Daily Egyptian

Student trustee election begins Tuesday

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Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Daily Egyptian Campus Desk

The polls for student trustee are open from 6 a.m. Tuesday to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on Desire2Learn.

With steep budget cuts on the horizon for the university in the midst of a state budget impasse approaching the two-year mark, the Daily Egyptian interviewed candidates Sam Beard and Richard York via email and asked the following questions:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What are you studying?
  3. Do you have any previous leadership experience?
  4. Why do you think you would be a good choice for student trustee?
  5. What do you think the Board of Trustees is doing well? What could it be doing better?
  6. What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

 

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Sam Beard

Where are you from?

Naperville

What are you studying?

Philosophy

Do you have any previous leadership experience?

Throughout my 12 years in the Boy Scouts of America, I served in several leadership positions, including leading a team in a large-scale food drive that I completed while obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Moreover, I have led several grassroots student movements on campus and, generally speaking, my primary passion is community organizing.

Why do you think you would be a good choice for student trustee?

A war has been declared on higher education and I am fully committed to defending it. What we need right now are bold and daring leaders to stand against those attempting to defund and destroy our beloved university. That is precisely what I will do as student trustee. I am running because I feel an ethical obligation to defend my fellow students, particularly those from marginalized communities, and as Student Trustee, I will be in a position to do so.

What do you think the SIU Board of Trustees is doing well? What could it be doing better?

The current Board of Trustees has been handed a very nasty hand and has been told to make the best of it. That being said, they have reacted to it all wrong, repeatedly shifting the burden of keeping the university open onto the backs of students by hiking tuition, housing and even the cost of food for on-campus residents. Through hiring freezes and gutting the graduate assistantship program and research initiatives on campus, the quality of education offered at SIU is going down, yet the current board insists upon raising the cost of attendance. I do not think that is fair.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

When elected, I will resist any funding cuts to research and push for the revitalization of the university’s graduate assistantship program. I will ensure the university expands support systems for survivors of sexual assault and maintains a zero-tolerance for racism, sexism and homophobia. I will seek to halt the ceaseless hikes in tuition, fees and housing costs. I will urge our top administrators to take pay cuts in the name of preserving the quality of education offered at the university and implore my fellow board members to consider the necessity of these lavishly compensated positions in the first place. Finally, I will meet with students and organizations every week to see what they would like to see done around campus and how we can make it happen.

Richard York

Where are you from?

Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

What are you studying?

[First Year] Law

Do you have any previous leadership experience?

Student Bar Association Treasurer, Phi Delta Phi Exchequer

Why do you think you would be a good choice for student trustee?

I understand the financial crisis affecting the university and can help to alleviate our budgetary issues.

What do you think the SIU Board of Trustees is currently doing well? What could it be doing better?

They have done a good job of keeping the university running through the budget shortcomings so far. More can be done.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

Ensuring that SIU stays fiscally solvent, that tuition does not increase, and that fees stay where they are at.

The Daily Egyptian’s news desk can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3397.

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