Record five tickets run for SBP, SBVP
Amy Quispe and Bryan Wade
Campaign: “Empowering You.”
Fun facts about Amy Quispe: She took a gap year to go to Germany to work for a volunteer organization, lobbied to sell cacti in Dutch despite not speaking Dutch, has programmed since she was a kid, and has a full tuition scholarship.
Fun facts about Bryan Wade: He went to the same high school as Bill Gates.
“We’re not a joke campaign. We’re a serious candidate,” said Amy Quispe, a junior computer science and math double major.
Quispe and junior economics and computer science double major Bryan Wade decided to run because they wanted to make it easier for students to get things done, to form student organizations, and to get funding. “We thought there was a lot of red tape in student government; it is hard to start student organizations and get funding as well,” Wade said.
Quispe and Wade are both Student Senators this year. They said that, as Senators, they have realized that a lot of problems exist within student government. As student body president and vice president, Quispe and Wade say they could fix those problems.
One of the problems they wish to address is with the Committee on Student Organization’s (CoSO) student group policy. Quispe and Wade said that the current policy is very strict as to how a student group may become recognized, because once they are recognized as a group, they immediately get funding. As such, CoSO doesn’t accept student groups very easily.
“We want to make it so there is another group type that it’s very easy to become recognized but it’s ineligible for funding, so that CoSO doesn’t have to worry about this funding issue,” Wade said. “People can become official groups, and can use SpaceQuest, and go to the activities fair and poster — do all these things that they don’t need funding for.”
“We really feel that what students can make and what students can do is most important,” Quispe said. “And removing red tape, whether that’s improving the CoSO process, opening up data, making it easier for student projects to become official.... It’s all about making this campus more alive.”
Will Weiner and Meela Dudley
Campaign: “Silly names, serious campaign.”
Fun facts about Will Weiner: He was once the No. 8 Madden player in New Mexico, once brought a tumble weed back from New Mexico to campus on an airplane, and sang “The Safety Dance” for his entire school at the end of his high school graduation.
Fun facts about Meela Dudley: She is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, applied to 20 colleges and was accepted into 19 of them, and speaks four languages.
Junior economics and statistics and decision science double major Will Weiner has been involved with student government since his first year at Carnegie Mellon. Weiner says that there are a lot of changes that need to be made. “Problems have not been addressed well, and I’m going to attack them from different angles,” Weiner said.
Weiner is the Student Senate Chair, on the Pittsburgh Student Government Council, is heading a lobby trip, has helped with musical productions, and is a head orientation counselor. While Weiner has a lot of management positions, he said that “it’s not about [those positions] but about seeing people happy.”
Weiner’s running mate, junior creative writing and professional writing double major Meela Dudley, said, “Without reading our resume, we’re basically the same person. We’re both very busy — but we’ve cleared our schedules for this. We’ve sealed up our different positions and we have three main objectives: recruitment, communication, and presentation.”
Their initiatives focus on communication and fun. Weiner aims to make a logo for the student body president. Student Senate has a logo already, but the president doesn’t. In order to maintain communication with the general public, Weiner said that they would maintain their website after elections.
“We’d post mad minutes every two weeks,” Weiner said. Mad minutes would be a summary of things they’ve covered in meetings. “And if we don’t do something [or] get something that we said we would done, we want you to hold us accountable to it.”
Their website is www.weinerdudley2012.com.
Brian Groudan and Amanda Ho Sang
Campaign: “Your Voice, Your Choice.”
Fun facts about Brian Groudan: He is half Chinese and half European, and is from New York. He’s also taken a class in every college except for CIT.
Fun facts about Amanda Ho Sang: She lived in Singapore for 10 years, her parents are from Jamaica, she studied in Oxford, and she once saw Emma Watson on the street.
Neither junior information systems and human-computer interaction double major Brian Groudan nor decision science and psychology double major Amanda Ho Sang have held any student government positions. However, Groudan was on the TedxCMU team, was an orientation counselor for Mudge for two years, is a teaching assistant, and will be an RA in West Wing next year. He said he is running for office because he wants to give back to the student body and to “a campus that’s given [him] so much.”
“I think that through the things I’ve been involved with, I have a really good perspective and reach on campus,” Groudan said.
Ho Sang said she has been part of Dancers’ Symposium, has served on the Dance Marathon Executive Committee, and was a teaching assistant.
“I think that Brian and I, collectively, have had a lot of different experiences here at CMU, and we’ve really tried to take advantage of all the things we are a part of,” Ho Sang said.
Groudan and Ho Sang said they have four main areas they intend to focus on. Two of the areas are balance and efficiency. By balance, they mean using recreational places to create a stress-free working environment for students and having convenient transportation for students to use.
By efficiency, they mean streamlining certain processes to make students’ lives easier, making it more convenient for students to access information, and creating a digital and physical calendar.
“The core aspect of student body president and vice president,” Groudan said, “is to be the voice of the students, and that’s the approach we’ve taken in our campaign.”
Seth Vargo and Joe Frick
Campaign: “In Plaid We Trust.”
Fun facts about Seth Vargo: He owns three companies, works 60 hours a week for the university, was offered $250,000 to drop out of school at a conference, and once worked for a site that was hacked by a foreign country.
Fun facts Joe Frick: He had a year-and-a-half modeling stint that he didn’t think he would do, got three of his fingers crushed by Vargo karate kicking a door, played baseball twice in the PNC Park, and has kissed the Stanley Cup.
Junior information systems major Seth Vargo and junior economics major Joe Frick decided to run because they want to keep moving student government forward. Some of the initiatives they would like to accomplish are: improving dining, getting the university to give back to students, and empowering students to accomplish their own ideas.
“I have really good relationships with CulinArt. Through my experience and conversations with them, it’s actually not CulinArt’s fault [that food is subpar], but the university’s because the university forces them to serve certain food,” Vargo said. “So instead of trying to get better food on campus, we want to extend dining and bring DineX or at least PlaidCash to start down Craig Street and into Oakland.”
The university taxes alumni donations by 5 percent, so an organization only actually receives $95 of a $100 donation. This tax was enacted last year and will increase to 6.9 percent, and then 9.6 percent in the following years. “We’d really like to see the university give back to the students,” Vargo said.
Vargo and Frick say that they also intend to empower students by helping them accomplish their own ideas. “Instead of saying ‘we’ll take care of it,’ we’ll say, ‘what do you need to get it done?’ So if someone has an idea, we’re going to give them the opportunity to run with it on their own before we say we’ll do it for you,” Vargo said. “A single individual can make a difference, and we want to make sure they know that.”