Student Safety, Campus Unity Top Platform Points for Tickets

ALLISON PILLAR | THE SPECTRUM Buttons abound across campus; the apparel allows students to show their support for student body president and vice president candidates.
Buttons abound across campus; the apparel allows students to show their support for student body president and vice president candidates.

North Dakota State student body elections kicked off with a fury Wednesday morning.

The two tickets running for president and vice president unveiled their campaigns, both of which contain platforms that heavily revolve around student life at NDSU.

Presidential candidate Robert Kringler and his vice president running mate Aaron Weber stressed student safety in their platform.

On the other ticket, presidential candidate Eric McDaniel and his vice president running mate Josh Fergel are striving for a unification of campus.

Dome prohibition, revisited

Three hours after official campaigning began, Matt Wagenius emailed local press outlets about Kringler and Weber’s support for alcohol sales at the Fargodome.

They received the message.

Kringler said The Forum, WDAY and various radio outlets reached out to him and Weber regarding their news release.

The name of the game is reaching out to students, he said.

“We’ve had some requests from Grand Forks, but we don’t need that,” Kringler said. “The only reason we’re entertaining to do this local media is because we know it will get to the students, eventually.”

Kringler said his ticket looks to restart meaningful conversations with administration regarding the ban on selling low-percentage liquor at Bison football games.

He said the school administration is “committed to having a conversation,” something NDSU officials of years past may not have been as willing to do.

“There’s been some personnel changes on campus,” Kringler said. “I think there’s some new people in some key roles without decades of preconceived notions about it.”

If implemented, “a lot of money” would be generated for the school, he said, but that’s not Kringler and Weber’s chief concern.

“Allowing sales during the game cuts down on binge drinking,” Kringler said, noting schools, including the University of North Dakota, allowing alcohol consumption at games see lower levels of alcohol-related incidents.

Last year, some members of student government pushed for reform, only to find resistance from administrators. At the time, President Dean Bresciani said more information would be necessary to move forward.

Fargodome General Manager Rob Sobolik has continually supported the repealing the prohibition of alcohol at games.

“It’s not our primary issue, for sure. But it plays a part of it. Our primary issue is student safety,” Kringler said.

#Unity on campus

McDaniel and Fergel launched their campaign to perhaps less public fanfare, but their ideas are, nonetheless, aspiring.

A slick website highlights the ticket’s main platform points.

“We feel like NDSU is in need of a state of unification,” reads. “These core values are what we believe is the right direction for the leadership at North Dakota State University.”

One way McDaniel and Fergel look to bring campus together is through a peer mentoring program.

By pairing incoming students with upperclassmen based on interests, the program “would act as a great way for incoming students to feel comfortable at their new home.”

Unification comes through transparency and leadership, the ticket’s website said.

“For the leadership to be effective, they have to be accountable,” the website said, offering ideas to keep student government responsible, including themselves.

McDaniel and Fergel, like Kringler and Weber, are all members of student government.

Collaboration and awareness are key aspects of McDaniel and Fergel’s campaign, as well.

“Exposure is something we feel like is lacking at NDSU,” the website states. McDaniel and Fergel want to make the Memorial Union a centralized hub that promotes collaboration between student organizations.

In terms of awareness, the ticket admits it can be difficult to keep up with the many events occurring at NDSU.

The school “is a very happening campus right now,” the website’s page concludes, “And we feel our student body need to be aware of everything that is going on.”

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