Independent Candidates Enter Student Senate Race
Running independent of a ticket, Henderson believes that party affiliation would not be beneficial to his campaign, saying that candidates typically choose people that are going to agree with them.
“I’m not a huge fan of parties … In elections in years past, it has been almost straight-ticket voting,” said Henderson. “This creates a culture of affirmation rather than challenge.”
“I’m humble enough to know that I don’t have all the answers to everything,” he said. “If I find people that only agree with me, then my faults and my shortcomings are going to be exacerbated.”
Henderson said he felt the Student Senate could become more engaged in political issues and would like to see the Senate become a more responsive government. Henderson cites campus safety campaigns and tuition increases to be his priority issues, as well as changing senate standards by holding elections for commissioners instead of appointing them.
“Currently, as it stands, commissioners are generally people who supported the campaign,” said Henderson. “We end up not picking people who will best represent their constituents.”
But, according to Henderson, the proposed tuition hike is “priority number one.”
“Student Senate is a systemic organization; they’re not there to get angry over issues that have already happened, they’re there to try to advise policy whenever they can,” said Henderson. “Raising tuition is not an immediate answer.”
Henderson also said he believes Senate should act as an incentive to the administration to make them take care of students first, and while Senate has to work with the administration, they should also be opposed to them because their first concern should be the students.
As far as campus safety, Henderson said he believes the Senate should sponsor more anti-rape campaigns, especially those targeted toward men. “I think we need to foster a community among the men on campus that if they see something that looks suspicious, they need to step in and ask what’s going on … because that can have a huge impact on the situation.”
REACH presidential candidate Zach George said it’s no surprise that Henderson is running.
yOU presidential candidate Tony Koehling said Henderson will add great competition to the race. “I think Jared [Henderson] represented his constituency better than lot of other candidates,” Koehling said.
Earlier this year, Henderson came under scrutiny when asked to resign by current Academic Affairs Commissioner Amrit Saini, who is also bidding for the vice presidential candidacy on the REACH ticket. Henderson said the issue was resolved quickly and maintains a “constructive working relationship” with Saini, and doesn’t believe the issue will affect his campaign negatively.
Similar to the tactic of yOU’s campaign, Henderson has not been fundraising for his campaign and says he has no budget. “I think there are more innovative ways to handle social media,” said Henderson. “Flyers and chalking doesn’t speak to what I want to do as a candidate … By using social media, I can speak directly to the students.”
Candidate Cheng said he is running because he believes there is a gap between the school and the students, especially amongst the Chinese student population. Cheng said he believes he can “bridge the gap between different student populations.”
“My major is judgment and decision-making, so I feel that I can apply what I have learned to the organization [SAC],” Cheng said. “I can apply what I have learned about decision analysis techniques and statistics to improve the organization and [its] activities.”
“Of course I know that if I were to join a party, it would be helpful. But I think I can express myself [without a party],” he said.
Student Senate election campaigns will be running for the next 30 days and elections will be held Thursday, May 17.