The Real UM Parties

Student Government Elections: Breaking It Down

What []_[] Want | Mia Rafowitz | February 14, 2016

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You’ve seen them in the breezeway the past few weeks and skillfully ignored their glares. You’ve pretended to check a text message with precise timing and disregarded flyers, but now it’s time to pay attention. 

Student Elections began yesterday and you deserve the hard facts before getting out and voting. If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing. If you stand for nothing, our school spends your dad’s tuition money on $9,000 nap pods. 

Voting started on Monday, February 15th and ends Wednesday, February 17th.

You’ve got three options: True to You, One Team One []_[], and Empower U, all groups who possess platforms worth standing with and candidates with resumes so complete you’ll want to go back and actually join every club you signed up for during CanesFest freshman year. These are the kinds of kids who call their resumes Curriculum Vitae, and have probably never sent a naked Snapchat. Probably.

With initiatives ranging from tailgate hydration stations to designing a “Life Skills” course and even lighting up everybody’s (least) favorite Red Lot with blue lights, it’s worth a look to figure out what they’re all about.

Who is on your ticket?

True to You:

President – Vikesh Patel

  • Student Government – All 3 years
  • Biomedical Engineering Club
  • Greek Week – Treasurer
  • Tunnel of Oppression – Build Committee
  • Association of Greek Letter Organization

Vice President – Ashley Pittaluga

  • Student Government- Freshman Leadership Council
  • Homecoming Executive Committee Vice Chair and Treasurer
  • Undergraduate Representative for the Academic Affairs Committee on the Board of Trustees
  • CaneBuddy
  • Homecoming Chair 2016

Treasurer – Morgan Owens

  • SpectrUM Treasurer
  • Sailing ‘Canes
  • Delta Lambda Phi President & Treasurer
  • AGLO Treasurer

One Team One []_[]: 

President – Jason Goldberg

  • Completed the PRISM program, an accelerated science and mathematics track.
  • Member of Pi Kappa Phi and has held multiple leadership positions, including New Member Class President and Judicial Board chair.
  • Jason will be the first student from the University of Miami to participate in the Journey of Hope, a 4,000 mile bike ride across the country, to raise awareness and acceptance for people with disabilities.

Vice President- Emmy Savidge

  • Served as Junior class Senator and Vice Chair of the Senate Public Relations Committee in the effort to increase transparency and communication between Student Government and the University community.
  • Member or Zeta Tau Alpha
  • Biology 160 workshop leader
  • Staff of FunDay, a Butler Center Service Day focused on citizens of Miami with mental and physical disabilities.

Treasurer- Andrew Weinstock

  • Freshman Leadership Council
  • Commuter Senator.
  • Focused on nutrition in the dining halls by last year increasing fresh fruits and vegetables and now collaborating with Coca-Cola to disclose dietary information on soda dispensers, of which he will measure variances in consumption before and after implementation of point-of-sale signage.

Empower U:

President- Jacob Rudolph

  • Senator for college of arts and sciences
  • P100 Student Ambassador
  • President of SpectrUM

Vice President- Austin Eng

  • President of Student Health Advisory Committee
  • Founder of the Mental Health Forum
  • Crime Prevention Assistant

Why are you running for student government?

True To U: We think that we are the three people who can best improve our school for our peers and those who come after us.

One Team One []_[]: One Team One []_[] is running for student government because we feel that a powerful tool to help the university community has been misguided for too long. When we all realized we held the same goals–increase student government’s transparency, return student government to students’ concerns and wishes, and develop fresh and practical concepts that the university community wants and needs–we realized that we could not miss the opportunity to make a positive impact in the present and future of the University of Miami.

Empower U: Austin and I are running because we believe that there is untapped potential in the executive office of student government that could empower students to use their voices and make an impact.

What does your platform stand for?

True To U: Our platform was created by listening to students from all walks of life at UM; it is all about making measured but meaningful improvements across our campus. Click here for a full list of initiatives. Some examples are:

  • Early access to class syllabi
  • Additional guest swipes
  • CaneCard tap system
  • LGBTQ Center
  • Panhellenic recycling
  • Solar fields

One Team One []_[]: One Team One []_[]’s platform consists of ideas ranging from transportation to safety to nutrition and health. All 13 ideas on our platform are not only feasible, but are also extremely low-cost, and centered around our idea of  Open Forum Town Halls, hosted at the Rock at 7 P.M. twice per month. Some examples are:

  • Bring back reusable take-out containers in Hecht/Stanford & Mahoney/Pearson Dining Halls
  • Implement hydration tents at Sunlife Stadium for football tailgates
  • Implement SafeWalk with male & female walkers, vetted by background checks
  • Increase the number of open study spaces before and during finals i.e. Dooley
  • Tailor Hurry ‘Cane shuttle bus schedule to class schedule
  • Build Hurry ‘Cane shuttle time tickers powered by solar energy at shuttle stops
  • Light up Red Lot with blue lights
  • Implement a Fraternity Row Recycling Program

Empower U: Our platform addresses issues that affect everybody. They revolve around the idea that we have a social responsibility to improve our community and help others. Click here for a full list of initiatives. Some examples are:

  • Make UM carbon-neutral, ASAP 
  • Establish “Task Force to Address Mental Health”
  • Register all eligible students to vote
  • No classes on Voting Day
  • “Diversity” Cognate
  • Hire more black faculty
  • Re-open the Women’s Center
  • Rathskeller app.
  • 24/7 food option
  • Better-quality toilet paper
  • Put all wellness resources onto one webpage
  • Get (A+) weighted as a 4.3 GPA
  • Design a “Life Skills” course
  • Address sexual assault
  • Expand ‘Canes Care for Canes

If your platform was a smoothie, what are its ingredients?

True To U: Strawberry, pineapple, and passion

One Team One []_[]:  Greek yogurt as the base, whey protein powder to build muscles like our student government will grow, bananas because they’re delicious and on-the-go (just like our reusable take-out containers for the dining halls), and honey because its sweet like the UM experience should be for all students.

Empower U: 1 mango of justice, 2 peaches of accountability, a cup of empowerment, and a splash of coconut milk.

 

What will you change about UM?

True To U: We want to fix many of the small problems that add up to damage how proud we are of our university. We will improve the responsiveness of student government to the student body, and make sure it is reconnected to the rest of student life.

One Team One []_[]: We will change the lack of transparency between the student government and the people community its represents. Last year, only 30% of students took the 30 seconds necessary to vote. The sadder part about that fact is that this was a school record.  We pledge to connect with more students on our campus so that we can hear everyone’s voice and take action to represent their grievances and concerns.

Empower U: We hope to revolutionize students’ approach to campus engagement, through the development of cultural competence, empathy, and leadership skills.

I got 99 problems but _____ ain’t one.

True To U: Being stale

One Team One []_[]: Fresh ideas

Empower U: An elections code violation

When you’re President of the United States, what department will you create?

True To U: The Department of Common Sense.

One Team One []_[]: We will create the Department of Transparency. Just as our own student government is lacking in transparency and connection to our community, we think our national government is lacking in the same.

Empower U: We would create the Department of Human Initiative, which would fund public initiatives to improve tolerance and social acceptance and work with disenfranchised communities’ interest groups.

 

What do dogs dream about?

True To U: Definitely getting to eat leftovers.

 One Team One []_[]: Dogs dream of finally being treated fairly with respect and equality in the 21st century.

Empower U: Unconditional love.

Who is your (platform’s) celebrity crush?

True To U: Zac Efron all the way.

 One Team One []_[]: Malala Yousafzai and her pursuit of change and equality is one we aspire to embody.

Empower U: Bernie Sanders. I think the values that he is trying to wake up in people – that we are all a part of something interconnected and larger than ourselves – is similar to what we are hopping to accomplish in our campaign. There is the concept of synergy; when we work together we can achieve much more.

One last sentence to get voters inspired:

True To U: We are three people who truly want to leave our school a better place than when we arrived!

Here’s their website: http://truetoyoumiami.com/index.html 

One Team One []_[]: Student Government is an incredibly powerful tool to accomplish change, but One Team One []_[] believes that SG has been misguided for too long and is seeking to increase SG’s transparency and outreach with the university community while simultaneously developing needed improvements, like increasing SafeRide days and hours of operation, to serve the entire university community.

Empower U: Find out more here. 

 

There are some extremely useful initiatives being spoken of within these campaigns, so get out and let the University of Miami know what you stand for.

You can vote in the breezeway with the Student Government Elections Commission.

Voting Hours:
Tuesday, February 16 – 10AM to 8PM
Wednesday, February 16 – 10AM to 4:00 PM

 

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True To You Left: Ashley Pittaluga, Middle: Vikesh Patel, Right: Morgan Owens
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One Team One []_[] Left: Emma Savage, Middle: Jason Goldenberg, Right: Andrew Weinstock
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Empower U Left: Jacob Rudolph, Right: Austin Eng