Hello fellow Highlanders! I am writing this letter to the editor because of what I saw that occurred during the Presidential debates last week. As a current ASUCR senator who is NOT running in the upcoming elections this spring I look at these election debates and the candidates running objectively and with much background knowledge to what these candidates have done and have not done in their roles as members of ASUCR. The main reason I write this is because all three candidates running for president in the spring elections have not given credit to other current senators or members of ASUCR who have been working on projects that they have taken as their ideas to work on if elected.

I want to preface this by saying: I am not writing this article to align myself with any of the parties or to condemn any parties but more so to give credit where credit is due and to make sure that no presidential candidate takes credit for a project they had not started, helped with, or completed. Some examples of this credit-stealing I have seen are as follows; Candidates Sean Fahmian and Armando Saldana have stated, during the debates, that they want to improve and increase advisors in CHASS but this is a project idea taken from Senator Michael Ervin who has been working on this project for two quarters. Senator Ervin has been in meetings with the CHASS department administration for weeks in order to solve this problem on campus and from what I have seen he has not been helped in this endeavor by candidate Fahmian or Saldana. Even the statistic that candidate Fahmian gave in the debate about the “2000 students to one advisor” was taken directly from Senator Ervin who reported those statistics two weeks earlier in an ASUCR senate meeting. However, the fact that was stated by candidate Fahmian is wrong and the actual statistic is 1000 to 1.

Another example is that a student named Colette King has been the main force behind the creation of the Greek/organizational housing project but many of the candidates have taken large credit for this project when their roles have been minute or nonexistent. Both candidate Sean Fahmian and Nafi Karim have taken some credit in this effort that has been made largely by Colette. All three presidential candidates have been guilty of this credit-stealing in one form or another and need to be accountable for their actions which could be easily reconciled by acknowledging the efforts that have been made by their colleagues and a willingness to continue on these projects or improve them in the future.

To my fellow ASUCR members who are running for president, I write this not to chastise you but in the hopes that you will be better leaders and not steal the credit for the work that others have started or completed. These political flare-ups that have occurred during our senate meetings and behind closed doors have made you weary to work on your projects in the fears that it will make your opponent look better or yourself look worse. In the process, these fears have subsequently harmed the projects you all are attempting to work on.

You need to ignore the party politics and remember that you still have a quarter left in your term. Do not use the senate meetings to further your own political agenda by taking petty jabs at your fellow members of ASUCR. However, to be as honest as I can in this article, these statements are more true for some of the presidential candidates than the others but in this regard I am also writing this statement as a precautionary warning to 1) stop this credit-stealing early and make sure it does not occur for the remainder of the elections and 2) to make sure that students are aware of it as well when examining all the facets of a candidate.

Lastly, for my fellow Highlanders reading this who will be asked to vote in the Spring, I ask you all to look at each party and candidate objectively and ask the tough questions that they all want and deserve. I myself will be voting for people from all parties who I see are the best choice to represent our university and I hope you all will take this approach as well. Thank you for taking time to read this and good luck to all the candidates in the Spring elections!