Opinion Desk: The Hardenbrook Ticket Will Unite the U


The Chronicle’s Opinion Desk has endorsed Rebecca Hardenbrook’s ticket for ASUU President. Her running mates are Devon Cantwell and Carlos Craig. (Courtesy Rebecca Hardenbrook)

By The Opinion Desk


Winning an election and leading ASUU should never serve as just another line on a resume. The student body president carries a huge responsibility, and it is critical that the upcoming presidency dedicate the necessary time and effort to advocate for University of Utah students. As such, the Opinion Desk has decided to endorse the Hardenbrook ticket for student body president. This ticket is headed by Rebecca Hardenbrook, a Ph.D. student with six years of experience at the U. Carlos Craig is the candidate for VP of Student Relations and Devon Cantwell for VP of University Relations. The three of them represent diverse areas of study, including applied mathematics, computer science and political science.


Hardenbrook has served as co-chair of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference. She created the Youth Climate Compact, co-founded the Salt Lake County Air Quality Commission and authored a resolution in ASUU “on the issue of fossil fuel divestment and strategic reinvestment.” She currently serves on the Academic Senate Executive Committee and is part of the new U pedestrian and safety working group to safeguard students and their methods of transportation. Both she and her running mates have an in-depth understanding of ASUU’s bureaucratic processes and have the strongest grasp on student needs and expectations.

Connection with Students

The Hardenbrook ticket is a fresh breath of air within campus politics. It represents groups of students that we often do not see in leadership and has the desire and capacity to reach out to students not traditionally in the ASUU bubble.

If leaders are not passionate about issues of campus safety, pressing problems will fail to be resolved. The next student body president must take on this difficult topic, as it is critical to restore the safety and trust of their fellow students. The Hardenbrook ticket is keenly aware of student concerns about campus safety, sexual violence and the university police department. They helped found the Unsafe U campus group, which works to organize students to effect the university’s campus safety policies.

Policy Agenda

The Hardenbrook ticket is already hard at work on the issues at the center of their campaign and demonstrates an authentic passion and dedication to the concerns of U students. Pillars of the campaign include sustainability, organizations and students — the fact that they have provided quantifiable numbers for their budget proposals speaks volumes alone. Their focus on sustainability shows an awareness of the issues impacting Salt Lake City and serves as an investment that will benefit students in 2020 and in the years to come.

The Hardenbrook ticket boasts a thorough policy platform. Instead of writing a laundry list of possible issues, a series of Instagram posts have mapped out each proposal and provided additional details and explanations. Of the 46 posts on the Hardenbrook ticket’s Instagram, 31 of them are specific policy proposals focused on implementing Unsafe U’s demands, a student SNAP program, creating flexibility for students with children, increasing access to accommodations, increasing student organization budgets, divesting from fossil fuels at the U and providing accessible, affordable parking. While their proposals are ambitious, it is refreshing to see a student campaign so clearly prepared to improve campus. Their posts have already been followed by action — including a meeting with the new Chief Safety Officer, Marlon Lynch, to discuss the implantation of Unsafe U’s demands.


During last Tuesday’s debate, the Hardenbrook ticket exhibited the confidence, reason and speaking skills necessary to deliver meaningful force on boards and councils with university funders and administration. More than once, their team has provided three or four policy ideas for an issue, with other tickets proposing only one or two. Their age and experience has cultivated their ability to stand up for the student body as advocates, not mere figureheads.


The Hardenbrook Ticket has the experience, policy plans, connection with students and professionalism to lead ASUU effectively and in the right direction. Hardenbrook, Craig and Cantwell are serious candidates who are already participating in the creation of positive change on campus. The U would benefit from a presidency that is involved in both campus and the Salt Lake City communities. If elected, we urge them to avoid isolating themselves within the insular environment of ASUU and to ensure that they do not spread themselves too thin to dedicate adequate time to these important roles — but despite these risks, their passion is unmatched.

The general election for ASUU candidates will be held from Feb. 24-27.


The views expressed in this article do not express the views of The Daily Utah Chronicle as a whole. This article has been written by the Opinion Desk as a whole, and may not necessarily represent the views of each individual on the Opinion Desk.

On Feb. 18, The Chronicle hosted a debate between the three tickets running for the ASUU Presidency. You can watch a video of this debate here.