Unsafe U Does Not Endorse Sole ASUU Ticket in 2022-23 Election


By Kayleigh Silverstein, Special Projects Managing Editor, News Writer


On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the first day University of Utah students are able to vote for their ASUU representatives for the 2022-23 school year, Unsafe U, a student organization focused on improving campus safety, posted their scorecard of the VanderToolen ticket, the only ticket running. The results were clear — Unsafe U does not endorse them.

This scorecard was created after evaluating information from responses of members of the VanderToolen ticket to a series of questions, with selected respondents and members of Unsafe U rating the ticket on different aspects of fourteen categories — racial justice, accessibility and policing, being three of them. 

60% of respondents said they would vote “no confidence” over voting for the sole ticket running. 

The ticket received an overall score of 2.1 out of 5, which may decrease about .2 because two sections were skipped. One student in opposition said they would vote no confidence to encourage other tickets to run and push platforms needed for change at the U.

The VanderToolen ticket has asked anyone publishing their answers to state they were responding to a student’s inquiries and concerns via a google form survey originally provided to the ticket to streamline communication.

Unsafe U outlined both areas of strength and areas for growth they see based on the ticket’s responses. 

One strength they identified was in response to barriers for disabled students. They said the ticket gave one of the clearest answers they have seen in years. 

“From our perspective, many of the significant issues relating to disabilities and access at the University revolve around two main issues: a lack of clarity and instruction on how to file and receive accommodations and infrastructure that is failing students with disabilities,” the ticket said.

Unsafe U said, “this is a step in the right direction for policy action given that “COVID-19 is a mass disabling event”.

Another strength mentioned in their report included their “innovative approach to environmental justice” as the ticket is planning to foster a collaborative effort between the ASUU Diversity Board and Sustainability Board.

On the other hand, there were several areas for growth listed in the report. Unsafe U said communication with the ticket was difficult, some of their initiatives lacked specificity and some responses felt “delayed, rushed, and uninformed”.

Unsafe U and their respondents are concerned the ticket may not hold administrators accountable when necessary.

“Many of the answers provided seemed to reflect a desire to be friends with administration,” Unsafe U said. 

In addition, in regards to policing, the VanderToolen ticket said while they would support the increase of police presence on campus, they will not support this if other options exist and they also expect to review UUPD policies, procedures and actions to make sure this organization is benefiting student safety. 

One respondent said they do not think students can trust an administration who supports increasing police presence in any capacity. 

Unsafe U would prefer the ticket to take more of an abolitionist approach. In their response regarding policing, the ticket said they do not have the power to change policing without student support. 

“Students are, frankly, tired,” Unsafe U said. “We need to know that those who are in the rooms we are not invited to will unequivocally fight to limit the expansion of policing on campus. This ticket does not promise that.”

According to Unsafe U, none of the ticket’s responses included recognition of graduate or international students. 

“These two student populations comprise a significant percentage of the student population and often lack resources specifically targeted to their needs,” Unsafe U said. 

In regards to improving conditions for student caretakers, the ticket aims to reimplement support and increase funding for resources who aid in this area. 

“Given the previous ASUU Administration’s decision to reduce ASUU support for childcare services, we believe that it is our place to reimplement this support and help secure larger bodies of funding for services that were traditionally funded by the student government through collaboration with campus partners and University Leadership,” the ticket said. 

Among other platforms, the ticket also supports divestment, creating a uniform sexual assault prevention training and improving mental health services on campus. 

Many student responses expressed a desire to see more specific plans from the ticket regarding implementation. 

Via an email comment, the VanderToolen ticket said they encourage students who may be concerned about Unsafe U’s scores to look into their platform positions before voting. 

“Part of our platform is to work with recognized student organizations such as It’s On Us, MCVP, SafeU and accredited organizations such as the Rape Recovery Center and students concerned with campus safety and we encourage all who share their concerns to discuss further with our ticket on policy plans and the values that we hold,” the ticket said.

The VanderToolen ticket encourages students to reach out to [email protected] with any questions about their platform.

The full Unsafe U report can be found here.

Voting ends at 5 p.m. MST on Feb. 25.


[email protected]