As Student Senate co-president elections draw closer, nominees work to articulate their strengths and goals for the coming year. The bids have come down to two teams, Junior Tasha Ostendorf and Senior Josh Sande and Sophomores Tom Olsen and Nick Nigro. Campaign strategies have involved posters and student dialogue, but most have centered on social media sites like Facebook groups and Twitter to disseminate their message.
Both teams’ Facebook pages give a good outline of their goals and welcome students to comment and ask questions.
Olsen and Nigro give a bulleted list of target initiatives for their co-presidency including implementing a system that would make it possible to use Three Crowns Cards at local St. Peter restaurants and to foster stronger ties with Faculty Senate and administration in order to collaborate more effectively on their plans.
Ostendorf and Sande give a similar list including initiatives like working toward providing free cable TV access and free printing for Gustavus students, creating a weekend shuttle service to and from Mankato for students without transportation and attempting to reduce or eliminate surcharges on certain campus housing.
Both teams reiterated their commitment to ongoing Senate projects like the Dive renovation.
“Large projects take several years to move through all the necessary administrative processes, and we are committed to continuing the Dive renovation project into its fourth year of progress,” Ostendorf said.
In addition, both teams are committed to revisiting the College’s visitation policy, ensuring the completion of the Interfaith Space and pushing for gender-neutral housing options.
“We understand that not all students are comfortable rooming with a person of the same-sex. If elected, we will work on designating one or two on-campus apartments ‘gender neutral’ and establishing a process by which students can get permission for such housing options,” Olsen and Nigro said.
Goals aside, each team feels their individual dynamism as running mates gives them an edge.
“Tasha and I believe that we compliment each other very well,” Sande said. “Our knowledge and experience within Senate means we can avoid the steep learning curve that many incoming presidents face.”
The Ostendorf-Sande ticket also includes Junior Jessica Flannery who will serve as co-president for the last half of the year, splitting the term with Sande who will have completed his time at Gustavus after the fall semester.
“[The three of us] have had different roles in Senate and thus have a broad level of knowledge about how the organization functions. Something unique we bring as a trio is our continuing connection with past members who can share their knowledge and research with us,” Ostendorf said.
Olsen and Nigro both currently serve as representatives from Complex and have worked together on multiple committees. They cite their success as roommates as one reason they would make effective co-presidents.
“We were roommates our first year and have taken multiple classes together with us both being political science majors,” Nigro said. “If you can live with someone well you can work well with them.”
Nigro acknowledged the experiential differences his team has, but was enthusiastic about their continued commitment to Senate.
“We’re both sophomores, so if elected, we would be excited to serve and improve the community we’d be a part of even after our term was up,” he said.
Students are encouraged to visit both teams’ Facebook pages for a more in-depth look at their plans.