Eight senatorial candidates run for seven seats

The student government will soon be holding elections for seven senatorial seats for the upcoming semester. Online polls will open up on Nov. 23 and close a week later on Nov. 30, while physical polls will be running on the Nov. 29-30. With eight candidates running, we asked each one to tell us what they think some of the more important issues currently facing the student body are.

Brooke Bolduc
Class Standing: Sophomore
Major: Biology
“As a senator I really want to work with UAF’s Drug and Alcohol Advisory Committee. I’m currently on the committee for that and I’m really excited to just see what we can do over the tobacco policy and just basic policies like that on campus.”

Hannah James
Class Standing: Sophomore
Major: Music Performance / Physics
“I’m a student athlete here at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks representing women’s swimming, and I think two important issues can be focused on this semester and throughout the year and going forward for the rest of time for this university. One thing is that we recently received the letter confirming the ending of our NCAA probation, ended on November fifth, we did have twenty-three major infractions case, that involved the university, and dozens of cases were combined into this infraction and we complied completely with all of their requests including a $35,000 fine, post-season bans for all sports, and a three year ban on scholarship production. This ban just ended on November fifth, so we’re looking forward to the complete rehabilitation of the NCAA athletics at this school.

And moving forward, we also have a new Title IX committee for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Department of Athletics, and this committee is an effort to reach and maintain Title IX compliance and a culture of gender equity for not only athletics but for the university as a whole. And the last thing that I think is important is the voluntary resolution agreement that we’ve entered into with the United States Department of Education office of Civil Rights, and this is the ‘culmination of OCR’s three year compliance review with the university’s handling of sexual harassment and sexual assault cases on our campuses.’ These are the issues that I am looking to work on and redeem as a student athlete here and as a senator for ASUAF.”

Audrey Kirby
Biological Sciences
Audrey Kirby was unavailable for comment.

Gabriel Madore
Class Standing: Senior
Major: Natural Resource Management
“Since I am a current appointed senator, I’m working towards improving the meal plans getting student outreach so that the administration will see the point of view from us students’ perspective. I’m working towards making it a lot easier for students to communicate with us we just started up the Food for Thought committee again, where we are going to have three student representatives a dining services representative, and a Res Life representative in order to facilitate the needs of the students in the dorms and for food and meal plans.”

Samuel Mitchell
Class Standing: Sophomore
Major: Civil Engineering
“Right now the biggest issue I think the school’s facing is the VA, and the VA being removed from campus. It happened over short notice, it was not reviewed properly before they removed it from campus, and so it’s a lot of the students are unsure and not trusting the administration to do the investigation promptly and accurately.

So there’s just a lot of distrust that’s causing among the students, and so it’s a really good place for us as a student government to be there and represent the students in this, because it is sort of ambiguous what’s going on and where it’s gonna end up because it’s a generally big issue. I’ve talked to veterans who are considering leaving campus and know of some that have left already because of this issue and they don’t have the support that they should have. The military community is such a big part of Fairbanks that it’s not something that should be taken lightly at all.”

Sam Nicholes
Class Standing: Junior

Major: Rural Development
“Cutting down costs as much as possible for students. I’m not gonna make any big claims about a student government being all powerful, but I’m just interested in making things work a little bit smoother and treating it more like a job than an ad-hoc political office or something closer to an actual congress.”

Diana Ramstad
Class Standing: Senior
Major: Elementary Education
“What I want to look into is issues that students feel more included from our non-traditional students because I am a non-traditional senator, I am 48 years old or eight years young if you want to say it that way and I’ve lived different places and what I want to see at University of Alaska Fairbanks is that people feel more included I’d also like to make sure that our trans students, or nonbinary students and any students that don’t identify as anything in particular feel included as well.

This is very important to me, I also want to encourage students to get more involved and come to the ASUAF office and find out what we do, sit in on our meetings that are open, and see what we do, and ask questions, and hold senators accountable for everything we do. See the list of committees and what senators are on the committees and ask them what they’re doing on that committee and ask them what it is they’re actually doing.

The veterans is also a very important issue, and as a non-traditional student it’s an issue I feel very passionate about. Veterans should be helping other veterans, because only veterans can truly understand exactly what other veterans are going through, and that’s an important issue. I do not believe it helps a veteran to go to the veteran’s office and meet a staff member who is not part of the VA, and who is not a veteran. How is that truly meeting a veteran’s needs? It’s also the same thing if someone say, is trans or nonbinary, if they come to a University where there’s no one to help them if they don’t feel safe, if they walk through and they get teased or made fun of because they have a different way of looking at things or they identify differently.”

Hannah Smith
Class Standing: Freshman
Major: Electrical Engineering
“I think one of the bigger issues that we have is not exactly one issue in specific, it’s more that not all students are aware that we exist. And a lot of the students that know we’re here don’t know what we can do for them. So we’ve got students out there who are having issues and they don’t know that they can come to us to seek some help. Really one of my biggest goals is to let students know that we’re here and let them know what we can do for them.

That way in the future when they’re having issues they know ‘Oh, I can go to my student government, they might be able to help me.’ and they won’t have to sit and suffer with their issues. I do find that the VA issue is really important, I think that there are some other very specific issues that I am looking into right now, but really ultimately letting students know that we’re here, we can help them, so they don’t have to suffer.”

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