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The Indiana Daily Student

student govt

IUSG candidates discuss students health, diversity goals at town hall

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The candidates running for IU student body president and vice president discussed initiatives they would implement if elected and listened to students’ concerns about campus safety, student health and communication between students and IU student government in a town hall Thursday.  

Election day will take place on March 7 and 8. Students will receive an email from the IU Division of Student Affairs with a link to cast their ballots. 

The Diversity, Advocacy, Retention and Engagement ticket includes presidential candidate junior Joa’Quinn Griffin and vice presidential candidate junior Jayana Hammonds. Sophomore Brink Wolak and sophomore Megan Flynn are the presidential and vice presidential candidates for Excel IU, respectively. Revive for IU ticket includes presidential candidate junior Lillian Rodgers and vice presidential candidate junior Aiden Chism. Sophomore Aaliyah Raji is the presidential candidate for the IGNITE ticket, and junior Marsha Koda is the vice presidential candidate.  

All the tickets emphasized the importance of reaching out to the student body and different organizations on campus. After speaking to students on campus during the town hall, the candidates agreed that many members of the student body are unaware of issues pertaining to IUSG and would like to see that change. 

“If we can solve issues that students care about and increase engagement on this campus, we truly help IU.” Wolak said.  

[Related: IU’s 2023 student executive candidates announced]  

Diversity, Advocacy, Retention and Engagement 

Both DARE candidates have former IUSG experience; Griffin was former executive director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee for IUSG and Hammonds is the current executive director of DEI. 

They were the first candidates to present their policies, which mostly focused on working with different organizations to address issues brought up by multicultural groups and organizations.  

“We just want to increase the spaces and awareness for the students of color but also students of different identities,” Griffin said. 

DARE emphasized their goal of implementing resources focused on sexual, mental and physical health. They said they are passionate about advocating for a higher minimum wage for students working on campus to be increased to $15 an hour. DARE said they would also implement a Multicultural Advisory Board to meet and listen to multiple groups and diverse voices.  

Excel IU 

Wolak is a former representative for off-campus housing for IUSG Congress, and Flynn has no former IUSG experience but is the assistant director of scholarship at Kappa Delta. 

Excel IU said they are concentrated on affordability for students on campus regarding parking, expanding scholarships and eliminating the sales tax on textbooks. They want to increase listening to and advocating for the student body, which starts by including student representation at the administration level.  

One of Excel’s objectives for IU is to eliminate the sale tax on campus for all college students in Indiana. The Excel ticket said they would also be interested in implementing additional blue lights to increase campus safety, Wolak said. 

[Related: IU Student Government plans funding for Plan B endowment program

Revive for IU 

Rodgers is the Speaker of IUSG Congress, and Chism is the Chairman of the IUSG Congress finance committee and a congressional representative for off-campus housing. 

Reducing waste on campus, increasing environmental measures and focusing on student safety are key goals of Revive for IU, they said. 

“We want to make sure that every dollar possible that comes to this organization is going back to the students,” Chism said.  

Revive for IU said they would invest in programs that students cared about, including the Plan B initiative implemented by IUSG in August.  

Revive for IU said they want to take more environmental changes as well as listen to students' concerns. A few of their environmental plans include creating a bike share initiative, banning Styrofoam on campus and pushing for eliminating plastic, Rodgers said.

Revive for IU put an emphasis on recruiting different multicultural organizations as well as graduate students and veterans to be a part of IUSG.  

IGNITE 

Raji is the former co-director of the IUSG First-Year internship program, and Koda is the vice president of outreach for Kelley Student Government.  

IGNITE said they want to focus on collaborating with different multicultural groups and other organizations on campus. The primary goal is to make diverse groups on campus feel included through a collaboration space, as well as increase the number of minorities who attend IU, Koda said. 

“College is supposed to be every students home away from home, but when students feel like they belong on campus it becomes harder to call IU their home,” Raji said. 

IGNITE said they would continue sustaining the IUSG emergency contraceptive fund and to continue focusing funding the student healthcare fund endowment.  

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect how Excel IU will focus on eliminating the sales tax on textbooks.  

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