The campaign for Miami University's Student Body President (SBP) and Vice President for the 2022-2023 school year went live on Friday, Feb. 25, and three candidate pairs were announced.
On March 15, students will vote to be represented by Amitoj Kaur and Khenadi Grubb; Danielle Stein and Adam Weiss; or Austin Tyree and Dan Pollock.
Amitoj Kaur (SBP) and Khenadi Grubb (VP)
Kaur, a political science and emerging technology for business and design double major, and Grubb, a political science major, met before their first semester in August 2019.
Both participated in an early move-in program called Empowering Leadership at Miami (ELAM).
Kaur approached Grubb on the last day of the program and said the two should become friends.
“I still remember it vividly,” Grubb said. “We were standing on the corner where Farmer School of Business is, getting ready to cross the street, and we hadn’t talked the whole time. [She said we should be friends], and I was like, ‘I was thinking the same thing.’”
Kaur and Grubb remained close despite the obstacles thrown their way.
Grubb, who is enlisted in the Air Force National Guard, was deployed her sophomore year to complete basic and technical training. That, plus the COVID-19 pandemic, forced their friendship to become long distance.
“[We] really have gone through the wringer and back with one another, but it all started here at Miami,” Kaur said.
Grubb said that she and Kaur had joked about running for SBP and VP leading up to this year, but she didn’t think they would actually do it. When the time came to decide to run, Grubb knew she was all in.
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“I would not be doing this if it wasn’t for Amitoj,” Grubb said. “I would want to do something like this, but Amitoj gives me the confidence that I need to step into this role, which is why I know that she will lead the student body so well.”
Kaur and Grubb’s platform is based on three pillars: student life; student health and wellness; and enhancing the multicultural experience.
Under student life, their initiative is to push for better student employee wages. This idea came from a comparison between pay rates on campus versus pay rates at other universities and Uptown.
While serving on the Armstrong Student Center (ASC) Board and the Board of Trustees (BoT), Kaur advocated for free menstrual hygiene products across campus. For Kaur and Grubb’s student health and wellness pillar, the pair will push to get the products into every building on campus while finding sustainable vendors to reduce waste when these products are disposed of.
To enhance the multicultural experience, Kaur and Grubb propose a new group called the Nellie Craig Scholars.
Currently, in order to receive tier two funding, a student organization has to meet with a SEAL Ambassador once a week. Similar to meeting with the SEAL Ambassadors, student organizations would meet with a Nellie Craig Scholar once a week to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, especially within Greek life.
Grubb said students should vote for them because pushing for their goals won’t stop if they aren’t elected.
“We want to better the Miami experience,” Grubb said. “A lot of it boils down to our freshman year and how we met and this friendship that Miami has given us. We want to return the favor to Miami because they have given us so much and just creating that experience for everyone that comes through Miami.”
Danielle Stein (SBP) and Adam Weiss (VP)
Stein, a strategic communication major, and Weiss, a political science major, met during their first year while serving on Associated Student Government (ASG). They were both On-Campus Senators, and they developed a good rapport with the other first-year senators.
“We all bonded, and Adam and I became really close, and we’ve stayed friends since then,” Stein said.
Stein said she hadn’t thought about running for SBP until Weiss brought up the idea.
“It wasn’t something that I’d necessarily really thought of,” Stein said. “Once he brought it up, I [thought] ‘I think I could do that. I think I’m capable of doing great things for this campus.’”
Stein and Weiss’s campaign is based on three pillars: quality of life; diversity, equity and inclusion; and infrastructure and sustainability.
To improve the quality of life for students, Stein and Weiss proposed programs for break-in and safety awareness, as well as additional resources for addiction; mental health; and sexual and interpersonal violence (SIV).
Weiss said the cost of parking tickets on campus is an issue. He said they want to urge the administration to lower the price and allocate the money elsewhere.
“We want to pressure [the university] to reallocate some resources and things like more awareness for mental health resources, more awareness for addiction resources,” Weiss said. “Because I don’t know if those are necessarily talked about enough throughout the student body.”
Under infrastructure and sustainability, they want to push for being more conscious of what items are used on campus and what is being recycled.
Stein said students should vote for them because they are not running for themselves – they are doing it to represent the students.
“There’s been times [in ASG] when I personally haven’t agreed with legislation, or I have agreed with legislation but I knew not everyone would,” Stein said. “I decided to not vote as myself but as an elected senator and vote on behalf of my constituents. That’s something I want to carry out if I’m elected. I’m not here for myself. I’m being elected to serve my constituents.”
Weiss said he and Stein ultimately want to help people and have their best interests at heart.
“Whether or not it’d be in a position of leadership or just with our friends, I think we’ve shown that we care about people,” Weiss said.
Additional information on Stein and Weiss’s campaign can be found on their Instagram.
Austin Tyree (SBP) and Dan Pollock (VP)
Tyree and Pollock, both political science majors, met this year while planning a panel for exonerees with the Ohio Innocence Project through ASG.
“He amazed me in terms of his ability to just lead a group of people and his desire to advocate for others,” Tyree said. “We haven’t known each other for an extremely long time, but I certainly have seen him demonstrate excellent leadership qualities.”
Tyree and Pollock’s three pillars of their platform are equity, empowerment and renewal.
Under equity, their initiative is to make sure all students have access to the resources they need. One idea for this is to work with city officials and push for more affordable off-campus housing. Similar to the Tuition Promise, a cap would be put on how much rent can cost for a student based on the year they begin school at Miami.
For empowerment, Tyree and Pollock vow to advocate for students and organizations and make sure their voices are heard. They will encourage the university to close on voting days to ensure students’ voices are heard in local elections.
Under renewal, the pair emphasizes Love and Honor and respecting everyone at Miami. Pollock said making sure student leaders work with the student body is important to make change happen.
“Without those relationships between us and the people that we’re aiming to help, [there will be no] change if people aren’t engaged or don’t think that anyone will listen to them,” Pollock said.
Tyree said all of their pillars are tied to diversity, equity and inclusion and that it will be a main focus of their administration.
“We’re a diverse place,” Tyree said. “We have to be able to celebrate that, it has to be tied into whatever we do. Let’s work together collaboratively and also [diversify] university leadership. I think that representation is so powerful for the student body.”
Tyree said students should vote for them because he understands some of the ways students feel.
“All the candidates are great, but it’s just a matter that I think I bring a different perspective,” Tyree said. “As a person of color on this campus, I’m uniquely aware of some of the feelings that some marginalized communities have, in terms of not necessarily showing that this is an accommodating place for them. So I understand some of the struggles.”
On Thursday, March 10, ASG will hold a debate between the candidates at 7 p.m. in the Shriver Center’s Heritage Room. Voting will take place on The Hub from March 15 at 7 a.m. to March 16 at 7 p.m.