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Three teams vie for Student Senate leadership

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heinzj@lopers.unk.edu

Competition surged with this year’s student body president and vice president elections. Three teams of candidates are running for the campus leadership roles, an increase from last year’s unopposed race. 

Candidates can campaign up until elections on March 6 and 7. Students can hear from those running at a debate at 6:30 p.m. on March 4 in the Antelope Room of the Nebraskan Student Union.

Temo Molina and Kimberly Gomez

Temo Molina, student body president, is running for re-election – something that, from what he has heard, hasn’t been done for about 20 years.

Molina said he is running again because he believes he can provide what the university needs.

“My experience and perspective is really important in a time of university-wide change both at the campus level and at the system level especially,” Molina said. “The second and more fun part is I like doing this. I like representing students and making people feel heard.”

This time around, he’s running with a new partner by his side as Ethan Cianco, student body vice president, plans to be a UNMC student this fall. 

Kimberly Gomez, vice presidential candidate, said her experience in Student Government and wanting to represent the underrepresented encouraged her to run with Molina.

The pair’s motto is “Results beyond expectations.” 

“We’re people on the ground level, doing the work, who have the experience and the record that reflects the things that we’re able to accomplish,” Molina said. “That’s a principle that we’ll have going forward – doing the things that matter to students.”

Some of Molina and Gomez’s initiatives include continuing to build relationships between students and administrators and supplying students with needed resources. They also plan to increase student engagement and provide transparency to students.

Tanner Jonas and Olivia Lawless

Also on the election ballot are Tanner Jonas, presidential candidate, and Olivia Lawless, vice presidential candidate. The two both serve on Student Government cabinets. Jonas serves as secretary of community relations, and Lawless serves as secretary of the treasury.

Jonas said he wanted to run to give back to the Kearney community.

“I wouldn’t be running for president if I wasn’t passionate about UNK and didn’t want to make a difference in people’s lives and the UNK community,” Jonas said. “That’s why I’m doing it.”

Jonas and Lawless’ campaign is based on their motto, “The UNK way.”

“Our platform stems from the past, acknowledges the present and prioritizes the future, because committing to the UNK way means expanding upon a continual tradition of excellence,” Lawless said.

If elected, the pair said they have initiatives for campus improvements such as updating green spaces and obtaining adequate lighting. Jonas and Lawless also want to focus on campus pride, parking and safety issues, community relations and connecting with new leadership figures.

Sam Schroeder and Zane Grizzle

Sam Schroeder, presidential candidate, has been in Student Government for two years. He was elected to the freshman senate last year and now serves as speaker of the senate. Zane Grizzle, vice presidential candidate, serves as chapter president for Delta Tau Delta fraternity and is on the executive board for Model United Nations.

The duo has three pillars to their campaign: community, reinvestment and progress. Schroeder said each pillar encompasses the goals that they have. 

Some of these include investing money toward the conversation tables and providing a transportation option for international students. Schroeder also wants to be a part of the recruitment process, create partnerships with theater societies and address accessibility issues on campus.

While they have a lot of plans if elected, the duo is leaning on making progress.

“I think we got some good goals and I think that we can 100% do them, but I chose the word progress because it’s just 1% every day,” Schroeder said. “You’re not going to get everything you want, like the university is going to fight you on stuff, but it’s about advocating for the students and it’s about doing better than what you had before.” 

Grizzle said he wants to use his connections with students to help make changes.

“I know a lot of people on campus and every person that I know, I enjoy talking to,” Grizzle said. “I understand that I am in a position where I know so many people and I have these leadership abilities that I can make the university more shaped toward the students.”

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Jenna Heinz, Reporter
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