Silver City, N.M.- ASWNMU elections were in full swing on Wednesday with an open forum in Miller Library giving students the first view of who their future senators and executives will be when election results hit next week. There were plenty of various views on certain issues that came from a variety of students running for senator. This open forum was full of discussion on how each of these candidates would bring about change to WNMU for the better.
The questioning board was composed of Harry Wetton, current Attorney General, Mariangela Garcia, senator, Bre Aker, Executive Secretary, and Claudia Ochoa Osuna, ASWNMU President.
The Philosophy club was also asked to provide questions for a few candidates as well.
There are 14 candidates up for the position of senator, and they are: Bailey McFarland, Clarissa Moreno, Jill Smith, Iliana Luna, Eugene Sierra, Alyssa Chavez, Daniel Myers, Dylan Kester, Alejandro Gonzalez, Vicente Partido, Karina Diaz, Victoria Arganda, Calum Hill, Raul Prado, Brianna Jones, and Kelli McGhiey.
Madison Jones and Vladimir Gnilozubov are both in the running for Treasurer.
Fanny Farfan is running unopposed for Executive Secretary, as well as Annely Heinze for VP, and Tim Stillman for President.
To start off the forum, Wetton asked a few icebreaker questions to candidates for a little fun and show a bit of their personalities to the crowd. Dylan Kester was asked the first question which was, “What three things would you bring to a desert island and why?” Kester replied with, “A book on how to build a boat, a book on how to survive on a desert island, and a water canteen.”
Alyssa Chavez, a candidate from Deming, was asked to describe herself in three words. She said, “A musician, hard worker, and kind.”
Vladimir was questioned as to who would play him in a movie about his life. After much thought, he blurted out, “Vin Diesel because that’s the only one I know.”
The Philosophy club then came up to the stand with questions for Tim Stillman and Annely Heinze. Their first question was for Tim on how the process for change comes about in student government’s system. He answered with, “Student government is checks and balances, and if we want to have anything new happen, it starts with us and then goes to the Board of Regents.”
Next came questions for the running Treasurer candidates from the ASWNMU board. They asked, “How would you make WNMU better from a financial standpoint?” Vladimir answered first and said that he there is a system that was created with past Treasurer Omar Lopez which he believes has been successful so far and that he would simply improve on.
Madison Jones answered that she is very organized, and would be able to say no when it comes time to manage the money for a bigger picture.
Then came up the question of student fees, and what the candidates thought about increasing or decreasing them in the future. Vladimir said that he didn’t necessarily agree with what others were saying about decreasing them, he believed that they should be increased in order for students to have better things.
Jones agreed with Stillman and Heinze on their viewpoint of fees, but also mentioned that it is a Catch 22 situation.
Finally, every other candidate was asked what it is they would most want to change if they were elected a senate position. Bailey McFarland among many others said that she would want to see more community involvement and student involvement through a means of communication. This was also the case with candidates Iliana Luna, Eugene Sierra, and Alyssa Sanchez. They saw communication as something that was lacking, and would want to bring that back in a big way so that everyone has a “university experience,” and smaller departments have a voice. Jill Smith said that she would want to bring about more inclusiveness, and bringing awareness to students of their resources. Alejandro Gonzalez said that he has noticed the school’s accessibility isn’t as great as it should be for students with wheelchairs, and he would want to implement a change on that.
ASWNMU elections are still open for voting, and will close later on today.