Violet Gibson and Nayeli Naranjo-Robles, of the slate “New Possibilities, True Leadership,” won the Associated Students of Portland State presidential and vice-presidential positions with 564 votes, beating Kyle Leslie-Christy and Motutama Sipellii, of the slate “Creating a Cohesive Community” by 163 votes.
With a total of 1,004 votes cast, voter participation is only slightly higher than the 981 votes last year. This equates to around a 3.6% voter turnout this year.
“Through our committees we have the opportunity to reach out to students, but I’d like to reach out to professors more,” Gibson said. “This election, we weren’t allowed to lobby to classrooms. One thing we’d like to put in our constitution is to allow us to reach out to professors so we can get information out to students better.”
This is the first time in two years voters had more than one presidential candidate to choose from.
“A lot of the time students don’t really know how to tell us what they need,” Naranjo-Robles said. “Part of what we want to do is to make it more accessible for them to reach out to us and reach out to other people who need to hear what they are saying.”
During the debates, Gibson stated her support for the police to remain armed, saying she believed the majority of students feel safer with armed campus police.
The Margolis Healy report on campus public safety stated that 52% of the 14% of students, faculty, staff and community members surveyed opposed armed officers.
“When I reached out to [Campus Public Safety], they explained to me that the reason there are armed police on campus is because Portland police is understaffed,” Gibson said. “They’re not able to attend to our 27,000 student body.”
“The only choice we have is to arm police until we can sit down with Disarm PSU, the administration and CPSO to find a real feasible solution,” Gibson continued. “We have to find something that works for students and the administration.”
Regarding campus safety, Naranjo-Robles said she cares most about what students want.
“We have to have a better conversation about it to figure out different options,” Naranjo-Robles said. “You can’t just disarm them and then that’s it, we need to figure out different options.”
“Safety on campus is a huge thing right now. Winter term we had a hike in the amount of complaints about safety. We need to figure out our options.”
Voters also approved proposed changes to the ASPSU constitution. Changes include the addition of a 10-point plan called “The Collective Rights and Liberties of Students,” developed by the current legislative committee.
Other constitutional changes included vote restructuring, such as the requirement of a two-thirds majority in most circumstances and the addition of a non-voting faculty-senate member.
“Our job is to lobby for the students to the administration, not just to work in our own interest,” Gibson said.
The seven student fee committee seats went to the seven candidates who ran: Sirra Anderson, Gabriel Hagemann, Hakan Katgun, Fouad Mahideen, Samson R. Swan, Jose Rojas-Fallas and Devon Wanderon.
The student fee committee creates budget proposals for how the student incidental fee will be allocated to fee-funded groups.
For student senate, all 15 of the candidates who ran won, including one write-in, Alessandra Peraza-Aguillon who filled the remaining position. The other 15 senate candidates were Sophie Balthazaar, Jared Chin, Alexandre Dassise, Hannah Grazian, Grace Hagemann, Mallory Hawke, Wyatt Isaacs, Aydia Johnson, Nicholas LaHusen, Allen Lam, Hanna Anderson, Nathan Mapes, Aimee Marentette, Peter Wedlake and India Wynne.