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Volume 72, Issue 106, Tuesday, March 6, 2007


SGA party has full plate

UH4U, only party running in this week's elections, focuses efforts on safety, spirit

The Daily Cougar

Students running under the UH4U ballot for the Student Government Association Senate's Wednesday and Thursday elections will face less opposition than in previous races.

UH4U, the only party in the election, aims to make the SGA more transparent and UH safer, prouder and more affordable by creating a Spirit and Traditions Council, continuing to fight tuition and fee increases and advocating for "Tier I" status, David Rosen, UH4U presidential nominee, said. "We want to bring more blue call boxes and lights across campus. We want to improve career services, because nowadays getting a degree is only half of the battle ? students need to find internships and jobs, too," Rosen said. "We want to install recycling bins in the dorms and other places around the school, which is something that many students have been demanding for a while. We also want to improve food services here and create a student-run radio station." 

Sam Dike, UH4U vice presidential nominee, said the Spirit and Traditions Council would coordinate the activities of the campus's spirit groups in an attempt to increase attendance at sporting events and promote school spirit.

"The council will also provide support and foster the growth of traditions such as Homecoming and Frontier Fiesta," Dike said.

Being the only party has not discouraged UH4U candidates from campaigning to student groups.

Rosen said being unopposed at the top of the ticket is bittersweet, but it won't change the way UH4U runs its campaign.

"This is the third year in a row I've been unopposed. I was looking forward to the debates, to the competition," he said. "But we're going to work as hard as we would if we were opposed from five different directions. (UH4U) is still working hard, and we're going to try to get more than 3,000 students to vote this year, which would be a new record."

Dike said running opposed is good for planning purposes but not for discussing the future of UH. In terms of how an unopposed race will affect the SGA, Dike does not foresee any negativity.

"I do believe that we have great people coming into office that are going to work hard to make the student experience on this campus better. That's the most important thing," Dike said. "There could be two or three people running, but if they don't have a clear plan of action or a vision for the future, it doesn't matter and it might be time to worry. 

"What matters is that we have a vision for the future and a plan of action to make student life better."

Shameria Davis, current senator and UH4U College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences seat No. 5 nominee, said SGA helps solve student issues and that she wants to continue to be part of the solution.

"I love my job as a senator for CLASS. We are a huge part of the student body, and I know we need a voice," Davis said. "The best way to be heard and known is to just get out there, be yourself and let your light shine."

Candidate close-up

UH students running in this week's elections for the nine contested Student Government Association Senate positions weigh in below on what they see as the most important issues facing UH and their constituents and how they plan to make improvements if elected. See Wednesday's Daily Cougar for complete voting instructions for the 2007 elections.

Senator-at-Large No. 4

Kayley Sanders: Hotel and restaurant management sophomore

Party: UH4U
On UH: I plan to support the UH4U initiative to create a Spirit and Traditions Council to improve morale.

Louis Delgado

Party: Independent

Chanthu Pillai: Biology sophomore

Party: Independent
On UH: As a senator for SGA I will vote against unnecessary costs and rising tuition.

CLASS Seat NO. 3

Vanessa Hall: Public relations junior

Party: UH4U
On UH: UH4U hopes to create ways for students to save money in the form of cheaper prices for food on campus and cheaper textbooks.

Stephanie King: Psychology and journalism junior

Party: Independent
On constituents: I would like to see the University give more attention to the psychology and communication departments.


Shameria Davis: Psychology and political science senior

Party: UH4U 
On constituents: CLASS needs people who will speak up for them. I will stand up for them and fight their battles intellectually when needed.

Josh Sarkar: Political science junior

Party: Independent
On constituents: CLASS is so large and diverse, but it is that diversity which unfortunately causes some students to get lost in the bureaucracy. I hope to work with the college to eliminate these frustrating losses.

CLASS seat No. 8

Gareth Morton: Political science sophomore

Party: UH4U
On constituents: Pursuing new companies and career avenues to recruit CLASS students and improving our career fair would be an enormous asset to our college's population. 

Alexander W. Obregon: Psychology junior

Party: Independent
On UH: The cost of education is rising, and financial aid is not. Starting at the university level will be the first step in addressing this problem.

NSM Senator NO. 3

Chuka Onya: Biology sophomore

Party: UH4U 
On Constituents: The biggest issues are the outdated science labs and expanding the service of the chemistry tutoring lab. I plan to make state lawmakers aware of the need to update our labs and also to work with alumni to seek external funding for renovation.

Hira Iqubal: Biology sophomore

Party: Independent
On UH: (I want) to fill that void between the students and the administration that makes those decisions.

Honors College

Jonas R. Chin: Communications sophomore

Party: UH4U 
On Constituents: Recycling, 24-hour library, food hours and dorm Internet are some of the pressing issues that I hear from fellow honors students.

Sabina Mohammed: Business freshman
Party: Independent

Senator-at-large No. 3

Bilal Zakaria: Accounting and economics junior

Party: UH4U
On constituents: (Regarding) rising tuition and fee increases, (I will) work with UH administration to mitigate as much increases as possible.

Ruthie Singer

Party: Independent

Education seat No. 1

Darinee ‘Dona' Suttajit: Nutrition senior

Party: UH4U
On UH: More student discounts should be enforced. ... The University can partner with restaurants, stores, movie theaters and other Houston businesses to give away discounts or increase their existing student discounts. 
On constituents: More recognition of the distinctive departments.

Thyatira Thompson

Party: Independent

CLASS seat No. 6

Amora McDaniel

Party: Independent

Jason J. Cisneroz; Political science junior 

Party: UH4U 
On UH: We must continue to find new ways of assisting our student body with the parking availability and propose new improvements to current parking procedures. I will also use my experience in dealing with public safety issues to address campus safety concerns such as lighting, police visibility and possibly further implementing a current Harris County program called the Community Emergency Response Team. 

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