplish if elected in the spring 2021 election. Here are the responses from the candidates who wrote in.

Position: ASUP President

Emma Fuller, sophomore, (she/her/hers) 

Sophomore Emma Fuller and junior Drew Jones are running for ASUP President and Vice President, respectively. Photo courtesy of Drew Jones.

My name is Emma Fuller and I am running for ASUP President. I am a sophomore, and I use she/her pronouns. If elected, my first goal is to bring the discussion of mental health’s importance to the University President and around campus. This is a topic I feel has been brushed under the rug in the community, especially around professors and faculty, and I believe the support and acknowledgement of mental health’s importance is vital to strengthen the UP community. I hope to work with senators, students, and staff, to help spread outreach around campus.

In addition, I plan to work directly with every diversity and inclusion organization and club, and the diversity and inclusion program, to see how ASUP and the university can best support those communities. I would love to collaborate with each one to shine light on what they stand for and what they are working on. I plan on having a notebook where I will write down everything people tell me, no matter how big or small, to keep me accountable for making sure everyone is heard and by the right people who can help them. I will also be available beyond office hours, so people feel comfortable talking to me one-on-one, as they would any other student. I want to make everyone feel important and heard. University of Portland is a very special school and I would like to help it reach its full potential.

Position: ASUP Vice President

Drew Jones, junior, (he/him/his)

Now more than ever, we need students to step up and lead our university to a better tomorrow. This is why I am excited to announce that Emma Fuller and I are campaigning to be YOUR Student Body President and Vice President. We do not seek to maintain the status quo or run the ship like it has for the last decade. We seek to make real, lasting change that will be for YOU and for Pilots generations after us.

As your Vice President, you can count on me to carry my years of ASUP experience and leadership into all endeavors. You can count on me to listen to needs and concerns, and address them head-on with student leaders and faculty. You can count on me to provide a voice to those that feel muted.

If you have any questions, please message me on Instagram @andrewjjones or email me at jonesan23@up.edu.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue leading this community that we love dearly. There is plenty of change to be made, elect Emma Fuller and Drew Jones to make that change happen.

Position: ASUP Director of Communications

Maggie Blommer, junior, (she/her/hers)

Junior Maggie Blommer is running for ASUP Director of Communications. Photo courtesy of Maggie Blommer.

As Director of Communications, I want to improve the accessibility, transparency, and social media platforms of ASUP. I want to create a more accessible stream of communication for clubs and the Student Body. I will use a variety of communication techniques that I have learned from my education to better accommodate a wide range of communication styles. I am an outsider to the ASUP Executive Board and through working with ASUP when Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) was transitioning to a club, they were incredibly helpful. I want to ensure that every club has a positive experience and receives the support and resources they need to be successful. Lastly, I plan to create a more interactive and frequent posting schedule for @ASUP_News on Instagram. To keep you informed, I will update the social medias when meetings, news, and changes occur. 

Chivon Ou, sophomore, (all pronouns)

Sophomore Chivon Ou is running for ASUP Director of Communications. Photo courtesy of Chivon Ou.

Growing up, I was told that UP, sitting near one of Oregon’s wealthiest zip codes, was not a place for someone coming from a refugee family and a public school background like me. I’m eager to join ASUP because I’m compelled to continue my work in challenging that narrative and to transform ASUP into a body that advocates placing minority needs at the forefront of our student government’s agenda. If given the Director of Communications position, I would be granted the power to mediate the complicated relationships between the student body and campus administration. I aim to align all these parties towards the goal of cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus culture using ASUP’s channels to amplify minority voices, voices which are too often silenced in such systems of powers that be. 

My experience communicating with administrators on the Vaccine Task Force, the Pilots Matter Period Project, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, and more provides me with unique knowledge of how our administration operates, which I will use in promoting a campus where all feel empowered to realize their fullest potential. Vote Chivon and together we will march on!

Victoria Bajanov, junior, (she/her/hers)

I have so many big goals for what I would accomplish if I were to win this position. My main goal is to make it as easy as possible for students to share their voices. I plan on trying to create an app that allows students to share anonymous suggestions/complaints/questions to faculty or to ASUP. I also plan on changing the ASUP social media to being more creative and interesting. I want students to feel comfortable and relatable through the ASUP Instagram. I also want to share a lot about myself and my own voice, so that students feel comfortable to share their own voices. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I hope that my ideas make me a good candidate for this position.

Samone Watkins, sophomore, (she/her/hers)

Sophomore Samone Watkins is running for ASUP Director of Communications. Photo courtesy of Samone Watkins.

 I’m running for Director of Communications because I look forward to working towards an equitable and diverse student experience. Over the last year serving as an engineering senator, I’ve learned the extent that ASUP can have a positive effect on the student body, forged relationships with various members of the administration, and gained experience on committees and major projects such as working towards a student center. The cornerstones of my campaign are availability, transparency, and diversity, each of which I plan to use in guiding me in all of my decisions as both an executive board member and chair of the Communications committee. I will work towards amplifying and providing spaces for marginalized voices on campus as well as drawing attention to the issues that are most relevant to us as students. Please find out more from my campaign Instagram account @commsdirectorwatkins or feel free to reach out to me with any questions! Vote Samone!

Position: ASUP Campus Program Board Director

Jessica Cramm, junior, (she/her/hers)

Junior Jessica Cramm is running for ASUP Campus Program Board Director. Photo courtesy of Jessica Cramm.

I am running for Campus Program Board Director for the second time because I want to continue and strengthen the tradition of bringing the fun to the UP community. Throughout my three years at UP, CPB events have been among the highlights. Our events bring the UP community together and create memories that will be remembered years after we graduate. I am running for CPB Director because I want to facilitate the events that create those memories for all students. I want to create events where students can come to celebrate finishing a tough week of school, dance and sing their hearts out, laugh with friends, but most importantly to have fun. In the past CPB has broken records with our events, but this year was extremely different and challenging in so many ways. To not have the UP community in person was the hardest part of CPB work but serving the UP community in a time of physical separation was the greatest reward of this job. In my second year as CPB Director I will make sure that my focus stays on what’s important; the UP-student body. My goal is with every decision I make, with every event we plan, and every giveaway we do; to intentionally keep the student body at the forefront of my mind.  

Position: Senior Class Senator

Connor Heffernan, junior, (he/him/his)

It has been an absolute privilege to serve the Class of 2022 in ASUP for 1 ½ years now. These past two semesters have been full of struggle and deep solace for many of us. This has been no different in ASUP, as we have come into conflict with the administration on numerous issues and fallen short on many fronts. Online learning is unsustainable to our mental health and annual increases to tuition are likewise unsustainable to our financial futures. That is why we are working with the administration to change course for next year. A majority of courses will be in-person in the Fall and the annual tuition hike has been canceled. If re-elected as ASUP Senior Senator alongside Janiece Moore, I will continue this progress and make sure that student clubs and activities are in full swing for the Fall. We have one last year left and we must make the most out of it, embracing our connections with one another and ensuring continuity and equity for the next generation of UP students.

Janiece Moore, junior, (she/her/hers)

Junior Janiece Moore is running for Senior Class Senator. Photo courtesy of Janiece Moore.

I want to start off by acknowledging that both current Juniors and Seniors, due to the many changes in the last year, may or may not be continuing on to graduate in 2022 and I hope to equally advocate for all senior/class of 2022 students. This next year will be exciting. We will be able to come together after missing many of the activities that college life is usually surrounded by. One of my top priorities is to improve student life and promote connections by empowering all of us to connect and share our lives. I’m not sure what this looks like yet but, come Fall, I hope to coordinate more events that connect the Senior class for our last year together at University of Portland. Furthermore, I was the Freshman Senator for 2018/19 and had a big part in creating the Sustainability committee. This is still a passion of mine and I plan to be active and make improvements in the Social Responsibility Committee (formerly Sustainability Committee). One of these improvements will be to help establish and create a plan for the SSR committee so that we can hold ASUP and administration accountable for their actions.

Position: Junior Class Senator

Beth Chvilicek, sophomore, (she/her/hers)

Sophomore Beth Chvilicek is running for Junior Class Senator. Photo Courtesy of Beth Chvilicek.

I am running for Junior Senator because I genuinely believe that we can make UP a better school for everyone. Everyone deserves to feel at home at UP, and unfortunately, that is not the case right now, especially for the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. As a queer woman, I know this firsthand, and I will strive to make UP a more equitable place for everyone. I believe in transparency, accessibility, and honesty. I will be transparent about what I am working on and what ASUP is discussing. I will be accessible to everyone, making it easy to voice your concerns and ideas. I will be honest with my opinions and thoughts; though I will remain hopeful and optimistic for the future, I will not sugarcoat the truth and tell you what you want to hear. My job is to act as a bridge between you, my constituents, and ASUP. I take that job seriously, and I am excited to collaborate with you all next year to make UP a better place.

William Heyler, sophomore, (he/him/his)

Sophomore William Heyler is running for Junior Class Senator. Photo courtesy of William Heyler.

My name is William Heyler; I am an Asian-American, multi-racial, political science major with an education minor from Aiea, HI. Growing up in such a diverse place, I know the importance of staying connected with one's roots and community. This past year has brought much stress and sadness to this community; the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning, and racial injustice against minorities have left us in a tough spot. With campus life returning to some sense of "normal" next semester, we need a re-connection to who we are as Pilots and rebuild this community on the bluff.

I ran for senator because I want to bridge the student body, ASUP, and the administration. Some activities to build this connection include coffee hours, which I mentioned in another opinion article. Additionally, I will continue to support existing ASUP initiatives and work with my constituents and colleagues alike to make the bluff a place to call home for all.

I'd love if you considered voting for me, and if you have any questions, please email me at heyler23@up.edu or follow me on Instagram, @williamheyler.

Mahalo and Go Pilots!"

Angela Wipfler, sophomore, (she/her/hers)

Sophomore Angela Wipfler is running for Junior Class Senator. Photo courtesy of Angela Wipfler.

I plan on furthering the involvement of the junior class with ASUP as it is my duty to get their voices heard. I have witnessed the power that one constituent report has had on the senate floor and I want to make ASUP’s resources and platform as accessible to anyone at UP, not just the elected officers. I hope to work on projects that the junior class sees a need for and I can’t wait to get to work on those! I also plan to work on projects that I feel need to be addressed such as bettering the contraceptive and STI prevention access from the Health and Counseling Center and improving the education and prevention regarding sexual assault on campus through freshman year workshops instead of the online modules. Furthermore, I plan on continuing the work to make UP a safe, accountable, and inclusive space for all students and faculty. Last semester I worked on a proposal for a more robust bias reporting system that focused on transparency and I plan on continuing the work to support all members of the UP community as Junior Senator.  

Position: Sophomore Class Senator

Sophomore Nevaeh Bray is running for Junior Class Senator. Photo courtesy of Nevaeh Bray.

Nevaeh Bray, freshman, (she/her/hers)

I am running because I want to help University of Portland grow into a caring and tight-knit community. Being a woman of color, I know that I will be able to bring different perspectives to the table and use this platform to best represent the needs of everyone.

Miguel Navarro, freshman, (he/him/his)

Freshman Miguel Navarro is running for Sophomore Class Senator. Photo courtesy of Migeual Navarro.

Some of my goals include the need to address mental health on campus, build more support systems on campus for new students, and create a diverse student body with BIPOC students. I hope to work with the Health and Counseling Center to address the topic of suicide. I’d like to put a suicide prevention module on Moodle for people to be aware and know what to do if they know of someone who may be suicidal. I also hope to work with them in developing mental wellness seminars. I hope to build more support systems for students on campus. Through this, I hope to work with the Shepard Academic Resource Center and establish workshops for transfer and international students. I also aim to help recruit more POC and LGBTQ+ students. I hope to accomplish this goal by advocating for more funds for DI programs such as Diversity Dialogues and other diversity themed events. There have also been many reports about people not feeling safe walking on campus, particularly women. I hope to work with campus safety by advocating that they provide free rape whistles at the Campus Safety office and the Can I Kiss You event at orientation. 

Position: School of Business Senator

Megan Meckey, sophomore, (she/her/hers)

Sophomore Megan Meckey is running for School of Business Senator. Photo courtesy of Megan Meckey.

I am running for the Pamplin School of Business Senator position with Nathan Glass to help make positive change on our campus. I hope to accomplish four goals if elected. First to communicate with all of the students in the PSOB on ASUP projects so they can feel connected to their student government. Second, I want to be a positive face on campus that is recognizable and easy to communicate with. Third, I want to support student and staff needs through ASUP advocacy. And fourth I want to work with the new PSOB Dean, Micheal L. DeVaughn, on integrating him into the community. I am a gay female, and I am committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and I want to help pass more legislation that will advocate for minority needs on campus. If elected I hope to be a safe space for people to reach out to and discuss issues of the PSOB that they see as solvable issues. I am a great communicator and problem solver and I love working with all types of people to make positive change.

Position: School of Nursing Senator

Patricia Monsale and Klaryssa Yap, sophomores, (she/her/siya)

Sophomores Klaryssa Yap (left) and Patricia Monsale are running to be the School of Nursing Senators. Photo courtesy of Klaryssa Yap.

If elected, we will focus on amplifying student voices, especially those that have been historically marginalized like BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and first-generation students. As Lead Team Members, we already offer town halls, listening sessions, and collective healing socials within our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Subcommittee, but we want to extend these opportunities to all students. In addition to listening to concerns and suggestions, we are committed to presenting these to administration and seeing that appropriate action is taken. 

Student advocacy is our top priority, and we want students to have control over their own education. Recently, UPSON administration has begun to discuss policy changes regarding the appeal process and minimum GPA. We are committed to advocating for students to be involved in this process and maintaining transparency between students and administration. We have experience communicating with students and faculty as we have advocated for student involvement in the process of hiring new faculty, communicated with biology professors and students about the recent policy change regarding Biology 205, and been involved in the development of the up-and-coming anonymous bias reporting system.

A vote for us is a vote for diversity, student-centered activism, and commitment to change.

Cassidy Otto, junior, (she/her/hers)

Junior Cassidy Otto is running for School of Nursing Senator. Photo courtesy of Cassidy Otto.

Our time as undergraduates are some of the most transformative years of our lives. Right now, the world and school is going through a major transition of its own and in order to stay in control of our success, we must be able to transition with it. Moving to Portland from Maui, I understand how scary and difficult it can be to adapt to a place and time filled with so much change and uncertainty. I believe I have the skills, mindset, and experience needed to fight for the resources necessary to not only make this a smooth transition, but help students thrive as individuals and future nurses. I'm dedicated to rebuilding trust between students and administration, advocating for students by listening to and using our collective experiences to fight for change, and using my last year to turn this program into one that we're proud to be a part of.

Position: School of Engineering Senator

Natalie Tashchuk, sophomore, (she/her/hers)

Sophomore Natalie Tashchuk is running for School of Engineering Senator. Photo courtesy of Natalie Tashchuk.

Hi everyone! My name’s Natalie, I’m a sophomore computer science major, and I’m running for reelection to continue being your Senator of Engineering. Over this past year I’ve worked with countless students who are passionate and inspired to improve life on the Bluff, and I’m super excited to continue this as we return to in person classes. Helping facilitate a smooth transition back to campus is one of my top priorities, and I’ll do so by working with administration and Dean Fabien to make sure student concerns are heard. I also want to connect with students through my new Instagram, @NatalieASUP, to raise awareness about all the important things going on at UP, and to hear student ideas/questions/complaints on how we could make the school better. Finally, I’ll be leading an investigation into raising wages/stipends for students in unpaid/underpaid leadership positions. Please consider voting Natalie Tashchuk for Engineering Senator from March 30 to April 1 and follow my Instagrams @NatalieASUP and @_natalietash to stay up to date on all things UP. Thank you all, and I can’t wait for an amazing year together (in person!)

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