Associated Students presidential and vice-presidential candidates Chad Charton and Safa Sajadi said they want the campus community to know they have the best interest of all students in mind, as well as the governmental experience to serve them.
The candidates plan on approaching students over the next two days to get their message out.
“You go out and interact with students (by personally) approaching students,” Charton said.
Charton, senior business major, said this approach worked well prior to the A.S. elections two weeks ago, and cited the nearly 50 percent improvement in voter turnout compared with last year as proof that he and Sajadi’s message has weight with students.
“Safa and I make it very clear that there is no agenda,” Charton said. “The goal is to represent and serve our student population and the student population alone.”
Sajadi, senior political science and religious studies major, agreed with Charton.
“As a student leader, the most important thing you should know is you represent more than your selected interest,” Sajadi said. “Communication between the student senators is vital. (You have to) let the senators (and directors) know (they) represent 33,000 students. I may be an idealist, but that’s how I feel about it.”
Charton said he thinks the duties of president and vice-president of A.S. are to manage, direct and further the roles that others, including senators, students and directors, play.
“Empowerment does not come with the title,” Charton said.
Charton and Sajadi have each served in A.S. in various capacities for the last three years. Charton is the current director of finance, and Sajadi is the attorney general.
The two have also served on various committees and student organizations outside of A.S.
Charton, a member of Sigma Chi, and Sajadi, a member of Alpha Xi Delta, are both active in the Greek community on campus, but insist they do not indulge in any favoritism toward Greek organizations through their work in A.S.
Charton said because there is a “prescribed formula” on how the Greeks receive funding through the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council and other Greek organizations, it is “financially impossible to favor” any group over another. He said the same is true for funding student athletics.
During elections earlier this month, Sajadi said she heard some students thought she and Charton only appealed to sororities and fraternities.
“That was disheartening because I’ve invested a lot into this campus,” Sajadi said.
Today and tomorrow, Charton and Sajadi will make available forms students can fill out to voice concerns, issues or problems they think the candidates should address, Charton said.
“(It will be the) first thing we work on if we’re elected,” Charton said. “We’re not assuming we know the concerns of every student on campus.”
Since the president and vice-president’s “premiere responsibilities are constant,” if the two win and receive an abundance of requests from students through the form-submitting process, they will respond on a first come, first served basis, Charton said.
“It will be a process over time,” Charton said. “But we’re willing to do it.”