Officer candidates present platforms

Candidates for four ASSP officer positions make speeches and answer questions ahead of general election

Kyle Morrison, News Editor

On March 8th, ASSP held their officer candidate forum, which serves as the last chance for candidates to appeal to the SPU community ahead of the general election on March 10.

Candidates for president, executive vice president, vice president of ministries, and vice president of intercultural affairs each gave five-minute speeches followed by a two-minute Q&A period from the general public.

Laur Lugos, who is running unopposed for the president position gave the first speech. The main goal of her platform is to supply student leaders with unlimited free counseling and mental health care as soon as next year. Currently all students on campus are limited to six free counseling sessions per year.

“I believe that supporting student leaders supports the general student body,” Lugos said. “Caring for leaders empowers individuals to care for their specific communities and I believe counseling and mental health resources would be a tangible and effective way to improve the overall atmosphere of our campus.”

Lugos wants to make student leaders more accessible to the rest of the student body. Her hope is to create a student leader directory that can be easily accessed by all members of the SPU community.

She also presented a plan to reshape the university foundations curriculum at SPU. Lugos wants 50% of all ufound source materials to come from minority groups.

“If elected as ASSP president, I would work alongside my ASSP core team in hopes to mandate that 50% of ufound course materials be sourced by either black, indigenous, people of color and or queer people and or members of the disabled community,” Lugos stated.

The first contested race to be highlighted at the event was Executive Vice President. Candidate Ciarra Choe layed out her hopes for a more accessible senate and a more involved student body.

“As your next EVP, I will make it my top priority to make the senate more accessible and approachable for the student body to propose effective changes,” Choe explained. “If we really want to create productive change and changes in policy, we need to start going to senate and we need to start addressing it on a legislative level.”

One of Choe’s top priorities is eradicating the statement on human sexuality.

Choe’s opponent Aly Cotte layed out an agenda that was more focused on the structure of the senate itself. Cotte’s two main goals as EVP would be to fill all available ASSP Senate seats and to ensure that all senators have resources for their constituents.

“I wanna make sure that senators are connected to their respective groups on campus and given the resources to do that, and also have resources to give to their constituents so students are able to bring their concerns, ideas, or proposals to the senate floor to be discussed,” said Cotte.

The first Vice President of Ministries candidate to speak was Chloe Guillot, who used her speech to prioritize her vision for a more inclusive ministry at SPU.

“We can be the kind of ministry that focuses on the traditional church stuff, love your neighbor, love yourself, love God, and that’s really important,” Guillot explained. “But there’s also so much more ministry can be. Ministry should be an incubator for change, for justice, for mercy. Ministry should empower students, but it should also hold the powerful accountable.”

Guillot hopes to make SPU ministries a more welcoming environment for people from other religions as well.

“I think there is more that connects different religious backgrounds than differentiates us,” Guillot said. “I think there are many lessons we can learn from other religions that we can incorporate within our own events and theologies.”

VPM candidate Grace Ihle is running on a platform of activism. She wants to use SPU ministries to inspire change and empower minority students.

“I would actively learn about Queer, BIPOC, and non-Christian issues from the perspective of the students who actively experience them,” Ihle explained.

Reena Sindhu, the unopposed candidate for the position of Vice President of Intercultural affairs finished the night with a short speech focused on social justice and unity amongst different cultures and religions on campus.

“Some of the projects I hope to work on within the next school year are an entering faith project where all the various faith identities can come together and learn and celebrate their faith backgrounds and a project where the SPU community can interact with and support the greater Seattle population of unhoused folks,” Sindhu said.

The general election will be on March 10, with ballots accessible on Engage. Voting will close at 9 PM.