USUAA President Stacey Lucason and Vice President Jolaine Polak won out the student government election with 455 votes, leaving competitors Johnnie E. Templeton and Ashleigh Gaines a distant second with 344 votes.
As a part of their platform, Lucason and Polak want to make campus worth staying on after class. Working with Student Union Operations Coordinator Dana Sample, Lucason and Polak have coordinated to make both the Student Union Advisory Board and the Student Union Gallery more active.
“The (Advisory) Board used to be really active,” Lucason said, “and we’ve worked with Dana to have it be more active … so we’ve been reaching out over the summer to students to be appointed.”
Lucason and Polak want also to connect students to UAA administration. With the Wells Fargo Sports Complex no longer in use for intramural sports, a planning and steering committee for its redesign will be put together. Lucason wants student voices in that committee.
“Finding dedicated students to fill all the open seats and positions will be our biggest challenge,” Polak said.
Filling the seats is one thing, but making sure students attend to their positions is another, Lucason notes.
“Even if (students) aren’t going to decide what we’re going to do (with the Sports Complex), we want to make sure there’s somebody from our perspective who’s at the table,” Lucason said.
That is one of the main points of Lucason and Polak’s term: increasing administrative transparency and student involvement with UAA’s governing structures.
“In general, we can say students at large don’t know enough about the resources we have here in the union,” Lucason said, “(or) what student government is and what it does.”
Polak acknowledged that social media will be a big part of how they handle communication with students.
“Social media is a big part of how students communicate,” Polak said, “so we will be utilizing Facebook.”
To supplement their social media presence, Lucason and Polak will have tables run by USUAA senators set up outside of the USUAA office in the Student Union.
“That way we’ll have a more physical presence,” Lucason said.
Above all, Lucason and Polak agree that their job is to advocate for students.
“We are responsible for advocating for the students,” Polak said, “to make sure they have a bridge to the administration.”
Lucason believes this can be better accomplished with more students invested in student government and the administrative workings of UAA.
“We really want to encourage people, even if they don’t want to be involved in student government, to get involved with student clubs or student activities,” Lucason said. “That shows the administration that we do actually care about this campus.”