UW-Platteville leaders take to the vote

The race for Student Senate president and vice-president started April 4 as four University of Wisconsin-Platteville students held a debate to kick off their campaigns.

The ballot will feature two choices for president and vice-president for the fall semester.  Junior criminal justice major Joseph Kluever and running mate sophomore business administration major Joseph Sigwarth will face off against junior business administration major Ryan Parr and his choice for vice president senior biology major Emily Gartland.

The Kluever/Sigwarth campaign focuses on issues such student rights and problem solving in other student groups, but their main focus is inclusivity.

“We are all college students, so we all know what diversity is,” Sigwarth said.  “Inclusivity would bring together the full spectrum of students.  Diversity divides, inclusivity includes.”

Kluever and Sigwarth said their combined Senate experience makes them a logical pair for the presidency.

“We plan to give the student body a full year’s worth of doing, not learning,” Sigwarth said.  “Experience has taught us what issues need to be addressed.”

The Parr/Gartland camp stresses a fresh start, follow-through and transparency as their campaign emphasis.

“We need increased transparency in student government.  Students should know what student government is doing for them,” Parr said.  “Students are not up to date on Senate; students may ignore email, so we have a big student body that is not listening.”

Both Parr and Gartland said a fresh start is exactly what Student Senate needs and said Parr’s past Senate experience added with his experience as president of Sigma Tau Gamma will allow them to lead Senate in the right direction.  Gartland said her leadership experience as president of Kappa Alpha Sigma and her tireless ambition makes her a worthy running mate.

“We are both proven leaders and have an upperclassmen advantage,” Gartland said.  “Plus, we have no predisposed notions about Senate.”

While most government elections resort to slinging accusations and scandals, both parties agree that politics have no place in student governance.

“We want to be statesmen,” Sigwarth said.  “We want to serve UW-Platteville, not get hung up on politics.”

Parr said politics create a smoke screen to conceal the real issues.

“Politics draws away from things that matter,” Parr said.  “We will run an honest, fresh campaign.”

The winners of the election will replace graduating president William Kuehni and vice president Jordan Miller.  While not publicly endorsing either campaign, Kuehni said both campaigns are reminiscent of his run for office.

“They are building off what we have started in this past year, with changes to reflect their personal views,” Kuehni said.

Kuehni said he hopes the winners will continue to build on student communication and student rights, an area his administration made gains in but did not have the time to perfect.  Kuehni offers a bit of wisdom he has gained during his experience with Senate.

“Come into September with a plan, and hit the ground running.  Our time is short, so they need to start as soon as we get back,” Kuehni said.  “Also, don’t be afraid to fail because it will happen, you have to be willing to adjust your views and your stance in order to do what is best for the students.”

Voting begins on April 17 and runs through the 19.  Students can vote by going to uwplatt.edu/vote.  For more information on each candidate check out their campaign Facebook pages at facebook.com/joesquared2013 and facebook.com/ParrGartland, or follow them on Twitter @parrgartland13 and @votejoe2013.