Letter to the editor

It’s ASUM election season once again at UM — and with a primary election, three president/vice-president teams, and two business manager candidates, you can expect campus to be full of campaign materials these next two weeks. The turnout for voters in these elections is low compared to national and state races, and the feedback I have gotten from students over the past four years points to two main reasons: (1) it’s hard to tell the difference between the teams and (2) it’s hard to see why electing student leaders matter. I hope to dispel both objections here.

I’m a graduating senior who spent some time within ASUM as well– I’ve been well involved in the past four ASUM election cycles. I’ve seen nearly a dozen presidential teams run, and have known almost all the candidates both personally and professionally. This year is no different — and there are some great candidates worthy of consideration. One pair, however, rises to the top of the pool: Alex Butler and Mariah Welch have what it takes to lead this student body for the 2018-19 year.

Butler is running for President, and Welch for VP– and between the two of them they have an incredible portfolio of leadership experience. Butler is a veteran who served in the United States Army for six years before coming to UM to study philosophy; anyone who knows Alex knows just how genuine he is. You see it when he tells you about volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, when he describes his latest rugby game, or when he’s in class discussing Aristotle’s ethics. Welch is no second-fiddle, as she takes a leading role in national organizations like Planned Parenthood, and takes part in campus groups like Triota. Mariah is a dedicated, passionate leader who is always first in line to speak out for what is right, and importantly, against what is wrong. These two are exceptional leaders and extraordinary people.

Hopefully that paints a picture of why Butler/Welch stands out, but why should voting for them make a difference in your life? The answer: they are taking on the issues that are most important for students. For instance, this team wants to create an ASUM presidential advisory group to hear from a diversity of students on issues that matter to them. They also plan to take a better hold on campus recycling to make better use of your fee dollars. Finally, they have the best perspectives on key challenges like program reductions and curtailment, enrollment drops, and diversity recruitment. No other team has the perspective and potential that these two have. They are your student driven voice, and are worthy of your vote.

Be sure to choose Butler/Welch for ASUM President and Vice President with me on the UM app or at m.umt.edu on Wednesday, April 18th (Primary) AND on April 25/26th (General) 2018!