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Student Senate meeting in Walter Hall, on Feb. 26, 2020. (FILE)

Taking a look at OU’s Student Senate executive candidate platforms

Ohio University’s Student Senate executive candidates will be campaigning this week leading up to the Senate elections April 6. 

There are two joint tickets running for election as well as three independent candidates. This is the first contested election since the 2017-2018 Senate race. 

Athens Advocacy is one of the two tickets. Current Treasurer Becky “Eliza” Ivan, a senior studying political science and law, justice and culture, is running for president. Chief of Staff Elaina Tartal, a junior studying political science and sociology-criminology, will be running for vice president. Director of Public Relations Emily Ertle, a junior studying finance, business economics and business pre-law, is running for treasurer.

The ticket has a set list of goals and plans that they hope to achieve once voted into office. One plan includes creating an OU app where all the existing university-related portals can be consolidated into one place. Athens Advocacy also wants to add director positions to act as a tripod commission for inclusion, diversity and accessibility. 

“We have about 12 goals that we're looking into expanding on, and we really want to hear more from students,” Ertle said. “These are personal things that we valued for a long time that has developed into these great ideas for other students.”

Build Together is the second ticket in the current election. Current Governmental Affairs Commissioner Maxeen Ramlo, a junior studying mechanical engineering, will be running for president. Simar Kalkat, a sophomore studying finance, business analytics and economics, is running for treasurer. 

This ticket has put an emphasis on mental health, inclusion and flexibility with online learning. Build Together plans to work alongside Counseling and Psychological Services, or CPS, to create more options for students. The ticket wants to work with the First Year and Student Transitions office to support new students as well as the Career and Leadership Development Center to help international students. Ramlo said she wants to make sure students are aware of all the different options for mental health services on campus. 

The Build Together ticket is endorsing Richard Danylo, a junior studying chemical engineering and computer science. He was initially part of the ticket before internal complications ended up leaving Danylo as an independent vice presidential candidate. Danylo has been a member of Senate since he was a freshman and worked as the interim treasurer over the summer. 

“I think that Student Senate has some internal things that make it hard for us to … put in the work in communicating properly with the students,” Danylo said. “I think that sometimes our internal problems are an embarrassment in the eyes of the administration. I'd like to really quickly and efficiently work on solving a lot of those internal issues … in the hopes that we can kind of rebrand ourselves. It's a great time for us to reflect on everything and fix all of our problems and start anew.” 

Another ticket, made up of current members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, or SAC, was dissolved. It left two additional independent executive candidates behind. 

Brogan Speraw, a senior studying mechanical engineering, is running for vice president independently. He has plans to strengthen and increase the Senate commissions, create SAC reform and focus on students’ health.

“I aim to be the candidate that essentially hears everyone and one that everyone can come to with their suggestions,” Speraw said in an email. “I hope to continue the work that the last body did to unify the Senate and create friendships that will last long beyond our time on these red bricks.”

Sarah Packard, a junior studying management information systems, business analytics and management strategic leadership, will be independently running for treasurer. She wants to focus on putting money into the hands of student organizations who can help more than Senate may be able to.

“I would never understand the struggles of racial minorities, so I don't know how to help, but if I can provide funding to those groups, they would know how to help themselves,” Packard said. “I'd be able to work with them and get them to understand my point of view, and then work with them to get what they want done.” 

The first executive Senate debate was held Tuesday, and there is another planned for next Monday, April 5. The election will be held Tuesday, April 6, and results should be announced that night. 


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