By Josie Loza
Since the Student Government elections are underway, the candidates for student president/regent have been vigorously campaigning to ensure their votes.
This year, candidates are tackling more issues and asking the student body to get involved.
Joe Bilek, who is currently serving as vice president, said his previous experience with the Senate would help him.
Bilek and his running mate, Kamina Jones, plan to attack student representation on campus through surveying.
“We’re trying to get an understanding of what the demographics are at UNO and how the students feel about issues.”
Bilek said he asked Jones to help him represent the students more.
“I chose Kamina because she completes me,” he said. “I’m not in touch with some of the student groups on campus that she is.
“The students need to speak out on any thing that is an injustice to them,” he said. “Right now, budget cuts are a huge issue on our campus.”
Bilek said that last year, only 2 to 3 percent of students that voted in the Student Government elections.
“On campus, there is way more power behind the student body than just the two of us,” he said.
Bilek is trying to encourage more students to vote in the elections, which will be held on Oct. 15 and 16.
“I would be really happy if we got more people out to vote,” he said. “Even if it’s not for me, that’s fine. I’ll still work hard for them through January.”
Bilek said students and the Senate haven’t had such a good relationship because there is a lack of communication and education about issues.
“We can educate and have them understand issues on both sides,” he said. “We need more students to be more proactive rather than reactive.”
Bilek said one of his goals is to have senators understand the students more.
“Right now, we speak for them,” he said “That’s not an effective way to lead.”
Krissy Vogel said she is excited about the race for student president/regent.
Vogel and her running mate, Aaron Winters said they work really well as a team. The duo said they would be proactive about student priorities.
“We want to listen to their concerns,” Vogel said.
Vogel also said that she would like to see the Senate utilized more.
“We want to hold all the senators accountable,” she said.
Some of the key interests they would like to pursue include more communication between the students and Senate, more lobbying, measures to prevent tuition increases and shuttle bus proposals.
“We’re here to listen and respond,” Winters said. “We have the desire to empower the students.”