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OPEN pushes advocacy

BY KAITLIN DEWULF | APRIL 07, 2014 5:00 AM

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The only party running in the University of Iowa’s Student Government hopes to encourage students to become more involved in state politics. The OPEN Party’s platform “Individualize Advocacy” focuses on planning activities and events with student organizations that will increase student turnout in the 2014 midterm elections.

“We think student turnout is important because a lot of students that I have seen do care about the vote, they just don’t know about the process,” said OPEN Party presidential candidate Patrick Bartoski. Bartoski said this part of his platform will allow the UISG to keep students up to date on the voting process.

In an effort to increase student turnout this fall, OPEN hopes to host a major registration drive that coincides with a major event such as a SCOPE production, said vice-presidential candidate Jeffrey Ding. They plan to use this as a part of a Get Out the Vote campaign. The OPEN Party has placed emphasis on partnering with student organizations because there are many of them on campus that accomplish unique things, Bartoski said. He said student government’s main job is to help provide resources to student organizations, whether that is through funding or promotion.

“The OPEN Party believes student advocacy, whether it is at the city, state, or federal level, is an important component of the mission of student government,” Ding said. Ding said working with student organizations multiplies the effectiveness of initiatives and increases efficiency.

OPEN Senate candidate Crystal Terman said student government is only powerful if it has the support of the people who get things done, which is why student turnout in the election is crucial.

“The reason it’s called the OPEN Party is because it emphasizes communication and flexibility between the student body and the senators,” Terman said. “We’re here to understand the needs of the student body and advocate them.”

Voter advocacy is important to the OPEN Party because when we have a high student voter turnout rate, it makes our school look good, OPEN Senate candidate Michael Kessler said. “Once you turn 18, it’s a privilege to vote,” Kessler said. “And people should take advantage of that privilege.”

Kessler said the OPEN Party wants to get all students out to vote and let them know how important voting is through the advocacy platform. Additional advocacy goals for the party include organizing resources to enhance the leverage of student in tenant-landowner relations, establish a stronger tradition of student awareness about local and federal higher-education legislation, as well as nurture relationships with elected officials by continuing to lobby legislators.


UISG

The OPEN Party is running in the University of Iowa Student Government race with a campaign based on five platforms.  The Daily Iowan will run a series focusing on the different platforms.

• Today: Advocacy
• Tuesday: Sustainability
• Wednesday: Affordability
• Thursday: Diversity
• Friday: Safety

Source: Open Party website


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