The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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What separates pink and yellow: Party candidates discuss their differences

By Patrick Muir and Tyler Petersen

Today marks the first two days of final elections for the U’s future student body leaders, but many students still remain confused on how the pink and the yellow differentiate.

Students who have heard similar campaign promises from the two parties may not have had time to notice that there are differences beyond the type of food handouts between Students First and People Incorporated.

The candidates from both parties assert that it is who they are and what they have done-not necessarily their platform ideas-that set them apart.

Among the top three elected officials, both parties have collectively more than four years experience with the Associated Students of the University of Utah, but in different capacities.

“Students will have to decide which is more important to them, experience on the internal level or experience on the external level,” said John Poelman, vice presidential candidate for Students First.

People Incorporated has more experience on an external basis, according to Poelman.

Taylor Morgan, presidential candidate for People Incorporated, helped found the Presidential Ambassador Program. Ambassadors spent every day of the Legislative session on Capitol Hill, lobbying for U needs. U President Michael Young gave credit to the group for its work.

As a result of the funding the U received, the percentage increase in tuition this year was almost one-third as large as those in the recent past.

Vice presidential candidate Rob Beck was director of Campus Relations for ASUU and helped organize the Fall Football Kickoff with the Latter-day Saints Student Association. He also planned the ASUU leadership conference, which was $8,000 cheaper than the previous year’s.

Rebecca Despain, People Incorporated senior class presidential candidate, was an ASUU senator and Assembly member for the college of humanities. She was also active in the greek system.

“ASUU is more than just events and activities,” Morgan said. “ASUU is your student voice on the Board of Trustees, on the Academic Senate [and] with the board of regents. We’ve done it. We have real results that have said we’ve done it, and we’d like the chance to do it again.”

Students First claims to have more experience internally.

Last fall, the party’s presidential candidate Ali Hasnain served as director of ASUU’s Diversity Board. Student body presidential candidate Lissy Largin served in the student body office. Poelman was in charge of securing businesses-eight have signed up since fall-to accept the UCard as a debit card while offering discounts to students.

Poelman said he hopes to use transaction fees generated by UCard use to lower the $20 portion of ASUU student fees.

Students First candidates also said their party better represents students because of their backgrounds. As part of the campaign process, the party emphasized recruitment of many non-traditional students. Poelman is a local member of the LDS church who attended East High. Hasnain is a Muslim and Largin grew up out of state. “Innately, we carry an understanding of the diversity of this campus,” Poelman said. “We represent students to a more complete extent.”

Morgan disagreed. He said that though he and his running mates all went to school in Sandy, Utah, they represent the majority of students on campus.

“We sought after the most qualified and most committed candidates to run. We did not seek out individuals who belonged to a certain group or looked a certain way to propel our campaign,” he said. “We’re students that have commuted, that have worked full-time jobs, and we really represent the majority of students here on this campus.”

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