Several candidates are running this semester in the 2022-23 Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) elections, which will take place on Tuesday, March 15, and Wednesday, March 16. The elections are conducted with an instant-runoff voting system and results will be emailed to students on Thursday, March 17.
Three candidates are running unopposed for their respective associate vice president positions. However, three tickets are running for president and vice president.
Some of the candidates have been involved in ASBSU in some capacity, while others are complete newcomers.
Candidate debates were held on Wednesday, March 8 in the Bishop Barnwell Room and also streamed over Zoom.
Associate Vice President of Student Organizational Affairs (AVPSOA)
Rylee Bray is a freshman linguistics major, and the sole candidate for AVPSOA. Bray has previously been involved with the Honors College leadership team as part of the service committee.
According to her campaign statement on the ASBSU elections site, she seeks to increase awareness and representation in student government for clubs and organizations on campus. Bray said one of her goals is to strengthen communication between [ASBSU] and these clubs and organizations. She also wants to increase funding to these groups, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the 2022 ASBSU elections debates, Bray stated that if she were unable to grant funding to a student club or organization, she would assist them in finding other ways of getting support.
“Overall, I want to work closely with student organizations to help provide them with a positive experience when working with the student government,” Bray’s campaign statement reads. “I genuinely believe that our clubs and organizations are an essential part of the student experience, and I want to help make it enjoyable for everyone.”
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (AVPAA)
Kalista M. Barkley
Kalista M. Barkley is a “[second] year, junior academically, psychology major, criminal justice minor.” She plans to attend law school after graduating. Barkley currently serves as the commuter student representative in the ASBSU General Assembly for this semester.
During the 2022 debates, Barkley stated that her platform is to “foster academic excellence” at the university. She went on to add that she feels that the graduation rate is something that the Boise State community should focus on, along with increasing accessibility and advertising towards financial aid options for students.
As a way to strengthen faculty and student relations, Barkley proposed an idea to have a teacher’s assistant available for every course.
Barkley believes that the biggest academic issue facing students at Boise State has been COVID. She feels that the shift online has affected the academic success of students, and that the move to more in-person classes should be encouraged.
Regarding student expression in the classroom, Barkley stated that we need to be “respectful of others’ opinions,” and that students shouldn’t be seen as wrong for having a different opinion in classroom settings.
Following an audience question regarding whether or not minority students should have to tolerate hate speech in the classroom or on campus, even though it is considered freedom of expression, she responded by saying “that people should be getting in trouble for [hate speech], whether it’s faculty or a student, that should not be tolerated at all.”
In her campaign statement on the ASBSU elections site, Barkley states that her “goal is to promote every students’ goals in the pursuit of higher education and that ultimately means graduating.”
Associate Vice President of Inclusive Excellence (AVPIE)
Melanie Figeuroa Zavala
Melanie Figeuroa Zavala is a second year student majoring in global studies. She has previously worked for the World Languages Department and is part of the Trio Rising Scholars program.
According to her campaign statement, Zavala believes that her “experiences as a first-generation, Mexican and female student have given [her] a unique perspective through which [she intends] to promote social equity.”
When asked about providing and maintaining access to diversity programs on campus in the face of state legislative defunding, Zavala responded by saying that she would approach the issue by “ensuring the university and our legislatures are aware of how important we are as a student body and what we contribute to the community.”
Regarding the lack of communication between the university and student body, particularly the Inclusive Excellence Student Council (IESC), Zavala stated that she wants to be there as a student of the university who listens to the needs of students and truly takes them to the university to help them understand the struggles of students.
“My intention is to create a tight-knit community in which everyone feels represented, heard and welcomed,” her campaign statement says. “A community in which everyone feels safe to share their struggles, as well as their motivations, and in which we can support one another.”
ASBSU President and Vice President
Eric Kline and Kelsie Zak
Presidential candidate Eric Kline is a third year honors student majoring in supply chain management, with a minor in marketing. He has previously served as a member of both the ASBSU General Assembly and Academic Senate. Currently, he serves as a member of the Executive Council as the Communications Officer.
Vice presidential candidate Kelsie Zak is a junior majoring in criminal justice and minoring in philosophy. She has been part of ASBSU since her freshman year as part of the Sustainability Committee. She currently serves as a senator in the Academic Senate, representing the School of Public Service. She is also part of various organizations on campus, including the Pre-Law Society, while also serving on the executive board for her sorority.
Their campaign platform focuses on three tenants: Belonging, Safety and Unity.
These tenants include various proposals, such as increasing club participation by 10%, increasing campus lighting by 20% and “expanding access to senate and assembly through a more effective election process,” according to their campaign website.
At the debates, Zak also proposed new positions in the General Assembly as a means to increase participation in student government. Kline also pointed out that low voter turnout is something that needs to be addressed.
The pair also acknowledged that they will engage with the state legislature to the best of their ability to maintain the budget for the university in the interest of student fees.
Adam Jones and Ryan Bernard
Adam Jones, running for ASBSU President, is a sophomore majoring in political science with a minor in economics. He currently serves as a member of the General Assembly as the on-campus housing representative. He is also a member of the Honors College Funding Board.
Ryan Bernard, ASBSU Vice President candidate and Jones’ running mate, is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in criminal justice. He has had no prior experience with ASBSU. However, Bernard feels that this outsider status could bring a new perspective and benefit ASBSU.
Jones and Bernard also work as legislative assistants in the Idaho State Capitol, which they cited as a way to help better the relationship between the legislature and the university regarding budget cuts.
According to their campaign statement, Jones and Bernard seek to “improve the quality of life for all BSU students.”
Their campaign proposals include enhancing the significance of Greek Life,eliminating over-credit fees for students who take on more than 16 credits, and creating a database to help students find off-campus housing.
While speaking at the debates, Jones cited transparency as the biggest problem within ASBSU. He stated that more work needs to be done in order to improve the student perception of ASBSU and what it does for the student body, which includes increased involvement.
“When we’re supposed to be closer to the students, we are actually more removed from them because we don’t take their input directly,” Jones said. “We ask them to write it down and send it to us in an email, I don’t want to see that anymore.”
For more information, visit the Jones-Bernard campaign Instagram.
Julie Feferman and Sarah Fry
Running for ASBSU President, Julie Feferman is a junior majoring in health studies with a certificate in public relations. She has previously served as the panhellenic representative of the General Assembly, as part of the government relations committee.
Feferman is also the co-founder and president of the Network of Enlightened Women and a member of Turning Point, the Future Physicians Club, Tri Delta and the Blue House Agency. She also works at the office of the Idaho Lt. Governor, Janice McGeachin, which Feferman sees as an asset regarding relations with the state legislature.
Running with Feferman for the position of ASBSU Vice President is Sarah Fry, a junior nursing major with certificates in relational leadership and Spanish. She is a member of Cru, Turning Point and Women’s Club Volleyball.
The Feferman-Fry ticket has three main initiatives at the focus of their campaign. These include transparency, advocacy and safety. Specific proposals include social media updates on bills and resolutions being circulated, increased funding to Greek Life, the creation of an online forum for students to voice concerns and the implementation of emergency contacts on ID cards.
“Our overarching goal is to make sure that students are at the center of everything we do. In the past, Boise State students have been overlooked and put last,” their campaign statement says. “This is not how it should be. If given the opportunity to lead the student body, we will do just that; prioritize the students, working to achieve representation for all.”
For more information about their campaign, visit the Feferman-Fry campaign Instagram.