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

Then vote online at:

Our Opinion is written by the Free Press editorial board.


  1. I think it is really great that voting Frazier Tanous will give you BOTH. Rebecca Tanous is also a woman, LGBTQ and a democrat. However, none of these are reasons that I took into consideration when voting this year. With what is happening currently, it is clear that what is most needed is student government experience and pre-existing connections to administration (along with many, may other things yes). This is why I voted for Frazier Tanous and saw no other candidate even close. Just watch the debate and decide for yourself. Either way, I hope this article has convinced people to vote one way or another. #voteFrazierTanous

  2. As a female who has attended the university for four years I am embarrassed by this article. I do not think just because you are gay, straight, transgender, black, white, male or female matters when it comes to an election. What SHOULD matter is the issues and what makes the individual actually qualified. In my opinion, this article does not highlight the skills the candidate has to make her a better candidate, you are just saying what organizations she associates with and frankly those are not valid reasons to elect somebody. I am embarrassed to say I attend this school lately.

  3. The USM Free Press has done it again. Do you want a candidate who’s primary EXPERIENCE CONSTITUTES BEING THE LEADER OF A GIRL SCOUT TROOP, a candidate who DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT THE UNIVERSITY NEEDS TO MAKE THE BEST OF THE GOOD THINGS WE HAVE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS AT USM, or a candidate who HOLDS A PERSON’S PERSONAL POLOTICAL BELIEFS TO BE IMPORTANT FOR BEING ABLE TO RUN A NONPARTISAN STUDENT GOVERNMENT??? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then go ahead and vote for Erin. The Free Press has never done anything right, and has kept up the tradition by supporting the worst candidate on the ballot. I don’t want my Student Body President to be more concernec with her tights and buying new outfits than she is with actual problems at this university. Watch the presidential debate to get the cold hard facts, people. The Free Press won’t provide you with any valid information.

  4. All student senators do is sit on their asses so just because you’re a part of student government doesn’t mean you’ll be a good president. Especially of you haven’t done jack shit to prove that you can even do anything.

  5. Just curious… has the Free Press ever stated an opinion on SBP elections before? Considering that it is Student Government sponsored, I’m kind of surprised they’d state a formal opinion. ps Can someone actually let me know the answer to this?


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