Let the campaigning begin. Weinberg junior Joji Syed and SESP junior Christina Cilento announced their candidacies for Associated Student Government (ASG) Tuesday night. Weinberg sophomore Archit Baskaran and McCormick junior Macs Vinson will run as their respective executive vice presidents.
Syed and Baskaran released their platform and other information Tuesday night. Cilento and Vinson will be having their launch event at 8 p.m. Wednesday night in Annenberg Hall, room G21, where students are invited to learn more about their platform.
Both campaigns have been developed on the foundation that there are misrepresented voices on campus that deserve to be heard. Election Commissioner Lauren Thomas explained that despite this similarity, the differences in their platforms will prompt an interesting and exciting nine-day campaign trail.
“I think the candidates are both extremely strong and would both do an amazing job,” Thomas, a Weinberg junior, said. “I think they will both present clear and somewhat contrasting visions, unlike in the past, when it was sometimes hard to distinguish between candidates. But not this year.”
Cilento and Vinson explained that their campaign is very social justice driven, aimed at getting to the heart of the problem. They said they recognize that though there are issues on campus that affect students from all identities, marginalized students are affected disproportionately. Both also acknowledge that the problems are systematic and need to be ameliorated. This is exemplified by their slogan, "Don’t Settle," they said.
“We both talk about changing how ASG operates,” Cilento said, “but we think the items of our campaign actually address the source of the issue. We are not just talking about one-off simple doable tasks, we want to actually change the experience of students on campus.”
Syed and Baskaran have presented "A NU Deal." They say they understand why students don’t believe in ASG: “We haven’t done anything for the average student,” Syed said of ASG.
She explained their vision of how ASG can best serve students and student groups on campus and how they can help the different communities best serve their purpose on campus.
“Our biggest point of leverage is advocacy and the fact that we are the only group that can really bring all the student groups together,” Syed said. “We are two students who have had a number of experiences in ASG and a number of experiences outside of ASG that gives us a well-rounded perspective for our campaign. There is something that each and every student will be affected by in our platform.”
Students are about to be bombarded with Facebook posts and promotions, but there are a lot of factors to consider over the next few days leading up to the April 7 election. Debates will be held between the two candidates, allowing students to hear from both sides.
“People should consider the impact of the different campaigns,” Vinson said. “Both campaigns have different priorities.”
Syed emphasized this point as well, saying that regardless of the outcomes, reviewing the platforms is a refreshing take on how ASG and each individual’s Northwestern experience could improve.
“I want people to challenge us, to critically think about our platform and think about how it will affect them,” she said.