Student trustee, USG president elections rapidly approaching

By Gus Bode

Candidates embody variety of backgrounds, viewpoints

The elections are impending; do you know your candidates?

The elections for student trustee and undergraduate student president/vice president will take place Tuesday and Wednesday in the Student Center, Morris Library and all three dining halls.


In the student trustee elections, incumbent Ed Ford will be running against junior Josh Perschbacher and junior Laura Taylor for the office. The student trustee represents the voice of the student body at Board of Trustees meetings and also is expected to consult with his or her constituencies by attending USG, Graduate Professional Student Council, Black Affairs Council, International Student Government and the meetings of many other campus governing bodies.

For undergraduate student president elections, current Senate pro-tempore and Senate Chair Rob Taylor is running against current Vice President Tequia Hicks. The USG president presides over meetings and has a plethora of other responsibilities in representing the official voice of the student body.

The official debates between the candidates took place Tuesday in the Student Center Auditorium and gave candidates a chance to express their perspectives on current campus issues.

Five-year student trustee incumbent Ed Ford hopes to again represent the voice of the students for a number of reasons.

In the past year, Ford has attended every USG and GPSC meeting that did not interfere with his required Board of Trustees meetings.

Josh Pershbacher, a junior in education and current USG senator, also is vying for the position.

“I feel I can do something on campus. I can make a difference,” he said. “I feel I have a lot more in common with the students (than Ford). We need someone to get up there and tell them what the students want.”


Perschbacher has had experience with government through being a part of USG, the Internal Affairs Council of USG, and Model Illinois Government. He is minoring in political science and economics.

Perschbacher hopes to hold Chancellor Walter Wendler accountable for raising the price of tuition among other platforms.

He produced T-shirts, has attended numerous meetings of campus organizations, and organized a pre-election barbecue to spread the word about his desire to be president. Problems with the Risk Management Committee on campus led Pershbacher to seek help in finding a place to hold the barbecue, because a review showed that his decision to cook chicken could endanger students. No place for the free barbecue has yet been finalized, but the grassy field by Brush Towers is a possibility.

Junior Laura Taylor is also a member of USG and involved in several other campus organizations, such as serving as president of Alpha Gamma Delta, several honor societies and public relations director for InterGreek Council in USG policy this past school year.

“Over the previous year I’ve been a senator on USG, and I felt that enough of the student issues weren’t being addressed,” she said. “Specifically, tuition increases [have not received enough attention] and often times the students input doesn’t mean enough, and it’s one of the Southern at 150 goals that hasn’t received enough attention.”

“I have a lot of leadership abilities and skills. I’m in a numerous amount of student organizations and I try to help out anywhere I can. If I was to be the next student trustee, I would not only be able to be involved; but also be involved in the planning and decision making process.”

She said that no matter the results on election day, she hopes to see an increased voter turnout.

“Student opinion is what this office is all about, and if we can’t get students to vote that goal is not being fulfilled,” she said.

Rob Taylor decided to run for president after suggestions from others on campus.

“I started to get a lot of support from various student leaders. There didn’t seem to be anybody else that I would want to back who was interested in running, and I did try to recruit some people,” he said. “There’s going to have to be some changes to the constitution, and some of that is going to require historical background.”

He hopes to restructure USG to better accommodate the changing atmosphere of the campus.

“Basically there’s going to be enormous amount of restructuring of the campus geographically and academically,” he said. “The legislative branch has representatives from the colleges and from various geographical areas on and off campus. Because of this restructuring, those things are going to have to be changed. My plan is to make it as easy as possible for any student to be a part of their constituency body, as well as to run smoother student government elections.”

Taylor has been active in drafting new legislation for USG meetings as well as perhaps what he is best known for:campaigning for the Munchy Man. Taylor named his election party the Munchie Party after his endeavors to keep the late-night vendor in business in front of Brush Towers.

Taylor is responsible for drafting legislation to add the Munchy Man amendment to the election ballots. The referendum gives students an opportunity to tell the administration their opinion on his continuing presence.

Vice President Hicks has had numerous responsibilities as well during her tenure on the executive board. She is running on the Freedom Party.

Hicks has been in charge of presiding over USG meetings, keeping senator disputes to a minimum and making sure affairs are handled quickly and efficiently in meetings. She also spends a good deal of time in the USG office, and hopes to make the office more organized and more smoothly running in the impending year.

If elected, Hicks has the goal of filling all 58 Senate seats and getting more students involved in USG and other constituency bodies on campus.