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Profiles of the 2014-15 ASSU Executive candidate slates

Correction: In a previous version of this article, The Daily inaccurately characterized some of the details of the Woodson/Richard platform. The article has since been corrected. The Daily regrets this error.

In advance of the upcoming ASSU elections, The Daily took a closer look at the two slates seeking to become the 2014-15 ASSU Executives.

Slate: Lauren Miller ’15 and Geo Saba ’15

Slogan: Breaking Bubbles

Platform: Serve student groups, promote community engagement, and support students’ emotional and physical wellbeing

Major Talking Points: Miller and Saba are big advocates for the SAFE Reform bill. They also plan to focus on increasing awareness of ASSU activities among students and promoting mental health initiatives.

Lauren Miller ’15 (Courtesy ZETONG LI / The Stanford Daily)

Lauren Miller ’15 (ZETONG LI/The Stanford Daily)

Geo Saba ’15 (Courtesy ZETONG LI / The Stanford Daily)

Geo Saba ’15 (ZETONG LI/The Stanford Daily)

Involvement on Campus:

Miller – Former ASSU Undergraduate Senator, former Freshman Council member, Pre-Law Society Executive Board, Pi Beta Phi Sorority Executive Board

Saba – Chair of the ASSU Constitutional Council, Varsity Baseball, Stanford in Government Campus Community Partnerships Committee, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

First Initiative, If Elected: Implementation of the All-Campus Day of Action, which Miller framed as “rallying points to create lasting times of service.”

Lauren Miller ’15 and Geo Saba ’15 have centered their campaign on “Breaking Bubbles,” or expanding the student body’s awareness beyond the campus community.

Miller divided this broader theme into three actionable objectives: serving student groups, engaging the community and promoting mental health and wellness.

Among other initiatives, Miller and Saba plan to implement a campus-wide day of service if they are elected. They also hope to boost the credibility of the ASSU in the eyes of the student body by sponsoring more outreach.

“I’ve been thinking about it since the end of my sophomore year when [my] Senate [term] ended because I knew my time with the ASSU wasn’t done, and I knew I wanted to do more,” Miller said.

Both political science majors, she and Saba became close friends while working together in the White House this fall as part of the Stanford in Washington (SIW) program.

As a sophomore, Miller served on the ASSU Undergraduate Senate as the Chair of the Administration and Rules Committee, having participated in the ASSU’s Leadership Development Program and having acted as Communications Director of the Freshman Council the previous year.

Saba, the current chair of the ASSU Constitutional Council, has argued that their experience in the ASSU better qualifies them for a position on the executive team. In addition to their ASSU leadership, Miller and Saba are both involved in the Pre-Law Society and Greek life, and Saba is on the varsity baseball team.

“Having the opportunity my senior year [to serve] as executive…is the highest honor I could have,” Miller said.

Both Miller and Saba emphasized their goal of making action items “realistic and measurable.” As part of their platform, Miller and Saba want to reestablish “de-stress yourself” week and initiate several all-campus days of service.

Miller emphasized their support for the SAFE Reform proposal – a constitutional amendment on this year’s ballot that aims to reform student activities funding – and said that, if elected, they would focus on supporting student groups as they transitioned into the new policies.

They also plan on promoting awareness of the ASSU in the student body by engaging freshman in the ASSU during NSO and involving students “from every crack and crevice” of the campus community on their executive cabinet.

Miller and Saba have been endorsed by Stanford Democrats, The Stanford Review, the Jewish Students Association, Fossil Free Stanford, Happiness Collective, Stanford Women in Medicine and the Women’s Coalition.

Slate: Elizabeth Woodson ’15 and Logan Richard ’15

Slogan: Impact Now

Platform: Fixing health, funding and advising; forging better connections amongst students and campus communities; supporting impact-related initiatives

Major Talking Points: Advancing mental health and wellbeing initiatives, and building a capable senior advisory cabinet

Logan Richard ’15 (Courtesy ZETONG LI / The Stanford Daily)

Logan Richard ’15 (ZETONG LI/The Stanford Daily)

Elizabeth Woodson ’15 (Courtesy ZETONG LI / The Stanford Daily)

Elizabeth Woodson ’15 (ZETONG LI/The Stanford Daily)

Involvement on Campus:

Woodson – Director of Outreach with Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Social Impact Manager for the ASSU Executive Cabinet, Mayfield Fellow, Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority

Richard – Former Black Student Union financial officer, former International Affairs Co-Chair for NAACP, BROC and FLIP Big Sib

First Initiative, if elected: Augmenting the Executive Cabinet with a senior advisory body

Elizabeth Woodson ’15 and Logan Richard ’15 have focused their campaign on “Impact,” which they say means something different to every student at Stanford.  They plan to achieve this larger objective by “fixing what is broken” and “connecting what already exists” within the ASSU.

Woodson said that she has wanted to run for ASSU President since working for Jonny Dorsey ’09, who was elected to the ASSU Executive in 2008. After hearing about Dorsey’s work as executive, including his initiation of Earth Day, Woodson began thinking about running for the ASSU executive as a way to promote service and social impact on campus.

Good friends since their freshman year in Junipero, Woodson asked Richard to be her running mate last spring, and together the duo has been preparing their candidacy since.

Woodson and Richard said the mental health initiatives in their platform were their first priority.

Woodson explained that, if elected, their first action item as executives would be adding mental health contacts to the emergency tab of the iStanford app. She also said they would immediately start the process of increasing the availability of CAPS appointments by working with administrators to up the number and convenience of the appointments and involving graduate students from the medical school.

“It’s a cultural shift that needs to happen too,” Woodson said, “We are really interested in changing [services] from reactive to proactive.”

The slate also mentioned pre-major advising and a campus-wide event calendar as areas where they planned to focus their energy as executives based on feedback they’ve received from their peers.

While they have different opinions on SAFE reform, Woodson and Richard said that they would support the bill if it passed by initiating transition processes and would continue the conversation around student funding reform if it did not.

“The ASSU is a $1.5 million non-profit, and I’ve done nothing but work for non-profits my whole life,” Woodson concluded. “In terms of governmental functioning, we haven’t seen proof of translation between experience in the ASSU and getting stuff done.”

Woodson and Richard have been endorsed by the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP), Fossil Free Stanford and the Happiness Collective.

Contact Julia Enthoven at jjejje “at” stanford.edu.