USG Candidates - Graphic by Hunter Huffman

Here are the running candidates for president and vice president for the 2021 USG elections. 

Hallie Cunningham and Aarian Lynn

Cunningham and Lynn - Photo via @cunninghamlynn2021 on Instagram

Hallie Cunningham (left), currently chief of staff for USG, and Aarian Lynn (right), the current director of diversity affairs for USG.

Hallie Cunningham, a third year pre-law and political science major with a minor in ethnic studies, has been a part USG for the past three years, as the Military Student Senator her first year and the Chief of Staff for the past two years.

Aarian Lynn is a second year student at BGSU with a pre-law and political science major and a minor in international business. Lynn has been a part of USG for both of her two years at BGSU. Last year, she was a Residence Life Senator, and this year she was asked to sit as the Director of University Affairs.

Cunningham and Lynn’s campaign has four main priorities. The first is amplifying the voice of Black and Indigenous people of color by working alongside the Director of Diversity Affairs to host different events such as a monthly University Round Table meeting that would consist of different identity-based groups on campus.

“Maybe in place of an Executive Board meeting once a month, we could do meetings with the Black Student Union, Latino Student Union and other identity-based student groups as a way to make sure USG keeps their groups in mind in their work,” Cunningham said.

She also mentions creating a way for USG to consistently communicate with students and vice versa. One idea is to work with Falcon Media to create a permanent forum for students to easily express issues and concerns with USG.

Their second priority is to continue supporting students through the COVID-19 pandemic by meeting frequently with Chief Health Officer Ben Batey.

The third is increasing student engagement with USG. Not many students are aware of USG, let alone what their work is. Cunningham and Lynn intend to create a monthly newsletter to help students better understand the goals of USG.  A usg@bgsu.edu email is also in the works for students to have easy access to communication with their representatives.

The final priority is to increase accessibility for all by working alongside the Office of Accessibility Services to ensure students are receiving the help they need to access the same education as their peers, ensuring that the counseling center remains accessible to all and promoting other centers like the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Multicultural Resource Center and the Title IX Office.

Cunningham built the position of Military Student Senator from the ground up and feels that she truly learned the ins and outs of USG. Not only does she think she has a great understanding of USG, Cunningham believes her previous leadership roles, both within USG and other campus groups and communities, have prepared her to lead USG.

Despite being the youngest candidate on the ballot, Lynn believes she would do well in the role of USG Vice President because of her experiences with diversity-related issues; not just race-related problems, but issues including differently-abled students and LGBTQ+ students. Lynn has sat as the Director of University Affairs at BGSU, volunteered in Cincinnati with NAACP and done community outreach projects in Bowling Green, Cincinnati and the Philadelphia area.

“With this executive board experience, especially as a woman of color, and being able to sit in these different seats with people who make big decisions and to be able to already have that practice advocating on behalf of other students, I feel like I could bring that, as Vice President, to be able to further amplify the voices of people at BGSU,” Lynn said.

Follow their campaign page on Instagram at @cunninghamlynn2021.

Chase Williams and Brenden Dean

Chase and Brenden - Photo via @williamsdean2021_usg on Instagram

Chase Williams (left), currently the chairperson for internal affairs, and Brenden Dean (right), who was the military student senator for USG last semester.

Chase Williams, a third year flight technology and operations major, has been a part of Undergraduate Student Government for the three years he has attended BGSU as the McDonald Hall Senator his first year, the College of Technology Senator for the past two years and the Internal Affairs chair for USG this past year.

Brenden Dean, a third year political science major with minors in military science and economics. He has participated in USG as the Military Student Senator during which he promoted reforms to the meal plan system.

Williams and Dean’s campaign for USG President and Vice President consists of three main issues the two students want to address if elected.

The first is mental health and the expansion of BGSU’s mental health resources.

“We want to really increase the marketing and support for the counseling center. We have a great counseling center and we feel like they need more support,” Williams said.

The second idea for their campaign is to help undergraduate students connect with BGSU alumni to network and foster relationships with them. They hope to create an app, similar to Handshake and Indeed, solely for BGSU students and graduates to connect them with alumni in their field to help students secure internships and jobs upon graduation. 

Finally, they want to be a voice for all undergraduate students.

“Whatever a student says is a problem, we want to work to get that fixed right away. After all, we’re paying to be here and we want every student’s experience to be what they want,” Williams said.

Both Williams and Dean see themselves as good Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates based on their previous leadership experiences.

Williams has been involved with USG for three years, and prior to running for President, assisted his friend, a previous USG President, with their campaign and their duties as President.

Dean believes himself to be a good choice for Vice President for the same reason, his experience. Prior to coming to BGSU, Dean was involved in Boy Scouts from a young age, and more recently, he was in the National Honor Society and Key Club in high school.

“With all that momentum, I was really able to hit the ground running when joining BGSU’s community with my first major leadership role as the hall council President of McDonald Hall. Continuing to feel what a Falcon is on campus and that drive to build up this community has really inspired me to give back and I feel that this is the best position to do,” Dean said.

Follow their campaign page on Instagram at @williamsdean2021_usg.

Alexander Chiarelott and Gil Lutz 

Chiarelott - Photo via chiarelottforpresident.com

Alexander Chiarelott, who is currently an at-large USG senator.

Gil Lutz - Photo via chiarelottforpresident.com

Gil Lutz, who is currently the USG senator for the Schmidthorst College of Business.

Alexander Chiarelott is a third year double-major in applied economics and marketing with a minor in political science. Chiarelott has been a member of USG for three years having joined in the first semester of his freshman year. He has served as the Academic Affairs chair for the past two years. He described the position as “a high level leadership role which allows me to control my own committee, write resolutions and plan things out with a select group of senators in the USG.”

Gil Lutz is a third year accounting major with a philosophy, politics, economics and law minor. Lutz currently serves as the Student Affairs chair.

“Me and Alex’s (sic) USG history mirrors each other in a way.  We’ve both been chairs for two years now and we’ve both had committees,” Lutz said.

Their platform consists of 25 initiatives which are detailed on their campaign website.

One main point of their platform is a $10 minimum wage on campus which is $1.20 more than the state mandated minimum wage. Chiarelott has a plan that would allow the increased minimum wage without upsetting the university’s budget. He proposes a slight increase in merchandising, concessions and parking for sporting events. Sporting events bring in nearly $3 million dollars in revenue and a slight increase would cover the cost of a higher wage for students.

Another main point of their platform is working with the Wood County Health Department to distribute COVID-19 vaccines which would help students return to classrooms and events next fall semester.

Gil feels that his role as vice president would be one of providing support for the president and helping advise the Student Senate. Because of his three years of working with the administration and other members of USG, he feels they “would be able to immediately go to work.”

Follow their campaign page on Instagram at @chiarelott_lutz_usg.

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