Ice cream and students filled the Multicultural Center as SESP junior Justine Kim and sophomore Austin Gardner announced their candidacy for ASG President and Vice President, respectively, on April 4.
“The biggest thing for me, at the core of it, is to make sure ASG is an approachable space,” Kim said about the campaign. “I’ve been a part of student organizations before that are really comfortable with ASG, and I've been a part of organizations that have not even had ASG on their organizational paradigm outside of just funding. There is a gap between our student groups and our government in terms of collaboration and involvement and even just having conversations among our student leaders.”
The pair created a platform composed of four pillars: increasing student-based choice, health, amplifying voices, and funding. These pillars will support outreach efforts to marginalized communities on campus.
“At our core, [Austin and I] realized that a lot of the work we have been doing for the past couple of years focused on equity,” Kim said. “This school wasn’t built for people like low-income students, or minorities. This school wasn't built for people like us. This campus made us feel like we weren’t enough.”
Kim and Gardner said they have made grassroots campaigning a key aspect of their platform, and see the potential for student voices to enact change on campus.
“We’re aware that culture shifts are not tangible things in a year’s term, but we have this overall cultural shift goal that every policy that we have is working towards in a couple years to come,” Gardner said. “We have a very grassroots, bottom up-minded campaign that is very much implemented in everything that we’ve done, and in how a big part of our platform is to uplift student voice.”
Kim and Gardner will host a Town Hall on April 7 at Crowe Hall in the Asian American Studies Room, and the ticket will participate in three debates next week before the general election on April 12.