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In Their Own Words: the 2020 AUSG candidates

DISCLAIMER: The Agora's Editor-in-Chief, Mark Lu, ran an unsuccessful campaign for AUSG Comptroller this cycle. Therefore, he was not involved in the formulation of these questions.

Q1: How would you justify the practicality of AUSG, based on the little enumerated powers SG is endowed with? How do you think you can enact real change?

Q2: When you hear the phrase “moving forward,” what does that mean to you and how would you define that in policy?

Q3: How would you increase transparency and accountability in the role you are running for?

Q4: What do you see as the responsibilities of your desired position in two sentences or less?

Q5: Which policies will you prioritize during discussions with the Budget Advisory Committee?

Q6: How do you plan on reforming the AUSG budget?

Q7: Many students find the Founders Day ball budget to be bloated. How would you respond to or address those criticisms?

Q8: How would you address a potential conflict of interest that may arise during your tenure? For example, if you or a member of your cabinet has a stake in a specific club, how would you ensure that this would not affect your budgeting priorities?

How would you justify the practicality of AUSG, based on the little enumerated powers SG is endowed with? How do you think you can enact real change?

"I think that AUSG can change a lot with its powers when it works with student organizations on campus to put pressure on the administration for tangible change in issues that we are all working on. I think I could enact real change because I would be reaching out to student organizations large and small as well as students directly including those who are a part of communities that AUSG often forgets and work together in the issues that their particular communities face. I would then use that unity to show administration that this isn’t just something that AUSG is doing but something that the whole student body wants in order to make our campus a better place." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"As Vice President, the AUSG Constitution and Bylaws actually provide such little guidance on what to do in the role. It has specific language on the core responsibilities of the VP, such as appointing programming directors, holding required meetings/trainings, and putting on required events. Those responsibilities, however, are simple and often front-loaded during transition.

"This may seem incredibly limiting, however it can actually be the opposite if the person in the position takes advantage of them. The lack of clear guidance for the VP leaves the office holder with the opportunity to interpret the role as they wish, which includes expanding it.

"That’s exactly what I plan to do. I want to authorize budget changes to create specific allocations for clubs, reimagine the way we celebrate and fund founders, hold monthly collaboration events with club leaders, and much more. But it takes someone with vision and experience to accomplish this, which is why I am running." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"As a representative of AUSG, I will have access to everyone in the AU administration, such as staff, faculty and department heads. In my role as Secretary, I am responsible for controlling communication and messaging. This role has the power and authority to impact real change, since I will control the communication and the messaging going out to the student body and the entire university. I plan to enact real change by using technology and social media in new ways, such as creating an interactive real-time calendar on the AUSG website showing office hours and meeting times. For more details on my ideas please visit my “Transparency” post on my Instagram: @grace.christin4secretary." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"The American University Student Government is a student-run, student-led organization that serves the student body. It is designed to unify the student body as well as provide information, resources, and access to an array of educational and professional opportunities. The practicality of AUSG lies in its role as a bridge between AU students and the administration. Members of AUSG meet with the board of trustees and advocates for students with administrators about key issues. AUSG has made a difference before, from leading the effort to create the UPass program to changing dining vendors from Aramark to Chartwells.

"I plan to enact real change through the three key parts of my platform which are Working Towards Improving Transparency Between AUSG and the Student Body, Promoting Our Diverse and Inclusive Community, and Increase Awareness for Students Through Social Media and the AUSG Website." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"In the past, AUSG Presidents have been hesitant to take on the administration, and I won’t shy away from advocating for all students.There should be a healthy degree of tension between the AUSG President and the administration. I respect the AU administration, but they have to answer to the board of trustees. The AUSG president has to answer directly to students. On the Black Affinity Housing project, we worked closely with the administration to get it done, and I’m going to continue to engage with them as President. But I’m not running for AUSG to become best friends with President Burwell. And I’m not looking to sell out for a letter of recommendation." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"I have worked within AUSG for two years and have seen it shine as an amazing advocacy group. I have also seen it be treated as an exclusive club for social-climbers whose only mantra is to move fast and break things quickly with little disregard. I've seen well-intentioned people get steamrolled by negativity and bullying. For all the cons, however, I still believe in the power of government to do good. I believe in it because I have been a part of that good in AUSG and also seen it happen.

"What it takes is no buzzwords or a focus on egotism. Real thought-out plans that are actually informed by real experience and understanding of how government works. My campaign's focus has been on those fundamentals I just mentioned.

"The role the Comptroller will play this year makes it the most important election you will vote in when the polls open. The University budget is upon us and that means the Comptroller will be in the room where talks about divestment, tution, fees, and founder's will be brought up. We need someone who knows what they're talking about and has real plans rooted in their experiences. That person, I believe, is me." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"Enacting real change when the system continues to work against you is nothing new for me. Philadelphia schools were under a state takeover for over a decade, my non-profit and many others across the city worked to change that by pressuring the Mayor and Governor to return local control. Nobody could believe that a new student-run, student-led non-profit could make a change. There’s a saying that I really like; “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I quickly became comfortable in the squeaky wheel role, relentlessly pushing and advocating for issues that were meaningful to the school students and teachers of Philadelphia.

"As AUSG VP, I will make sure the most pressing issues for students are always at the top of AU’s agenda, and I will not stop until they are addressed and fixed. Planning programming on campus is to me is a huge power, it allows the student body to convene and to hear ideas from activists. I will actually bring transparency, direction, and structure to AUSG and will never forget I report to the student body and no one else!" —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

When you hear the phrase “moving forward,” what does that mean to you and how would you define that in policy?

"Moving forward to me means identifying where the problems are, coming up with good ideas with student organizations to fix it, and then working with and pressuring administration for tangible results. In policy that would be to acknowledge the poor status of mental health resources on campus but pushing for and achieving tangible results such as extended emergency hours and more clinicians in the counseling center as well as a mental health fund to cover co-pays for students who are referred for counseling appointments. Another example would be to acknowledge the lack of resources regarding our Title IX process and get tangible results like more staff in the Title IX office to handle cases, requiring Title IX staff to have a mandatory meeting with both parties separately to explain the Title IX process, and making a more thorough presentation to incoming freshman about the Title IX process and resources on our campus." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"To me, the phrase 'moving forward' is defined by having a vision for something and creating mechanisms by which to achieve said visions. AU and AUSG are built as structural systems, whether we realize it or not. It’s easy to make huge promises about transforming AUSG and any given role. The reality is that it is hard to actually accomplish these things without understanding how AUSG, and more broadly, AU work. To move forward, you have to create policies that are bold, yet utilize new or existing systems to accomplish them.

"Let’s take take founders for example. Last year, the current VP ran on a platform of immediately slashing the founders ball budget. After taking the position and asking for such a change, the AU administration refused and founders continued as usual without a blink of an eye by the rest of AUSG. As VP, I have proposed a long-term plan for founders that does the due diligence for the issue. I will establish a task force that looks at immediate changes we can make, but also analyzes the value of founders to AU students. If the AU administration does not listen to student concerns, I have already thought through how we as a student body and put pressure on them publicly and what those next steps will be, including alternative options. This is how we move issues forward in AUSG. Not just by making big promises, but by creating systems in place to achieve those policies." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"The only real constant is change. To me, 'moving forward' means evolution. It is refreshing to see new construction on campus because that means our university is growing and evolving. I will continue to build upon what my predecessors have started while injecting my own ideas about how we can move forward and improve campus culture." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"The phrase 'moving forward' means we as a community are working towards change that will positively impact the quality of life for the student body. A key part of my platform is partnering with and co-sponsoring multicultural organizations to bring our diverse community together. I plan to promote and highlight important dates, student leaders, and organizations across campus such as Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, Women's History Month, and more. By promoting diversity on campus, I hope to create a community that rejects racism and xenophobia and elevates voices from communities of color." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

“'Moving forward' means that you’re picking up right where AUSG left us. And for a lot of students, that’s no where. We’re fighting for A New Direction because students are tired of the same hidden agendas and wonky politics. We need structural change. And that starts with freezing tuition, establishing student oversight over AUPD, and redefining Title IX so that the University protects survivors." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"It means actually getting shit done. For years now we have been focused on and contending with the same hot-button political issues. Moving forward is finally doing something about those issues. This is the year with the University Budget upon us for us to finally tackle divestment, the skyrocketing cost of attendance, and our unfair Founder's Ball Budget." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"Hearing the phase moving forward, is the phrase that candidates continue to use. While the Vice President doesn't get to vote or write policy I will work with the Programming Directors to ensure that the speakers and performers we bring to campus are advocates for important causes and will spread a message of change. Furthermore, I will continue to work with students and administrators to actually make the change on campus by having monthly meetings and increasing partnerships by appointing the first-ever Partnerships Director which would replace the Chief of Staff role. I will also ensure that I am at Senate meetings so that I stay informed and share the information with the student body. Finally, I will work closely with the student body, clubs, Greek organizations, the President, and Senators to support initiatives so we can actually move not only AUSG but AU forward together. We can’t keep giving people roles in AUSG who have time and time again has proven their ineffectiveness to lead. It’s time to get things done, because many students like myself are sick and tired of being sick and tired." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

How would you increase transparency and accountability in the role you are running for?

"Along with weekly roaming office hours, I would have weekly Instagram live Q &A”s as well as have a biweekly fireside chat. I would also work with the secretary to make sure that when the weekly newsletter is sent out, it describes in detail what issues the e-board was working on and our plan to get results on the issues that we were working on any given week. I would ask for the Undergraduate Senate to allow for a student recall which would allow students to remove the president if students felt that the president was not working on behalf of students." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"Having been Director of Executive Board Accountability this year, I have seen first hand the challenges and importance of ensuring that AUSG leaders are being held accountable. For me, accountability is not just a glamorous title and buzzword, it is about being behind the scenes and ensuring the work gets done. From sitting in e-board meetings and publicizing the minutes to organizing AUSG mixers to increase transparency between student leaders and the student body, I know that there is so much more work to be done.

"We must be proactive as well as reactive. Specifically, I will be mandating that google forms be filled out by every Director prior to an event asking the following questions: what is the total cost of the event, what is the intention of the event, and how is the event contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Because it is not possible to publicize financial reports due to NDAs and contracts, will also be directly overseeing each of the programming boards campus labs pages to ensure there is legitimate and equitable spending." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"In addition to the interactive calendar I would add to the AUSG website, I would increase transparency by streaming all meetings on our social media pages, increasing the amount of newsletters released, and working with all clubs to form an AUSG involvement app. I plan to be involved at the grassroots level while being a visible and approachable resource for all students. In order to keep our elected leaders accountable, I will also host town hall meetings as well as frequent Q&A sessions with the executive board that will be open to anyone on campus." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"A key part of my platform is working towards improving transparency and accountability between AUSG and the student body. We deserve to know what our elected and appointed student government leaders are up to, the decisions they are making and hold them accountable. I plan to create a more refined and sophisticated website that clearly displays resolutions, press releases, and statements made on behalf of AUSG. In addition, include office hours for all branches of government for students to contact. On the Homepage of the website, I plan to show clear, real-time updates about any changes taking place on campus that are affecting students. For example, during the coronavirus pandemic, it would have been helpful to have all the latest news regarding move out, contacts, and resources that can be all located on the website for students to easily access. I will create a seamless and efficient contacting system for students to get in touch with members of student government by providing their First and last name, pronouns, email, which branch they would like to contact, and their message. Lastly, advertise 'AUSG listens' as a resource for students and expand the 'What We Do' page to let students know what student government has accomplished over the academic year." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"One area I particularly admire President Angela Chen's role has been how approachable she has been. People need a president that they can talk to about real issues, and I hope to continue that into my term as AUSG President. But I also think AUSG leaders should feel comfortable in joining the fight. I want to bring activists to the table so that we can advocate---not alone, but together." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"There are several initiatives I want to undertake. Weekly roundtables with University officials and student leaders and advocates. A regular "traveling" column about AUSG financials that could be published in different student media outlets. I want to also make videos explaining different budget things and answering peoples questions." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"Transparency and accountability are fundamentally important to me. AUSG should be reporting directly to the student body. I plan on increasing transparency and accountability by doing multiple things: 1) start releasing easily accessible public reports that just aren't on but are also sent to clubs, Greek organizations, student media, on email signatures, and are clearly found on campus. 2) send post-event surveys within 48 hours of each programming event, the feedback provided will also be released in our public reports. 3) work to ensure that all spending is released on the website within one week with a justification next to every item 4) host open monthly meetings with AUCC, Student Media Board, club leaders, and Greek Organizations. 5) At the end of each semester, my team and I will release a report on how much each person is stipend with a clear description of what they have worked on and if their stipend should be lowered or remain the same. 6) I think it is important to mention that we are reviewing adding a Director of Public Reporting & Data to the cabinet, this role will be added so we can ensure we are releasing data properly and effectively. Transparency and accountability need to be done in multiple ways and we have clear ways on how we are going to increase transparency & accountability. The other candidate running for the Vice President position served as the Accountability Director for AUSG and to be quite frank we didn't see any change. The Instagram account (@dea_schanellesaldanha) has two posts and the executive board meeting notes cannot be found or the policy tracker she said she was going to implement according to The Eagle article (“New SG accountability position aims to offer transparency with the student body”). We know what transparency and accountability look like, I have to do it as the Executive Director of a non-profit to not only my team but to my board of directors, granters, and the government." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

What do you see the responsibilities of your desired position in two sentences or less?

"I believe the president is responsible for listening to the voices of students and working with them to get administration to give tangible results on issues to make our campus have a brighter future." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"The job of the Vice President is to ensure representative programming that is guided by the voices of students and student organizations. It is the VP’s responsibility to actively listen and seek out student voices so that our programming reflects our community, not the desires of a few." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"The Chief Communication Officer’s responsibilities include: creating an accessible and efficient channel of communication between AUSG and the student body, frequently updating our social media accounts and highlighting student leaders, and broadcasting all records and meetings to the student body. Through these tactics, I vow to create a more transparent and inclusive student government." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"As the Chief of Communications, this branch of student government is the primary liaison between AUSG and the Student body providing me with the ability to connect, inform, and promote all aspects of AU. A priority of mine is to emphasize our diverse student body and inclusive environment by creating a stronger connection among the AU community that will bring us together by bridging the gap." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"My focus is on bringing my experience in activism and community organizing to the position. Past AUSG boards have focused on responding to incidents, I’m looking forward to being on the front lines, in activism and protests." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"To be the fiercest chief advocate of club community building as well as safeguarding and representing the financial well-being of the undergraduate student body." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"To serve the student body and coordinate programming that the student body wants. Moreover, to actually reimagine founders and bring transparency to the Vice Presidency." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

Which policies will you prioritize during discussions with the Budget Advisory Committee?

"I would prioritize mental health, Title IX, and diversity of classes and faculty and staff on campus in the Budget Advisory Committee." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"As Vice President, my priorities lie completely with making sure programming boards are funded fairly and equitably. This means increasing WI’s budget so they are able to do even more valuable programming. I will also push for a modest cut to the Founders budget and use the entirety of my tenure to take a critical look at the tradition." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"I will prioritize the communications and advertising budgets. In addition, I will try to be a voice for any smaller club that does not have access to the budget process." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"I will not personally be on BAC, the student government representatives are usually the Comptroller and/or the President. However, I will make it clear to the other members of the executive board (if elected secretary) that we must reevaluate AUSG spending, especially towards costly and exclusive events such as Founders." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"The priority of the Budget has to be increased resources for student clubs and organizations. When I talk to student boards, a lot of organizations are running out of space to operate, and the funding that normally comes from AUCC has been denying critical ethnic organizations. I’m prepared to continue the experience I had in co-approving grants with the President’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion for student organizations, so that student organizations aren’t left behind." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"Depending on the results of the Founder's referendum and talks that will occur during the University Budget talks I will prioritize diverting money to go to AUCC and Student Media. Our student-run publications in particular are critical tools to help set up our community members with experience and jobs when they graduate. I would prioritize those organization's well-being and stability." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"When so fortunate enough to meet with the Budget Advisory Committee I will 1) push for them to reimagine the Founders Day Budget and 2) increase funding for clubs on campus so that they can take their events and programming to the next level. 3) Work to ensure that the Budget Advisory Committee meeting notes are easily accessible for the student body. While the Vice President doesn’t have a seat on the Budget Advisory Committee I will push the President, Comptroller, and other members of the Budget Advisory Council to stand with me on advocating for such policy changes." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President

How do you plan on reforming the AUSG budget?

"I would work with the Comptroller and Undergraduate Senate to make sure the budget reflected the will of the people whether that be advocating for a decreased founders budget or more money for co-sponsorships with student and multicultural organizations." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"The Vice President has the responsibility to protect the student money within the programming boards from irresponsible spending.

"I will mandate 35% of KPU and SUB’s budgets to be used in student organization co-sponsorships because clubs are under-resourced. This will promote cooperation between AUSG programmers and other student leaders, and help put on programming that is representative of the student body. One thing that I feel has been overlooked this year is that the Vice President sits on the Alumni Relations committee. There is tremendous opportunity already built into the VP’s responsibilities for funding separate from tuition and the student activity fee." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"In my role of Secretary, my authority to control the budget is somewhat limited. I will be sure to represent the communication and advertising budget to the Budget Advisory Committee so they know the importance of my work. In addition, I will be sure to represent any smaller clubs that do not have as much access to the budget process." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"The Secretary manages DOPAR, the fund responsible for recruitment, marketing, and communications. I plan to advocate for less AUSG spending on unnecessary things--such as KPU quarter zip sweaters. Instead, I hope to redirect funds towards resources that will help the student body keep up with AUSG affairs. James [Kwon], my predecessor, made it his goal to decrease AUSG spending (he switched over from the costly NationBuilder website provider to the cheaper SquareSpace option) and I intend to use student funds in a cost-effective manner as well." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"Right now, as we move into uncertain economic conditions, we need to be ready to reform the AUSG budget so that money can be appropriated for direct economic relief for students. The budget won’t matter if it’s not being used for students during a global pandemic." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"As the former Chairman of the AUSG Finance Committee I understand what works about the process and what needs to change. One of the things I strove to do is to make sure we had a budget that put our money where our mouth was--a budget that reflected the values of a progressive and inclusive Government. We need to shift our focus (as has already begun under current leadership) to look into impact and how the budget can be a tool to promote social good. I want to see a Comptroller and Finance Committee that engages the community and actually explains to them the process. I want a mandatory draft released to the public and as Comptroller the ability to provide more feedback on the budget. Right now it's a more closed off process undertaken by the Finance Committee. That should change to have the Comptroller more involved." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"I personally believe that the AUSG budget should be reviewed, and used like a non-profit budget and not a for-profit budget. I will ensure that the Vice President cabinet makes justifications for each dollar spent and make it public to the student body. Furthermore, I would start the conversation of having the student body vote on the AUSG budget before the Senate which would allow the entire student body to have say. In addition, I would work with the Secretary to ensure that the entire student body knows when the AUSG budget is being discussed in the Senate so that the student body can not only come and review it but make clear comments and recommendations on it." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

Many students find the Founders’ Day ball budget to be bloated. How would you respond to or address those criticisms?

"I think the criticisms are definitely valid and I would work with the Vice President and other stakeholders to make sure the Founders Budget is much lower and also advocate for making a founders working group composed of students to see what they want founders to look like or even asking if they want a Founder's Day ball in general." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"Founders falls under the VP’s cabinet, so this issue is very important to me. Founders is a huge part of our campus and for years students have been asking for change. The process to reform Founders is going to be long and arduous - it cannot get changed overnight. Ideally, we would have started making these changes as soon as budget cuts were denied this year, but there was no action taken.

"My plan is to put together a task force comprised of student leaders and activists, as well as AU administration. This task force will measure student opinion and the institutional value of Founders. When they’ve found results, we will coordinate with administration to implement the findings of the task force. But we will not stop there. If the administration does not listen, we will utilize the important power of student activism to pressure them into making the change we want to see. When students are asking for change, it’s not the time to make half-thought out promises. It’s the time to actually start the process of making big reforms." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"I would make all of the details behind the Founders Day ball budget visible to the student body through uploading approved spreadsheets on the AUSG website as well as holding Q&A sessions with the Founders Day ball Director and staff throughout the process." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

"In the Secretary position, I would not have a say in the budget of Founders. I have heard a lot of criticism regarding the budget of Founders as well as the inability for all students to attend. Although Founders week and the Ball is a unique event and experience that the student body should look forward to, it is undoubtedly unfair that only a small percentage of students can attend, even though everyone pays the student activity fee. I will advocate for a larger venue so that more students can attend and a reevaluation of the budget for the Founders Day Ball." —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"What we can, and should, do is ensure that we are making this an accessible event for all students. While Founders Ball is not the specific responsibility of the President, I will coordinate with the Vice President in any way that I can to make this event accessible to a majority of the students and make this event a reflection of what students want. I will also work with the VP to research locations that should help curb our spending and find alternative funding sources for future years." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"A cornerstone of my campaign has been having a real tangible plan to deal with the skyrocketing costs associated with Founder's Day. My plan is to shift the costs and have the University take on some of them. They use the event in admissions promotional material and as a way to fundraise. If they believe the event is important then they should act like it. My plan to get this done is to have a referendum put on the ballot asking AU Students if they think the University should take on some of the costs and if they want to see the event continued. Some have pointed out that this plan makes little sense. Unfortunately, these people do not understand that revenue from the student activity fee is an entirely separate source of money and the University has their investments and other areas of revenue. My plan would mean that there is more money to split between AUSG, AUCC, and Student Media." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"First I agree that the Founders Day ball budget is bloated. I will work with the student body to Re-imagine Founders. I will start the process of Reimagining Founders with a virtual town hall where everyone can participate, public opinion polls, and chat & chews once we return back to campus. I will work with the next Founders Day Director to cut spending by 50%. I am a strong believer that just because the Budget Advisory Committee allocates $135,000 doesn’t mean we need to spend it. While spending 50% less we will review locations like Bender Arena and the Convention Center. The Convention Center is cheaper than most locations and will allow us to increase participation. Finally, we will also explore external sponsors to contribute. As a non-profit executive, I know how to work with companies and Corporations to discuss financial partnerships. We plan on doing all of this while decreasing the spending of students’ money, increasing students' participation, and increased collaboration with clubs and Greek organizations." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

How would you address a potential conflict of interest that may arise during your tenure? For example, if you or a member of your cabinet has a stake in a specific club, how would you ensure that this would not affect your budgeting priorities?

"I would require my whole cabinet as well as myself to disclose to the rest of the cabinet any stake that they or I may have in a specific club. The whole cabinet would work to evaluate each budget priority on a case by case issue. However I would generally prioritize student organizations who have never been reached out to before by AUSG as well as multicultural organizations who are forgotten by AUSG often. Likewise we would have a checklist that will be sent out to the student body either right before or right after an event put on by my cabinet which has multiple questions one being, “Are relevant clubs being reached out to for a potential co-sponsorship for the event? If no, why not?”. I feel this will help make sure that all clubs are being reached out to with the various events the President’s Cabinet would put on." —Jeremy Ward, Candidate for President.

"It is incredibly important that AUSG leaders, especially programming boards, should be working closely with leaders of every club on campus. However, I will set up a structure where decisions are made based by a group and no one individual will have too much power. I look forward to working with AUCC to ensure that we are working with all student organizations equally and will make sure that in my cabinet, we are being as fair and equal as possible. Should a conflict arise, I would ask that person to recuse themselves and rely on their team members to make a decision." —Schanelle Saldanha, Candidate for Vice President.

"I would do everything in my power to mitigate and eliminate any conflicts of interest. If/when any major conflict of interest may arise, I will be sure to recuse myself and seek advice from other resources, such as a Judicial Board." —Grace Christin, Candidate for Secretary.

In any team there is always the possibility of encountering conflicts of interests and I plan to establish a culture of ethics, honesty, and trust within my cabinet and AUSG. From the beginning, I plan to detail the types of potential situations that can result in conflicts of interest and outline the way in which it will be addressed. I will expect my cabinet members to remain fully transparent with other commitments they may have. I also hope to work with the Executive Board as a collective, in order to prevent unilateral decisions on the budget to come from any one person. —Hanya Pillai, Candidate for Secretary.

"My plan is to lead by example and make sure my cabinet understands that all campus organizations need equitable support. My role is to serve all students, not myself or my friends and their interests. I am dedicated to seeing change on this campus and my priority remains in tuition relief and making AU an accessible option to all students." —Eric Brock, Jr., Candidate for President.

"The most important thing to remember is that the budget process does rest on the decisions of one person, it is a collective process. Disclosure in these situations is important and the process doesn't rely on one person. Everyone who will be working in my cabinet will be disclosing what other clubs and organizations they have been affiliated with to ensure no conflicts of interest." —Jacob Robbins, Candidate for Comptroller.

"If at any point I am aware of a conflict of interest I will ask that person to remove themselves from the vote, including myself. My cabinet will make decisions together. I will also ensure that every member of my cabinet understands that they can go to the judiciary board at any time if they feel as though that I am showing biases. I also hope to promote transparency through our public reports which will also attach all of the VP cabinet meeting notes and I will push for the executive board to also have open meetings." —Tamir Harper, Candidate for Vice President.

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