The two-week marathon that lends itself to student body elections is nearing the finish line, with the polls in sight.
In part two of the campaign team features, The Spectrum explores the roles in which Robert and Aaron’s core team members play in supporting their ventures.
Throughout the multitude of discussions between both opposing parties, one conclusive decision can be made: the core teams can be viewed as highly representative of the support structures that would be carried into next year’s leadership.
Robert and Aaron’s campaign team consists of an established core team including: Jon Lipp, Lucas Paper, Michael Russell, Paul Subart and Matt Wagenius. Although no specific titles are delegated, each member rightfully took on roles best suited to their talents.
Jon Lipp, Mediator and Advisor
Lipp is a junior studying business administration and has served as a board for ironing out platform points – as well as a mediator between businesses and organizations.
With his involvement in student government, specifically congress of student organizations, Lipp was able to connect Robert and Aaron to whoever would be most helpful in moving forward with their ideas.
Lipp expressed the challenges involved with his role, as well as the campaign in general:
“I think the biggest challenge has been trying to make sure we can balance the size of their vision with what they can achieve in a year.
“A lot of their initiatives, specifically the safe ride program and alcohol sales at the Dome, are going to require a ludicrous amount of work from everyone involved … We also want to be honest in whether you’re going to see this during their term or if they can just lay the groundwork.”
Lipp said he thought the core team reflected the overwhelming support received from Delta Tau Delta – Robert and Aaron’s fraternity – but also from new faces he hadn’t noticed involved in other student elections in his prior years of involvement.
“They were very intentional in reaching out to other groups,” he said. ” … It’s a cool illustration of what they mean when they say, ‘Your campus, your voice.’”
Paul Subart, Manager and Assistant
Subart is a junior studying crop and weed science. His contributions come in the form of platform development and daily assistance at meetings and events.
Knowing the protocol to keep forward-moving progress in the campaign is an area Subart and Paper both know well due to previous experience in elections – Subart with Billy and Jodi’s student body president campaign last year and Paper with his own district campaign.
Subart became involved with Robert and Aaron’s campaign through friendship.
“Robert was on my floor freshman year, and we have very different political ideologies – lots of late-night talks about politics – so I got to know him then (and) Aaron through College Republicans.”
The two-week campaign period does come with challenges.
“It’s had a negative effect on my grades, I can tell you that,” Subart laughed, “… no matter what happens, it’s all worth it. It’s busy but very rewarding.”
Matt Wagenius, Brand Strategist and Graphics
Wagenius is a junior studying public relations and international studies. With previous campaign experience with politicians like Amy Klobuchar, Wagenius applied his skills in design and experience in media relations to benefit the overall campaign.
Media relations in a student body election campaign consists of press releases, contacting press for interviews and other media discussions.
“I’ve always been interested in (it), and this has been the first full-on contact I’ve had with media relations,” he said. “It’s been a good one, with sending out the press release, and getting such a great response.”
Wagenius was responsible for developing the team’s logo as well.
“I came up with probably five different designs that I ran past them,” he said. “We decided on this one since it’s clean and modern looking. Plus I really love the font. We tried to make it clean and modern without being impersonal.”
Wagenius said he hoped the student body understood their importance in the election. Whoever is voted in is managing $3.8 million of student-paid fees.
“I just hope they go vote,” Wagenius said. “Historically it’s a low turnout. Both sets of candidates are fantastic. I just hope campus votes and that they’re aware of platforms behind each candidate and can make an informed decision.”