ASUN Q and A art

For the first time in four years, this year’s Association of Students of the University of Nebraska election will be contested.

Two parties, Envision and Progress, are running for spots on the executive team and senate seats. There are 33 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students running with Envision, six with Progress, one write-in candidate and two running independently. While currently the president and internal vice president are voted upon in tandem, this year’s ballot will include a vote to make it so the external vice president is also included in the joint vote. ASUN attempted to pass the same change in last year’s election, but the vote did not pass.

Students can vote via MyRED starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, and the voting period will end at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11.

The Daily Nebraskan asked candidates for the senate seats about why students should elect them. 

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Positions available: 4

Candidates: 4

Not listed:  Sushant Timalsina, Serge Francis

Name: Mark Iradukunda

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Integrated science

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: Two

Reason for Running: “I have enjoyed my past positions in ASUN, and wanted to continue by doing something different and more impactful. I want to be a voice for everyone who thinks that they can’t participate in decisions that are made, especially international students.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “Me representing international students is valuable since it can improve inclusive excellence at the university. I have been showing a huge commitment to improve the experience of international students at the university and in ASUN in particular. That is because I’m developing a project to help them get connected with domestic students.”

Name: Damien Niyonshuti

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Sophomore

Major(s): Integrated Science

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: One

Reason for Running: “I was empowered by my prior experience being involved with ASUN this past year. I was fascinated seeing initiatives and accelerated programs come to fruition, with some of my input, as being a part of Freshmen Campus Leadership Associates (FCLA). So, this gives me a further and modest attempt to impact fellow students through other untapped avenues. I plan to create efforts on inclusive initiatives through implementing bonding pragmatic approaches to make our university a melting pot of global perspectives and diversity, a fact that would make everyone’s experience richer and more life-enhancing on campus.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I am an idiom of an outgoing and friendly personality. This gives me an edge to find better means to understand people's needs and ways of addressing them, which I think is a skill highly needed in this position.”

College of Architecture

Positions available: 1

Candidates: 1

Not listed: Nikita Mansinghani

College of Arts and Sciences

Positions available: 6

Candidates: 10

Name: Patrick Baker

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Political science and global studies

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: One

Reason for Running: “At the end of the day, my decision was based on the fact that I love UNL and want to work to make it a more inclusive, diverse and forward-looking institution. I believe that student government presents me with the ability to make substantial impacts on campus. The prospect of being involved in the fee allocation process, creating and strengthening new student services and interacting with university officials all enticed and excited me to take on this campaign.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “[Freshman Campus Leadership Associates]: Exposed me to student government and developed my leadership abilities. Legislative intern for Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh: Introduced me to legislative process, interaction with public officials and public policy. [Communications] director for a congressional campaign: Allowed for personal growth as a leader in the political and policy field.”

Name: Cameron Collier

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Political science

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: One

Reason for Running: “Having previous ASUN student government experience and having the chance to be in that atmosphere contributed to my decision. Overall though, the most influential component in my decision to run was having a chance to be able to allow students whose voices are not heard to be made aware. Too often do students' grievances not get addressed, and if I were to be elected, I would make sure that if any student made me aware of an issue with the university, I would, to the best of my ability, address that situation until the student is satisfied with the result.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “My previous ASUN experience, my ability to connect with other students and my drive for improving UNL as a campus for ALL students.”

Name: Zachary Hamilton

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Sophomore

Major(s): Biological sciences

Party: Progress

Year(s) in ASUN: None

Reason for Running: “So that I can assist making this university the best it can be for all students.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “Leadership experience and government experience.”

Name: Riley Hayes

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Mathematics

Party: Progress

Year(s) in ASUN: None

Reason for Running: “I want to make a difference.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I am employed at the Math Resource Center, and so I have worked and interacted with many UNL students, which has given me experience with listening and problem solving.”

Name: Batool Ibrahim

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): International business and global studies

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: None

Reason for Running: “[The] Envision party allowed me to grasp the idea of having a platform to speak about and solve issues that [are] affecting students in my community.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I hold several leadership positions currently on campus. [I am] president of the African Student Association, vice president of Association of Future Black Lawyers and [I] hold an executive position on the Black Student Union board.”

Name: Erin Kruger

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Senior

Major(s): English and political science

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: Two

Reason for Running: “Since joining ASUN, I have been very passionate about reforming certain aspects of our education at UNL, as a part of the Academic Committee. This entire school year, I have worked with Open Educational Resources and Inclusive Access initiatives in order to strive towards an affordable and quality education at UNL. I want to be able to continue this work and also have the opportunity to work on other projects, such as working with and reforming Title IX.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I have been a part of ASUN for about a year and a half, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! As a member of the Academic Committee, I have worked on several projects, and our team has seen positive results. I am also a very empathetic person and a leader who is accepting of constructive criticism and change. I enjoy working with others, and I always make an effort to listen to others with intent.”

Name: Alec Miller

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Sophomore

Major(s): Psychology

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: One

Reason for Running: “I have fallen in love with UNL and would love the opportunity to represent members of my college to bring about meaningful change on campus. Particularly, I had in mind to improve the transparency of representation in [the] senate by having the constituents know which individual senator of their college is representing them. This can make way for town hall events that each college can put on. I also am working on a project to add a crisis team of three counselors to [Counseling and Psychological Services]. Thus, I decided to run for senate because of my love for UNL and to continue my work and accomplish these goals.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “This year, I have attended a majority of the senate meetings on Wednesday evenings. I understand how it operates, its rules, its reach and its limits. I understand how much of a responsibility it is to represent 650 students in your college, and I am prepared to take on that challenge. I value cooperation and am able to put my head together with others in order to tackle problems facing our campus. I am an active listener, thus, I will be committed to making sure my constituents feel heard and understood.”

Name: Gage Petersen

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Political science

Party: Independent

Year(s) in ASUN: One

Reason for Running: “I've seen how hard it is for students to make a difference on campus, and more than that, I've seen how difficult it is for students to ensure that the differences they made while here outlast them after they graduate. Thus, I decided to run to make a long- lasting difference here on campus and to ensure that others can do the same.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I have had many years of experience with student government both here at the university and in high school that gives me an understanding of the student government process. I am no stranger to leadership having held many chair positions for my fraternity, and [I] currently am in office as my fraternity's president through the 2020 year. Thus, dealing not only with student government but also with the perils of leading an organization, I believe that I am qualified to represent my fellow arts and sciences students in the student senate.”

Name: Sarah Reyes

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Physics

Party: Progress

Year(s) in ASUN: None

Reason for Running: “To become involved in bringing important and much needed change to campus. I want to be able to listen to and represent those students who have felt and currently feel underrepresented on campus.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I have held another leadership position on campus for almost 2 years. I am involved in numerous RSOs around campus so I have a diverse experience of campus life.”

Name: Jaden Roe

Standing for 2020-21 Academic Year: Junior

Major(s): Microbiology

Party: Envision

Year(s) in ASUN: Two

Reason for Running: “I have multiple projects in ASUN that I want to continue to work on, including Green Bandana Project and dining pass donations.”

What Makes Them Qualified: “I have two years of experience in ASUN and have worked on several projects during my time in the organization. In addition, my involvement as [Association of Big Ten Students] Liaison, in FCLA and as a [Nebraska Human Resources Institute] senior counselor has helped me develop and broaden my leadership skills.”

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