Student candidates detail platforms


Tyler McNulty and Peijia Zhang

With the school year coming to an end, student government members are in search of a new president and vice president.

Nominees are student Sen. Julia Adams with Sen. Jamie Poepoe, Parliamentarian Sam Miller with Sen. Sarah Francowic and Sen. John Kospick with Sen. Gretchen Sheppard.

Treasurer Joe Evanko is also running for president with Sen. Brady Willis.

Evanko and Willis have been on student government for six years combined, and both have been executive board members for two years each.

“I’m the most experienced candidate (running for president),” Evanko said.

His running mate, Willis, said the president and vice president have to be committed to the students.

Evanko said the two showed their commitment in the three years they have been on student government by the hard work they have done.

As chairmen of the student government’s Allocations Committee, they allocated $1 million from the student activity fee.

“It’s the logical next step for us (to be president and vice president),” Evanko said.

If elected president, Evanko said one of his main focuses would be expanding Greek life.

“We only have one (sorority) and four (fraternities), so I plan to work with administration to try to get  another sorority on campus,” he said.

Adams said her main goal as president would be student representation.

“We want to show them (student government members) do a lot more than just allocate money to clubs, and we’re not out to get anyone,” Adams said.

Adams and Poepoe are the youngest candidates running for president and vice president.

“I think it shows just how much we care (about students) since I’m only a sophomore and (Poepoe) is only a freshman,” Adams said.

Adams also said if they win this election, they could rerun the following year to complete more activities they started.

“We would have more time to resolve issues,” she said.

Kopsick, a Kappa Delta Rho brother and an Interfraternity Council member said a big goal he wants to achieve if elected is that he wants to have campus Greek life more coordinated.

“Greek life has been dwindling on this campus.”

Kopsick said another goal he wants to achieve, if he were elected as president, is to have more campus events, one event being a Pitt dance marathon.

“We are hoping that we can have our own (campus) dance marathon.

“Another thing we (would) try to bring back to campus is spring concert,” Shepard said.

Shepard said she wants to have a mental-awareness week on campus.

While this is the first time Adams, Evanko and Kopsick are running for president, Miller had a failed attempt last year. Miller said his campaign was primarily to get his name out.

“I felt (students) were behind my vision, but they weren’t behind my inexperience. I was also going against an incumbent president; I had the odds stacked against me,” Miller said.

Miller said he has a three-part plan for his presidency.

First is to be more connected with students; second, to reinvigorate Greek life; and third, to adjust the budgeting process to meet clubs’ needs.

One of the ways to accomplish this is for student government to advertise all sporting events; university varsity and club sports.

“Our student section is usually empty, and I think we can help change that,” Miller said.

According to Miller, housing forgiveness would allow fraternities or sororities to have empty rooms in their houses.

Miller said he also plans to adjust the budgeting process to fit all clubs needs.

“Every club is different,” he said.

In addition to his policies, Miller and his running mate, Francowic, each have been  executive board members and committee chairs.

Francowic said she and Miller are motivated to get the student body more academically and socially involved in campus affairs.

“We want to take students concerns seriously and do something about it,” Francowic said.

Student government president elections are to be held March 27 and 28 on the Campus Services website.