Grace Gorenflo: Hello and welcome to The Daily Nebraskan’s weekly news podcast. Here we take you through our top three stories of the week in case you missed them. My name is Grace Gorenflo, assistant news editor, and this is Your Week on Campus.
First reporter Zach Wendling will tell us about the Progress party’s platform going into Association of the Students of the University of Nebraska elections. Hi, Zach.
Zach Wendling: So, Progress officially launched its campaign to run for ASUN office on Wednesday, and the student election group is run by sophomore political science major William Beck for president and freshman criminology and criminal justice major Oscar Canizales for internal vice president. Neither have previous ASUN experience, but both are representatives in the Residence Hall Association, of which Canizales is the speaker of the senate for RHA.
Beck is the current president of UNL’s chapter of Turning Point USA, an American conservative nonprofit and registered student organization. While the organization has had a history of encouraging TPUSA affiliates to be involved in student government, he said the campaign is not connected, and Progress has had no connection with the national organization.
The party is running on some big goals, including increasing support and the promotion of the Residence Hall Association, the National Residence Hall Honorary and ASUN, so students know the specific benefits of each organization.
One of the pillars of the platform includes modifying the campus-wide tobacco ban to allow vaping and chewing tobacco, to show that students are adults and should be allowed to make their own decisions.
Similarly, Beck and Canizales would advocate for allowing the sale and consumption of alcohol on campus for persons older than 21. Beck said this change is for safety — by reducing the number of students who may leave campus and be under the influence as they are returning to campus — and revenue through sales.
The party members are also committed to lowering student fees, increasing access to mental health services, supporting sustainability in Dining Services and expanding free speech zones on campus so both members of UNL and the Lincoln community can enjoy their First Amendment rights.
Additionally, Beck and Canizales said they support ASUN election reform and transparency. If elected, they also want to promote ASUN meetings more in the future and are thinking of setting up a Facebook Live or podcast to recap each meeting so students can be more informed.
Even though they don’t have previous ASUN experience, Beck and Canizales said they are looking forward to meeting with students, hearing their concerns and learning what they can do to make UNL better. One thing is clear, Grace, this will certainly be an interesting election.
Gorenflo: Yes it will. As always, thank you Zach.
Wendling: Thank you, Grace.
Gorenflo: Next, we’ll discuss ASUN reporter Becca Holladay’s story about competing student election group Evision.
Envision has three leaders right now, the first being presidential candidate Roni Miller, a junior Spanish and political science double major. Drew Harrahill, a junior biochemistry major, is running for internal vice president, and Saisha Adhikari, a junior biology and psychology double major, is running for external vice president. There are 33 other students who are also running with Envision for various positions within ASUN.
The campaign is based on five platform goals that Envision has for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. And those are improving mental health resources, creating dependable infrastructure, supporting inclusive excellence, highlighted transparency and sincere sustainability.
One of the solutions they have for one of their goals is that, if they are elected, they would like to explore options to make the Campus Recreation facilities and programs more inclusive to all gender identities. Miller said they’ve had some complaints from constituents, especially from female and nonbinary students, regarding a variety of Campus Recreation-related areas.
Gorenflo: To close out today’s podcast, reporter Jolie Peal has the scoop on the reopening of Husker Hall to house recovering students. Jolie?
Jolie Peal: After renovations, the Husker Hall is going to reopen in Fall 2020. And Big Red Resilience [and Well-being] is partnering with University Housing to make it housing for the Collegiate Recovery Community. So, it’s going to be able to house 41 students, and they’re each going to have their own rooms. And there will be a resident assistant and a graduate assistant also living there with them, and they will have a little extra training to help them support their residents a little better.
And Timothy Anderson, he’s a first-year law student here at UNL, he’s helped with the recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction, and he’s helped a little bit with this hall and planning it.
And he said, “They can’t simply just continue living the way they were living before and just cut out drugs and alcohol. They need to completely change their social scene, and they need to change all kinds of things about themselves, their identity even.”
And that just goes to show that this is going to be a really good community for them, and they’re going to be able to go home and get that support that they need from their peers and just [be] able to even see how successful everyone else is being to continue their own journey.
Gorenflo: Awesome. Sounds like a great program. Thank you, Jolie.
Peal: Thanks, Grace.
Gorenflo: Alright, thank you everyone for tuning in to this week’s podcast. Be sure to check out dailynebraskan.com for more on these stories and even more UNL news. Tune in next time and enjoy Your Week on Campus.
News reporter Becca Holladay contributed to this podcast.