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ASG candidates prepare for presidential election

By Kathleen Clyburn
On April 3, 2014

The April 9 primary Student Body President Election Day is fast approaching and the candidates are hard at work campaigning their platforms to the student body.

Since there are three slates running this year, there will be a primary election April 9-10 before the general election April 16-17. If one of these slates earns 50 percent of the votes, the slate will be declared the winner and no general election will take place. Otherwise, the top two slates will move on to the general election.

The three slates running for the positions of student body president and vice president are juniors Kyle Hees and Colleen Ryan, seniors Cole Tyman and Natalie Bata, and junior Luke Kohan and senior Mike Barth.

Open campaigning began March 31 and the slates have been reaching out to the student body by visiting student organizations, Greek life and athletic teams, as well as using social media and sending out emails on list serves to students.

Hees and Ryan are both Associated Student Government (ASG) members. Hees is currently Vice President of Student Organizations and Ryan is a senator.

"We want to make the student body more transparent and more collaborative," Hees said. "By embodying these two ideals, students will have access to more experiences and opportunities on campus. The more opportunities that are presented to the student body, the more successful students will be at Miami as well as in their future endeavors."

Ryan said they plan on making this happen by improving upon the way ASG works and the way student voices are carried to ASG.

Encouraging senators of ASG to reach out to their constituents and report any issues are methods of improving how ASG collaborates with the student body, Hees said.

"We have both had such great experiences and want to make even more experiences for students now and students to come," Hees said.

Seniors Tyman and Bata are also members of ASG; Tyman is Secretary of On-Campus Affairs and Bata is a senator.

"We hope to make ASG the representative body it is designed to be," Tyman said.

According to Tyman, he and Bata have created their platform through conversations with students from across campus about what they would like to see on campus.

Their platform points include creating small recreation facilities in every quad of residence halls, creating a system of student peer advising for underclassmen and trying to implement a discounted meal plan option for off-campus students.

"We will create a reporting structure to ensure that every cabinet member is representing their constituents to the best of their ability," Tyman said. "We will also work to empower student senators to write more legislation that comes directly from their constituents."

Tyman and Bata said they want to focus on communication between the student body and ASG, reporting any issues and solutions to the administration.

"We will better the student body by making sure their voice is heard," Tyman said. "It sounds cliché, but by having candid and honest conversations with students we will get to the root of the problems that impact them on a daily basis, and ensure administrators are aware these must be fixed in order to better serve students."

Kohan and Barth want to make feasible and realistic changes to help better the student body.

"We have had the opportunity to experience many of the great traditions that Miami has provided for its students and we would like to take those traditions to the next level," Kohan said.

Kohan and Barth said they plan on taking Miami's traditions to the next level by working with the faculty and staff to increase the availability of classes during registration, taking advantage of the new tailgating policy by incorporating concerts and philanthropy events and improving the food services by including a late night delivery food service from Armstrong.

Prior to the open campaigning, Kohan said they tried to take full advantage of the soft campaigning, a time when no campaigning through e-mail or social media can be done, but students organizations can be visited.

"The soft campaigning process not only provided us with the opportunity to meet and connect with multiple demographics of Miami's population, but it was also a learning experience in terms of respecting, furthermore accepting, the views and opinions that our campus yearns to be heard," Kohan said.

The three slates will continue their open campaigning on and around campus up until the first Election Day, April 9. Students can vote in the primary election until 7 p.m. April 10, and in the general election until 7 p.m. April 17 online through Miami's homepage.

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