My Vision For UAA

Friends,

My name is Joey Sweet and I’m running for the position of Senator within the Union of Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage (USUAA).

I’m running for many reasons, but I will narrow it down here for simplicity’s sake:

  • Increase civic engagement among student body. This can be done through the promotion of registering to vote during the office hours required of Senators, which I fully intend to do. Too often, students at UAA feel disconnected from both campus and the city of Anchorage itself, and as a Senator, I will work to bridge that divide.
  • Support student discounts at restaurants and cafes throughout Anchorage. Before I transferred from UAF, I was able to take advantage of the many student discounts in downtown Fairbanks available to high school and college students. However, for some reason, Anchorage lacks the same amount of discounts for college students. As a Senator, I will reach out to many local businesses about the possibility of creating discounts with UAA wolfcards.
  • Continue shared governance with Faculty Senate. Although not many students are aware of it, there is a an organization on campus called Faculty Senate which operates as a kind of counterpart to student government. I believe both students and faculty are best represented when both organizations work together, and if elected, I will continue the efforts we have made this year to cooperate with Faculty Senate in addressing issues impacting UAA.
  • Create a Student Financial Aid Advocate. Although a regular fixture at many colleges in the United States, UAA currently lacks a position within its student government dedicated to providing peer-to-peer information on financial aid. My vision for this role would be a student, appointed by the President of the student body, to function in the same way as the Ombudsman currently does, but dedicated exclusively to financial aid. Many students, particularly freshmen, are unfamiliar with how financial aid works. As a Resident Advisor within the Department of Residence Life, I have seen too many instances of students having to take a semester off or even outright leave UAA for financial aid-related reasons. A student-level position could go a long way towards addressing this problem.
  • Create a Student Veterans Liaison position. Currently, there are three Liaison positions within USUAA, and I’m proud to have served as the Liaison between USUAA and the Residence Hall Association. However, I believe we can better serve the student population by creating a new Liaison who will specifically focus on student veteran issues. Everyone knows Alaska has the highest per capita population of veterans in the country, but I feel like student veterans are often overlooked. As a Senator, I will work to create an amendment to the USUAA constitution to create a Student Veteran Liaison.

Overall, I would say my candidacy is dedicated to continuing what works within our student government while creating new ways for USUAA to serve its constituents. I ask for your support this April. Thank you.

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