Meet the candidates running for KU student body president, vice president
The annual student elections at the University of Kansas are Wednesday and Thursday. In addition to a referendum for a $50 per semester fee to fund a $45 million renovation of the Kansas Union, the ballot features no fewer than four contenders for KU’s student commander in chief. They’ve all been actively campaigning, too.
That’s made for an unusually lively campaign season. (By comparison, last year there were just two coalitions running, and the current president and vice president won with more than 90 percent of the vote.)
Here’s the list of candidates on the ballot for 2016-17 student body president and vice president, from the Student Senate Elections Commission. Provided by each coalition, via email, is more information about their candidates, what sets them apart and their top priorities if elected.
To see candidates in person, debates hosted by the Elections Commission are planned from 6 to 8:30 p.m. tonight (Friday) at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. The presidential debate is first and scheduled to last an hour. The referendum debate will follow, then the vice presidential debate.
President: Tomas Green, a senior from Seattle, majoring in chemical engineering.
Vice president: Zoya Khan, a sophomore from Overland Park, majoring in political science and global and international studies.
Green says: “Zoya and I are proud to be leading a diverse group of students this election and to advocate for feasible and positive changes on this campus. We believe in the strength of diversity and the power of integrity, and that Student Senate can make a real difference in the lives of Jayhawks.”
“Our top priorities will be making college more affordable, making it easier to succeed as a student, and creating a better sense of belonging at the university. Our first policy objectives will be creating a universal scholarship application, establishing a graduate student orientation, creating a student success center, and working with the City of Lawrence to create a bike share.”
Coalition website: kunited2017.com
President: Mady Womack, a junior from Overland Park, majoring in economics.
Vice president: Mattie Carter, a junior from Kansas City, Mo., majoring in journalism and political science.
Womack says: “Mattie and I have a unique combination of senatorial experience and leadership experience within Student Senate that provides us a very wide perspective. We both know what it is like to fight for your constituents and to act as a voting member in the chambers, but at the same time we’ve served in capacities that have allowed us to have conversations with legislators, administrators and other campus leaders.”
“Our top priority once elected will be to finish the conversations we have already started with administrators, funding partners, and private parties regarding our platforms to ensure that they are adopted on a university-wide level. This means we will continue working with SAPEC (KU Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center) and IOA (KU Office of Institutional Opportunity and Action) to initiate Project Callisto, a sexual assault reporting technology that has the ability to empower victims and cut down on this terrible crime on campus. It means we will build the foundation for the Student Senate internship program to allow KU’s next class of freshmen to become involved with Senate the semester they arrive on campus. It means we will finalize our Uber partnership, launch our Entrepreneurial Showcase, and lay the groundwork for the International Student Writing Center.”
Coalition website: facebook.com/OneKU2017
President: Chance Maginness, a junior from Westmoreland, majoring in political science.
Vice president: Logan Miller, a junior from Overland Park, majoring in public administration.
Maginness says: “The thing that’s so special about Onward is how committed we are to bringing the pockets of campus together. Our coalition has everyone from Greek students to scholarship halls students, far-right conservatives to die-hard Democrats, and all levels of involved and uninvolved students. We built a platform that is directed towards things that all students can benefit from, like creating a music festival, making KU a wet campus, and fixing parking. We really wanted to make KU, and Student Senate, a place for everyone.”
“Our first priority once we’re elected is building an administration that pulls from the other coalitions. We have a lot of good talent running, and there’s no reason it should be wasted. Then we’re going to focus on getting to work on our platforms, but also spend a lot of time rebuilding our bridges with campus partners that have fallen by the wayside. By the time school starts next fall, we hope to have done a lot of the groundwork so that we can spend our time focusing on getting our senators to work on things they’re passionate about.”
Coalition website: facebook.com/onwardku
President: Chancellor Adams, a junior from Kansas City and Kansas City, Mo., majoring in political science and African-American studies.
Vice president: Andrew Davis, a junior from Chicago, majoring in political science and religious studies.
Adams says: “Too often Student Senate wants to solve everyone’s problems instead of putting students in a position where they can make the change they deem necessary. What makes TrueKU different from all the other coalitions is that our goal is not to speak for students but empower them so they can advocate for themselves.”
“Because we are TrueKU, we decided to put ‘True’ in front of every platform to stay consistent with the theme of our campaign. TrueAccessibility — we would add a 43 bus to ensure each student has better accessibility to KU transit. TrueSpeech — We want to retain funding of the University Daily Kansan. TrueRetention — We want to start a multicultural union fest to promote community for students with marginalized identities on campus. We also want to promote inclusion for those who do not hold those identities to still join these student organizations.”
Coalition website: facebook.com/TrueKu2017
• I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.