Our Opinion: Vote Erin Carlson for student body president

Posted on March 19, 2014 in Our Opinion, Perspectives
By USM Free Press

The polls are open for the student elections for another day of voting, and it’s not too late to cast your ballot in favor of candidate Erin Carlson.

Events this year have shown that USM’s student body president needs to be more committed and involved than ever as students face a transforming university, endless budget cuts, and an ambivalent atmosphere.

Current student body president Kelsea Dunham spoke at today’s campus-wide meeting as part of the discussion of President Theo Kalikow’s proposed cuts. When she became student body president, Dunham thought that much of her time would be spent on issues with parking or cafeteria food. “I couldn’t have been more wrong,” she said. Since that time Dunham has been an active part of the conversation on USM’s future. Because these discussions are far from over, this dedication from the student body president to the meaty issues at USM cannot end with Dunham. That’s where Carlson comes in.

Carlson demonstrated today at the same meeting that she has a high level of commitment to this university and that she could continue Dunham’s work in representing the student voice in these conversations. “I love USM,” she said to start. “I’m being sold on this idea that our location is our greatest asset rather than our faculty and the quality of our content,” she continued, prompting applause.

She contributed thoughtfully, stressing the importance of supporting faculty, who in turn support the students, and she engaged the audience. Unlike the other candidates, Carlson represents can truly represent USM because she is part of the majority –– she is a nontraditional female student at a school where the average student age is 28 and 56 percent of the student body is female. She is the only candidate who does not identify with the Republican party.

Beyond that she seems to be the ideal candidate for representative of the student body at large, she is also passionate about a platform that resonates with many at USM –– community diversity and the LGBTQA student population. She is also just jazzed about building a better, more involved community here at USM in general.

“I think it is important to create a sense of ownership in a community in order to foster healthy relationships within it,” she wrote on her candidate page. “I want members of the USM community to see their own impact, to feel heard and connected.”

So navigate to the polls, USM and vote for Carlson to build a better community and continue making student-oriented change at USM.

Check out Erin’s candidate page at http://www.usmvotes.com/erin-carlson.html

Then vote online at: http://www.usmvotes.com/

Our Opinion is written by the Free Press editorial board.