The Nevada Sagebrush editorial board formally endorses Brandon Boone and Jacob Springmeyer for the presidential and vice presidential positions, respectively, for the Associated Students of The University of Nevada. Both candidates represent the vision that students need from their public officials. It’s a vision that is innovative, knowledgeable and cohesive.
Serving as senator for the College of Business and Chair of Committee on Civic Engagement, Boone takes pride in being able to find opportunities for students through volunteerism, internships and overall civic engagement. Boone honed in on the Campus to the City Initiative, a project that was heavily invested in by current President Caden Fabbi. Expanding on that, he wants to get students involved as much as possible. Given the immensity of the project, Boone intends to seek out any kinks in the existing initiative to ensure that students will be getting as much opportunity out of this initiative as possible.
Last semester Boone coordinated and hosted the largest nonprofit event our university has ever held, bringing over 40 local nonprofits and service organizations to campus to recruit student volunteers. It’s this type of leadership we want to see. Boone has confidence in his vision for the university, one that’ll not only match the university’s plan but hopefully exceed it. Our staff feels Boone has the clearest vision of what our campus needs from a student government in order to push our university toward becoming a leading regional university.
Marissa Crook, although qualified for the position of president, came up short in some areas. She demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of ASUN’s bureaucracy and how it works. We believe that Crook demonstrates integrity and vision in her campaign. However, we also believe that increasing the diversity of ASUN must be a paramount concern of the next administration.
For too long, ASUN has been largely dominated by individuals who represent a relatively narrow portion of our university’s demographics. After pressing both candidates on their views on diversifying ASUN, we felt that Boone had both a more holistic vision for and a more passionate commitment to diversifying the student government. Boone expressed a desire to increase representation of students from a multitude of backgrounds, as well as to make the university as a whole a more inclusive place for students to thrive, regardless of their race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.
While Crook also expressed a desire to diversify ASUN, we felt that her plans fell short of what is needed to effect substantive change beyond the ASUN offices. In addition, improving representation for historically underrepresented groups did not seem to be as much of a genuine concern for her campaign, and we feel that this is a fatal flaw.
Jacob Springmeyer presented us with a platform that complemented his ticketed presidential running mate, Boone. Springmeyer has the experience in the executive department that complements Boone’s legislative experience. Springmeyer currently sits as the deputy chief of staff, and has a breadth of experience in planning and programming some of the more successful events ASUN has funded and hosted. Springmeyer’s recent involvement in the university’s first “Biggest Little Festival” is admirable. Being a northern Nevada native, Springmeyer’s main focus is not just reaching out to the student population, but the community as well.
Even though Springmeyer has our endorsement, his stance on the student run publications is troubling. When asked about his vision for the publications, encompassing Insight Magazine, The Brushfire Literary Arts Journal and Wolf Pack Radio, his response did not indicate much interest or knowledge on the subject.
Considering that the vice president’s office has been expanded to become the liaison between student run publications and ASUN government, it stands as a concern for the students who work for these publications, who are able to use the publications to learn and grow professionally. It should be noted that The Nevada Sagebrush is entirely self-funded, and as such will not be influenced by any policy Springmeyer may introduce in regard to the publications.
While it may simply be a lack of previous knowledge and familiarity with the function and intended audiences of the student publications, his ideas to reallocate funds based on surveys and readership may serve as a detriment to their intention. If elected, Springmeyer must take steps to fully understand the relationships he needs to create in order to implement the platform he is promising.
Conversely vice presidential candidate Austin Mathias stating, “I’m not really worried about making friends” and “I’m a very blunt person,” did not exhibit qualities that are indicative of a leader, or at least the kind of leader that the vice presidential office needs. We aren’t saying public officials can’t be blunt or have an alternative take on a position, but in order to be a student leader on this campus you have to be able to compromise and maintain good working relationships with businesses, organizations and individuals on and off campus.
Overall, the students need public officials that demonstrate an interest in their constituents. Boone and Springmeyer are the officials that have presented the most concise plan on how to enhance student diversity within ASUN, efficiently allocate the ASUN budget, offer the highest potential of scholastic opportunity and if elected uphold consistency within their length of service.
The Nevada Sagebrush editorial board can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.