ADSG Presidential Candidates Reflect on Campaigns Moments Before Election

Olivia Allery, news editor

Augsburg’s Day Student Government presidential campaigns from prospective student leaders have been underway as elections near, and five pairs of presidential and vice presidential candidates will be on the ballot: Carol-Hei-Yue Lee & Jose Orozco-Islas, Grayson Harris & Konnor Turner, Kalista Miller & Salma Caamir, Pollei-Buux Ali & Success Famuyide and Sabreena Raghunath & Jamila Ahmed. 

The Echo was able to reach out to some of these candidates to understand what their experience running for ADSG has been like and their hopes for Augsburg if they are elected.

For many of the candidates, campaigning for ADSG has been an overall positive and supportive experience. “Campaigning has been one of the most fulfilling things for me,” says candidate Kalista Miller. “A major goal of my campaign with Salma has been to hear directly from students and we have been doing that.”

“Campaigning has been a very meaningful time overall!” say running mates Grayson Harris and Konnor Turner. “We have learned so much from our peers through all kinds of interactions, getting to know them, and listening to their concerns.”

“We have a good campaign so far,” say Carol-Hei-Yue Lee and Jose Orozco-Islas. “I think our vision is very realistic in terms of what we want at Augsburg and we’re very confident in it.” 

Even with the overwhelmingly positive experience, the campaign journey has not always been smooth sailing for these candidates. While still being students first, some candidates have pointed out balance and timing to be a major stressor in their campaigns. “The campaign’s timing follows that of finals and balancing has been the most tangible obstacle,” says Miller. “Because I want to give both my academics and student government as much attention as is reasonable because both play an important role in my Augsburg experience.” 

Lee and Orozco-Islas also pointed out that working through campaign transitions was a very stressful part of their campaigns, as they both used to be a part of the Grayson Harris and Danny Ho campaign. “The longer I stayed I just realized it wasn’t good for me,” says Lee when asked why she dropped out of a previous campaign, “and I needed to take a break for my own mental health, but after spring break a lot of people were encouraging me and saying I would be a good president, so I ran.” Danny Ho also has since dropped out of the running as a vice-presidential candidate, he was reached out to by the Echo and preferred not to comment.

As far as goals for Augsburg, these candidates have some big visions for campus. Miller further explained the major hope for her and Caamir’s campaign is to create positive student experiences and foster connection within the student body through action. “We have 4 main goals, all of which are very important to us, if elected, they are creating holistic wellness resources, ensuring reliable accessibility, environmental stewardship, and revitalizing Augsburg.” 

Harris and Turner are hoping to lessen students’ stress by addressing living conditions, financial burdens and parking expenses. “When students have a lack of college living experiences, it can negatively affect their academic performance,” says Harris and Turner, “and students pay a significant amount of money to gain quality college experiences.”

Lee and Orozco-Islas also expressed their thoughts of changing parking expenses, “One of our main priorities is the parking situation,” says Orozco-Islas. “We’re thinking about maybe having a payment plan for parking passes, so students don’t have to pay so much money upfront for them.” Lee and Orozco-Islas are also hoping to expand accessibility for students, creating unisex bathrooms for every building, expanding the Auggie Basics program, extending building hours, and fixing the handicap accessibility buttons around campus. 

At time of publication, the Echo has reached out to Pollei-Buux Ali & Success Famuyide and Sabreena Raghunath & Jamila Ahmed and received no response.

Elections for ADSG start on Friday, April 7 at 7 a.m. and will run until Monday, April 10 at midnight. Log onto Auggie Life to vote!