By now you’ve probably noticed the campaigning that’s been going on around campus. AS Elections begin next week and the AS Review will publish a special elections issue that will contain interviews with the candidates. But until then, get yourself acquainted with the candidates by reading their statements below. Voting begins on April 26; to vote, log on to My Western.

President

John Woodworth

“Revolution: I promise a non-violent solution to an outdated illusion. Watch as we easily clear the negativity, fly high over-masculinity, towards loving diversity, and what is most healthy. Lettuce be the cause we wish to see in this age of Pisces, drawing affinity to all fish in the sea, these times are infinity. Fact is, that usually mistakes need to be made in order to pave a new way. But these times we’ve changed. I too had a dream, like Martin Luther King, uniting all of humanity with a common theme. Only I guarantee I will cure all dis ease and disease if you vote for me.  Art is in Earth and in Heart, where every waterfall starts with one drop. Word up. I am.”

BreAnna Jones

“To refresh  and empower the student body of WWU, I am going to organize around core challenges facing our university—tuition setting, the capital planning campaign, promoting resources, and  most importantly  creating a bridge between the 13,000 plus students and the Associated Students as well as the Bellingham community. By acting together we can successfully explore these issues and conquer them, after all we are Vikings!!! I am a passionate and courageous leader who hails from Seattle, WA and a proud graduate of Chief Sealth High; double majoring in Political Science and Communications and I have a minor in Liberal Studies. You can find me on campus rallying against tuition hikes, hand billing/fundraising (on Vendors Row), giving tours to youth, or being enlightened in the library.”

Colin Watrin

“Experience you can trust
As Vice President for Activities, I have spent the last year assessing the strengths and needs of the Associated Students organization and of WWU at large.
Commitment to the Western community
I am deeply committed to the success of WWU and the power of students to create a strong community – Western has been my home for the last four years, and the amazing students here are my family.
Direction for the future
As President I intend to:
Provide greater support for students on University Committees
Market the AS to increase student awareness and participation
Fight to keep Western affordable and accessible
Evaluate and improve AS resource and program offices so they may better serve students”

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Ramon Rinonos-Diaz

“Hello, my name is Ramon Rinonos-Diaz. As your current AS VP for Academic Affairs I bring experience working with the University administration, faculty, staff, and students. In this role I have served on campus committees related to various issues including: dining, curriculum, student fees, and more. Over this year I have worked closely with faculty and administrators regarding GURs, First-Year Programs, and the Student Technology Fee. I believe that student representation is vital and wish to continue incorporating student voices across our campus.
If re-elected I plan to:
Update academic policies to better represent current student needs
Increase collaboration with the university regarding student fees and student values
Increase knowledge of advising across campus to increase access, accuracy, and availability of information”

Rosa Beyene

“My name is Rosa Beyene and I am currently a junior at Western working towards a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Business and Communication. I am an outgoing person who loves meeting new people. I thrive to do well in school and I am a firm believer that knowledge is one of the greatest gifts anyone can obtain and it is the key to success. When given a job or task I like to push myself to the limit and excel in whatever it is that I am doing. I chose to run for V.P. of Academic Affairs because I know the students here at Western should have input and their voices heard on how things should be run involving their academics.”

Vice President for Activities

Tasheon Chillous

“HI! My name is Tasheon Chillous and I am running for VP for Activities. I am a Junior in the Design program. I am creative, hardworking, driven and have a passion for leadership.
I currently serve on the Edens-Higginson Hall Council as President. I also serve on the Hig-Fom Committee, Diversity Poster Committee and the AS Budget Committee.
I am running because I want to see students unlock their inner leader. So if elected I would like to do the following:
-Increase the participation and knowledge of clubs and activities on campus.
-Create a club community that promotes connections and relationships to contribute to YOUR success as a student.
Visit and ask me questions on facebook @ TasheonVP.”

Alisha Beck

“As a sociology major working in the AS Personnel Office, I have experience and knowledge on how the AS works on a daily basis.
In high school I was the ASB President and yearbook editor and found I thrive in leadership positions and love helping others succeed.  My perfectionist work ethic and organizational skills drive me beyond what others expect.
As VP for Activities: I will increase club awareness at Western, give clubs opportunities to increase their resources, and make sure YOUR voice is heard.  The AS has enriched my college experience and I want to extend the same to you.
I KNOW that I have the right skills, I KNOW this job is for me.
I would love to be your VP of Activities. “

Abraham Rodriguez-Hernandez

“I am a senior at Wetern currently working towards an American Culture Studies & Spanish double major.  Since the first day I set foot on this campus I have been motivated by the involvement and leadership of the students I interact with.  The leadership growth I have experienced will be my personal fuel for bringing positive change to Western’s campus.
My platform regarding campus activities consist of 3 main components.
Inject leadership theory into academics to increase awareness of the concept of leadership.
Work hand in hand with the Karen Morse Leadership Institute to increase faculty-student interaction in regards to leadership.
Unite efforts of AS clubs to create outstanding leadership opportunities for incoming students.”

Vice President for Business and Operations

Natnael Tekeste

” By becoming the Vice-President for Business and Operations I can connect with students on a common basis level. I know I’m right for this position because I’m business savvy and I have tremendous experience in student government since the day I can remember. I work tediously with other business related unions and school related programs because of my interest in business management, marketing, economics and accounting. I have a deep passion committing to a change that I have started or that has been shown to me by peers. Because it is impervious to me that the student voice heard and through someone that has authority to address the situation at hand. By allowing me to represent Business and Operations for this academic thriving school you will surely see a change rather than hearing of one.”

Benjamin Brockman

“Majoring in Financial Economics, minoring in Accounting
QUALIFICATIONS: Birnam Wood Treasurer, Finance Club Treasurer, director of Finance Tutoring Center, committee member on Investment Scholarship Fund
As an Eagle Scout, I value integrity and environmentalism.
WORK EXPERIENCE: Previous management and accounting jobs, and recently hired for one of the Top 5 internships in America, as ranked by CNN.
MY PACT WITH WESTERN: Due to my expertise in business and money, I will deliver accountability and results. This means using the $2,300,000 AS budget efficiently, stretching your dollars to maximize programs, and reducing AS expenditures that don’t benefit you so we can stop your student fees from rising with tuition.
Come in to my office and talk to me anytime, and make sure I’m doing my job.”

Loren Bronczyk

“My name is Loren Bronczyk and I am running for VP of Business and Operations. I am strongly suited for dealing with our current economic struggles because of the following reasons:
I am a graduate business student who worked for one of the few profitable banks before returning to further my education.
My undergrad in psychology means that I am able to be attentive to the needs of the student body.
I want to run the AS  efficiently; that all the fees that we as students pay are going to activities that students want, not expenses or programs that do not benefit the student body.
Thank you for your support in helping me make WWU a stronger community.”

Vice President for Diversity

LaHaji Thomas

“Hello, my name is LaHaji Thomas, I am a junior running for VP for Diversity. As a community activist and  Sociology major, with the primary focus of social inequalities I have gained the knowledge and experience that places me in a unique position to be a dynamic Vice President for Diversity.  As I passionately engage in coursework and service learning surrounding my academic minors of Diversity in Higher Education and Women’s Studies, I recognize the challenges that members of diverse and underrepresented groups experience due to classism, heterosexism, racism, ableism, and many more. I am a fighter who values and embraces diverse voices, stories, and experiences. I will advocate for those who are silenced without apprehension, fear, or hesitation. Vote LaHaji for VP for Diversity.”

Eric Sanchez

“My name is Eric Sanchez.  I am currently a junior majoring in Psychology with an emphasis in leadership development.  Diversity is not just the color of one’s skin but what lies deep within each and every one of us.  I see the uniqueness in each and every person and want to build an atmosphere of unity and power to overcome the arising and continuing oppressions/issues which we all battle each and every day.  I will fight for you, for them, for us.  Separate we can live our lives and mind our own business, but together we can be the change for a better world.  I’m Eric Sanchez and I want to be your Vice President for Diversity.”

Bernard Ikegwuoha

“Westerns campus has always presented the opportunity for cultivating great leaders, and diversity has served as the underlying foundation.  My sight has always been set on providing representation where it is lacking, and incorporating student voices and opinions in all decision-making processes.
I am currently your Vice-President for Diversity, and my goals for reelection are to continue to make visible the struggles of underrepresented and marginalized groups on campus.  My struggles and successes this year have given me a better perspective and keen insight into what this position requires, from getting students, faculty and administrators to be better informed of the A.S., to providing a sage community for all people.  There is work that still needs to be done!  Please help me in my efforts.”

Elle Peters

“Experience:
Attended and facilitated several trainings about safe spaces, diversity, and identity.
Worked with the Ally Building Network to raise awareness regarding controversial issues of various identities.
Served as the AS LGBTA Coordinator for the last year.
Minoring in Diversity in Higher Education.
When Elected Vice President for Diversity I will:
Expand the services of this position to serve ALL non-traditional students – including but not limited to students of color, veterans, LGBTQ, religious identities, and students with disAbilities.
Raise awareness of on campus resources for minorities to ensure all students feel safe and supported.
Outreach to students using forums, attend clubs and events, and increased invisibility to ensure a flow of information regarding student needs."

Vice President for Governmental Affairs

Chris Chatburn

“Tuition prices are skyrocketing!  It seems that funding for higher education is always the first to go when the budget is tight.  Tuition will increase by a staggering $755 this Fall and, if current trends continue, the price of getting an education at Western will be over $7,000 in 2011, almost $2,000 more expensive than it was for me and my classmates in our freshman year.  This is ridiculous!  I’ve worked for the State Attorneys General and in the AS and I know firsthand how our elected officials operate.  I will focus on keeping our school affordable for everybody.  My other goals include: ensuring the continuation of state work study and need based grants and encouraging investment in jobs that create opportunities for Western graduates.”

Byron Starkey

“Next year as your AS VP for Governmental Affairs I will ensure that our campus becomes more aware and active in the legislative process. My participation on eight university committees, including the Legislative Affairs Counsel, the Legislative Action Fund Committee, and Western Votes makes me the most experienced candidate to REPRESENT, MOBILIZE, and ORGANIZE students around issues of higher education.
Next year I will:
Develop a strategic campus plan for governmental affairs; to provide a UNIFIED approach to LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY
Increase student awareness and engagement with legislative decisions impacting education;
Promote voter registration and participation
If elected, I will work to unify our campus and communicate student priorities to legislators in Olympia. Thank you for your support. For more info, visit http://votebyronstarkey.blogspot.com/”

Vice President for Student Life

Jamin Agosti

“I am a second-year junior from Alaska and am majoring in Political Science and Communications. Being an out-of-state student at Western has given me the opportunity to view the University, the state, and Bellingham from a unique perspective that I can use to help advance the AS and the student experience. The VP for Student Life is a crucial position and has the potential to immensely affect the campus atmosphere and the everyday interactions between the University and its students. Volunteering hundreds of hours with the AS and working for two University Residences departments has given me the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively and accurately represent students’ interests across campus. My priorities include athletics and recreation, sustainability, responsible spending, and effective technology. Visit vote.jaminagosti.com.”

Mike Pond

“Re-elect Mike Pond as your AS Vice President for Student Life! As the current VP, I have worked with Dining Halls, Residence Halls, Recreation, Transportation, Sustainability and everything in between involving Student Life. I have gained a unique understanding of the AS and the University offering an excellent working relationship with University administration and departments. Through my passion and devotion for leadership and outreach, I believe I have represented the students strongly on over 15 University committees and councils. There’s simply more work I desire to do with my position, specifically the restructuring of the Green Energy Fee and the implementation of Gender Inclusive Housing.
For more information, please join my election Facebook group.
My name is Mike Pond, and I have approved this message.”