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The Student's take on ASG presidential candidates

The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.

Yesterday on the Hub, the polls opened up, giving the student body the chance to vote in the primary elections for the ASG president. Before the polls close Tuesday night, it's worth taking a closer look at some of the more competitive candidates.

The Student's editorial board and senior staff writers had the chance to sit down with most of the tickets. (Hannah McCarthy and Thatcher Creber did not respond to our interview request, and therefore are not included here as we cannot accurately present our opinion on their campaign.)

First is the Ryaan Ibtisam-Paul McCreary ticket. In our interview with the two, Ibtisam declared on the record that he has experience dealing with OESCR because of a pending charge. Additionally, he discussed his outsider status with ASG and the fluctuating nature of his platform, which is focused on what students are most interested in at any given time, as strengths.

However, these traits border on the negative side, with a lack of knowledge about ASG and an inconsistent platform as potential problems. The Ibtisam-McCreary ticket is well-intentioned, but unreliable at best.

The Callaghan-Elfreich pairing certainly displayed its determination and understanding of current issues at Miami, namely that of Miami's understaffed Student Counseling Services (SCS). Callaghan, personally affected by her own experience with SCS, wrote an open letter to Crawford last May and has encouraged open discussions about mental health issues. The two also suggested a keen idea to have campus maps and signs and other materials translated into Chinese for the often-overlooked yet significant Chinese international student demographic at Miami.

While this ticket's fervor is evident and refreshing, Callaghan and Elfreich's main goal of developing Oxford by virtue of, among other things, another Princess theater replacement is a daunting and unrealistic task (especially within one year of presidency). If this ticket advances, The Student will be looking to Callaghan and Elfreich for more concrete plans to meet their goals.

Nick Froehlich and Bradley Davis are the most vivacious, passionate duo of the candidates. Froehlich shows promise in his ability to galvanize the ASG senate and spark activity in an otherwise sedentary group. Davis, for his part, has been collecting signatures (over 700 at this point) for changes in Miami's dining services in the past few weeks and intends to put an end to a feedback cycle of student apathy. This past voting season, Froehlich was responsible for registering a whopping 2,300 voters.

Competition comes for Froehlich and Davis in the form of Austin Worrell and Haley Olvera, two ASG veterans poised to make a difference. Worrell has fostered relationships with student government for three years now and also heads the Campus Culture Committee. Worrell said he also plans to require weekly cabinet reports in attempt to improve ASG's transparency.

An interesting note is the approach of these slates to their presidential salaries. While Worrell treats his ASG work as his sole job and said he will be using the salary to pay for tuition and costs of living, Froehlich and Davis have pledged to donate their combined $11,000 in salaries to Student Counseling Services.

As generous as the two may be, though, it's worth noting that Froehlich and Davis' quasi naivete and general inexperience stems from their sophomore status, as neither have lived off-campus. However, as they noted, their youth has also made them more in-tune to on-campus issues.

Though Worrell suggested that, if elected, he would require cabinet members to give regular reports to ASG's senate, Worrel himself has rarely addressed the senate at this year's meetings. He and his running mate were charged with a campaign violation on Monday, the day the polls opened, for inappropriate use of social media in reference to one or more candidates, but this decision was reversed by Elections Committee the same day. McCarthy and Creber were also charged with a violation for distributing campaign materials.

The Student recognizes that all of the candidates have ideas worth considering and even implementing. But the most important aspects to consider, we believe, are transparency, integrity and the ability to not only stick to a plan, but to follow through on promises. It's up to the voter to decide whether any candidate has shown they possessed all of those qualities.

Voting ends today at 7 p.m. -- don't forget to make sure your voice is heard!