It’s election season! We have two tickets running: the Power of U vs. One of U. Both have hopes of being chosen to represent the student body during the 2013-2014 school year. In order to help you make an informed decision, we’ve broken down the differences in campaign platforms so you can vote for the ticket that most closely shares your ideals.
Meet the Candidates
Power of U
On the Power of U ticket is Bhumi Patel (President), Justin Borroto (Vice President), and Robert Chiste (Treasurer). All three candidates are juniors. Bhumi is majoring in exercise physiology with a minor in business administration, Justin is majoring in marketing and Robert is an accounting major.
All three have held previous Student Government positions. Patel has served as the executive at large external chair and dining advisory co-chair. Borroto has served as the chair of the Student Government information and technology advisory board. Christe is currently the chair of Category 5.
They hold positions outside of Student Government as well. Patel has been a member of the Homecoming Executive Committee and the Advisory Board for P100. She has also served as an Orientation Fellow. Borroto is the current FEC president, a member of Multicultural Student Affairs’ Unity Roundtable and has served as Assistant P.R. Manager of Distraction Magazine. Chiste is a member of the Hyperion Council and a TA at the School of Business Administration
When asked why they were running, their responses overlapped. All three of these candidates are very passionate about this school and they feel that the best way to give back to the student body is to be able to represent them as president, vice president and treasurer. They are also running out of love for this University and want to make a lasing difference.
One of U
The One of U ticket also has three juniors as their candidates: Philip Fitzpatrick (President), Blake Yagman (Vice President) and Sophie Sitterson (Treasurer). Fitzpatrick is majoring in Political Science with minors in Sports Administration and Business Law, Yagman is majoring in History and Political Science and Sitterson is majoring in Political Science.
Both Yagman and Sitterson have both been involved in student government throughout their time here at UM. Yagman has served as both sophomore and junior senator as well as chairman of the policy and finance committee. Sitterson has served as a sophomore and junior senator and although Fitzpatrick has not served on student government, he has been heavily involved on campus in other ways.
Fitzpatrick is currently the Vice President of both the Honors Student Association and the Ethics Society, has raised over $20,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network as philanthropy chair for his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and has one countless debates for the University at the Regional Ethics Bowl Tournaments. Yagman and Sitterson are also involved on campus outside of student government. Yagman is a member of Hillel and Chabad and has interned for Coach Randy Shannon. Sitterson is the vice-president of administration of the Panhellenic Council, merchandise Chair of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, and a member of the Greek Week Executive Board.
When asked why he was running, Fitzpatrick disclosed that getting involved in student government after not having been involved previously proved difficult. When he inquired about getting involved in student government last year, he was told he needed to be elected or nominated in order to do so. It also made him realize that the majority of the student body was not involved in student government; only roughly 3 percent of students were. He sees this as something that needs to change and hopes to change should he be elected. Vice Presidential candidate Yagman is running because he feels as though our school is at a crucial crossroads and that we (the students) are faced with a choice: either continue improving and moving forward or hand over SG to those with the same stagnant ideas. He feels as though his team has the ability to make sure that everyone has a part and is actually heard.
Power of U
One academic initiative on the Power of U ticket is Internships Abroad. This program would work with the study abroad office and allow students to have quality internship experiences in other countries. Students would be able to go during the summer or during the academic semester and earn college credit upon their return.
The Power of U ticket is also proposing a co-op program which would allow students to graduate in five years with one year of work experience in addition to their bachelor’s degree. This is modeled off of similar programs at Drexel and Northeastern universities and would allow future graduating students an advantage over others competing for employment and graduate school admission.
Greek Street– This would offer students who participate in Greek life a convenient way to pick up paraphernalia due to the closure of the nearby Greek supply store. Though this space, located in the bookstore, wouldn’t have everything, it would supply students some basics while also offering those organizations exposure to both the student body and visitors.
The power of U ticket hopes to introduce improved meal plan options for those who are sophomores and above. This would mean offering block meal plans to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who live on campus, regardless of where they live. As of right now, block meal plans are only available to commuters and those who live in the UV.
Power of U also wants to revamp Student Government by turning what is currently the Cabinet into a Freshman Leadership Council which will help Freshman learn about Student Government and how to get involved. The council will also create programs especially for freshmen which will unite both those living on campus as well as commuter students. They also want to increase the transparency of Student Government so that the student body is always aware of what’s going on.
This ticket plans to implement Green Initiatives as well, beginning with a sustainable dance floor. Simply put, a sustainable dance floor is a removable dance floor that generates energy as you walk or dance on it and can be used to power other equipment, conserving energy as a whole for large scale events. They have also proposed an eco-bowl- a competition between the residential colleges in order to see which could conserve the most energy during a given period of time.
Power of U also plans to offer metro rail passes to those UM students going to the Medical Campus. The university currently covers the travel costs of the RSMAS school in Key Biscayne by providing them with a shuttle. Students traveling to the medical campus for clinical rotations, internships and other school-related reasons currently pay out of pocket.
Some of their other platforms include bringing the All Canes Radio program to the new Rat, a t-shirt exchange program that would allow those who came from other universities to exchange their old shirts for UM ones, haircut options on campus, increased solar power and the expansion of the C store.
One of U
The One of U ticket plans to create a brand new event on campus: Alumnifest. The goal is to invite all of our most famous and successful alumni to return to campus next year for the opening of the new student activity center. Throughout the course of a week, these alumni would give “Ted-style talks each evening. At the closing of the week, there would be an internship fair where the alumni could be connected to the student body.
The One of U ticket also wishes to implement improved safety measures on campus. Their goal is to reevaluate the entire camus’s current safety measures and to implement a better system of lit walkways so there are less robberies at night. Purchasing tracking systems for people running or excercising on campus is also on their agenda, as these could prove useful should there be any injuries or problems. They also plan on introducing a one-credit self-defense course to the University of Miami, to replace the UMX course.
Aside from increasing the safety of campus, One of U plans to increase funding for all philanthropic causes, including but not limited to the Greek community. This would offset some of the fundraising costs they face while raising money through their philanthropic events. They feel that it is a duty of student government to assist and that they can and should do a better job.
Other initiatives include the expansion of the safe ride program, a Student Government sponsored 24-hour study area, an anonymous mentorship program and a better way to connect freshman to upperclassmen in their major or field of interest. They also plan to implement a semester RA seminar for students to voice their various concerns, improve the Stanford Tower lobby, enhance the Pan-Hellenic building by providing better bathrooms and a printer and return to the old sports ticketing system.
One of U would also like to see large concerts on campus, especially during Ultra weekend, to provide students other alternatives for their enjoyment.
Now that you know who they are and what they stand for, it’s your turn to take action and make a decision. Voting will take place from February 18th– February 20th in the breezeway. Whether it is the One of U ticket or Power of U, the choice is yours!
words_taylor duckett. photos_monica herndon.