Vying for a vote of confidence

Duncan Peterson
Image by: Justin Tang
Duncan Peterson

Presidential candidate Rico Garcia and running-mate Duncan Peterson are campaigning unopposed in the ASUS executive elections this year.

Garcia, ArtSci ’13, said his experience external to ASUS makes him the best candidate for president, a quality that is balanced out by his internally-focused teammate.

“We’ve both taken different paths through ASUS, Duncan more internal and I’m external or representative,” he said.

Garcia is an economics major and currently holds a two year position as senator. Previously he was 2013 year society president and sat on the Board of Directors. He also co-chaired the ASUS Remembrance Day Committee, and sat on the ASUS Grants Committee, ASUS Summer Camps Hiring Committee and the ASUS Student Initiative Fund Committee.

Currently the academics commissioner, Peterson, ArtSci ’11, began his time in ASUS as a Gael in 2007. He has since co-chaired the W.J. Barnes Teaching Excellence Award committee and was deputy academics commissioner last year.

Garcia and Peterson said that having similar ideas on restructuring ASUS prompted their decision to run for executive office in November.

According to Peterson, the team’s six-point platform is based on creating awareness among students about ASUS and increasing the organization’s financial transparency.

“Even though we’re facing a confirmation vote, we shouldn’t be just telling people what we’re going to do. As student representatives we’ll talk to them about it so they can get involved in their society,” Peterson said.

In order to raise awareness about ASUS Garcia and Peterson said their strategy is based on a strict marketing model to be implemented when in office.

“We want to do a two week intense marketing campaign, followed by two weeks of no marketing,” Garcia said. “We want marketing to be reborn every month to keep things fresh.”

The team’s marketing plan will come in handy when promoting revitalized services like the ASUS movie theatre (AMT).

“We want to move back to film reels like we did two years ago because it gives a different vibe,” Peterson said, adding that the AMT currently uses DVDs to put on Sunday night movies.

In conjunction with new marketing strategies for ASUS services, the team said they want to emphasize internal accountability in ASUS.

Garcia said as a member of the Board of Directors he saw a need to increase financial accountability in ASUS.

“We manage a fund of close to $180,000 and there’s no real accountability for ASUS as a whole,” he said.

Peterson added that the financial plan for ASUS is presented only a few times a year. “It’s not reflective of the amount of money being dealt with here,” he said.

Because of annual turnover in the ASUS, Garcia said presenting a financial plan to people in transition is difficult. Instead, the team is proposing monthly financial meetings with the Board of Directors.

“We want to get a good sense of continuity in the budget and monthly meetings would help that,” Garcia said.

The team also wants to ensure an international student perspective on ASUS assembly.

They want to add an international student representative to the ASUS Assembly who would sit as a non-voting member. “We want them to be able to voice their concerns regularly,” said Garcia. In order to be a voting member of ASUS Assembly, the representative must have been elected by the student body.

The team also wants to create a student Faculty Board caucus to increase external representation.

“What we propose is to have the DSC Chairs, the ASUS Senators, the ASUS Exec and I to meet one or two days before actual Faculty Board meetings so that all the students involved can go over the meeting agenda and discuss the issues that will be brought up,” Peterson said.

For full platform, go to garcia-peterson.com.

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