It’s that time of year again. No, not finals (though that is drawing closer), but the Associated Students of Portland State University officer elections. Voting will take place starting May 7 and will close May 21.
Tiffany Dollar (left)
Working alongside Marlon Holmes, Dollar will focus on fighting rising tuition costs, lobbying for more funding for PSU, attempting to make textbooks more affordable, countering sexual assaults on campus, as well as extending computer lab hours and services of the ASPSU Student Food Pantry and library. If elected, she will also focus on decreasing spending and increasing environmental friendliness from ASPSU and return the saved money to students in the form of a scholarship.
Dollar believes that she is the best presidential candidate because of her experience with organizing events and inspiring students of PSU. “We believe students should be involved in the decisions that affect us,” she said. “Rather than simply speaking for students, we want to give students the tools to advocate for themselves.”
Holmes’ main focus is on issues that affect PSU’s student body, like rising tuition costs, promoting and raising awareness of student centers and campus services, building a bigger student support base of PSU athletics, and creating more access to technology in the form of 24-hour computer lab access.
“I believe I am the best candidate because my interaction with the general study body over the past three years at Portland State University has given me insight into what are the needs and concerns of students at the largest and most diverse institution in the state of Oregon,” Holmes said. He added that he and Dollar together “will use our student governance experience and knowledge as first-generation, non-traditional commuter students to lobby administrators and local, city and state officials as informed student advocates.”Array
Victor Mena (right)
Criminal justice junior
Mena’s main focus for his campaign will be building a community and giving student groups, resource centers, athletics and students a bigger voice on campus. Other focuses will include continuing his fight for affordable tuition, creating better access to higher education and switching student cards from Higher One to a bank. His campaign also mentions public safety concerns and eliminating the Center for Student Health and Counseling fee.
“I am very confident that I am the best candidate for ASPSU president,” Mena said. “I am aware that despite the fact that there are certain issues I might not personally face or agree with, I will have the open-mindedness to look at every issue in different views…My passion for service is to everyone, for this reason I do my best to be approachable, respectful and open to all ideas. The motto I always follow is ‘fidelity, bravery and integrity’—and I mean it.”
Business management and human resources junior
Syeda will take a “Portland State-centric” approach on her campaign by looking into expanding student parent services, creating accessible library and computer lab hours, as well as getting more student involvement in the allocation of the Student Health fee.
“I bring a lot of cultural perspective from my background as I have lived in the U.S. as well as the United Arab Emirates,” Syeda said. “During my time at ASPSU, I’ve gained experience in advocacy, which has allowed me truly dedicate time to my passion…As a VP, one must focus on functions, organization and communication skills and at the same time be personable and relatable; I bring those qualities as a candidate.”Array
Ethan Allen Smith
Graphic design junior
For his campaign, Smith will be focusing on giving money back to students by defunding all paid positions in ASPSU as well as having ASPSU focus more on the students rather than inter-organizational problems.
Smith believes that he is a good candidate because of his experience in student government and wishes to focus more on the issues of the group. “ASPSU simply cannot continue on its current path without becoming a caricature of a corrupt government,” Smith said. “It’s not enough to ignore ASPSU or become apathetic toward its behavior. We must occupy ASPSU and give it back to the students.”
Smith chose not to run with a vice presidential candidate, but should he win the election, he will appoint a vice president from the pool of candidates.
Diamond Zerework (left)
Political science senior
For her campaign, Zerework and running-mate Anam Pasha will focus on fighting tuition increases, raising student awareness of scholarship and grant access, communicating with students through online and physical surveys, attempting to work with student organizations and community service, raising funds for athletics and keeping computer labs open at all times.
“Anam Pasha and I are the best candidates for this position because we have both been active at Portland State University on campus full time for the past four years,” Zerework said. “We have a substantial track record of standing up for students and working on their behalf throughout the years through various forms of community service and volunteering.”
Pasha’s main focus for her campaign will be making the PSU campus more accessible to students. This includes extending computer lab hours, adding weekend hours for the library and expanding student resources such as scholarships and grants. “I want to see students being given the opportunity to succeed,” Pasha said.
Due to her five years of study at PSU, Pasha believes she is a good candidate for the position. “I see that the campus is full of motivated and driven students, and they need more avenues to show the world who they are,” she said. “I am a student, and I know what students want and need—and for the students, I want them to be empowered.”