As many of you may know, Student Government elections are approaching and the prospects are promising. Currently, one such candidate, David Stuart Owen is running for Student Body Vice President, alongside John Bjorklund for President. Together, they plan to rebuild, reinvest and reengage.
On their Facebook page, they pledge to reform the current system on campus. “As we step into office, the Bjorklund & Owen team will work endlessly to reform student government to something that works for you.” They want to appeal to the majority of students on campus and not just the “small elite.”
They want to create a student government that is “directly responsible for decisions as opposed to a hidden committee where nobody knows whose in charge.
Bjorklund & Owen want student fees to serve the purpose they should be serving by reinvesting in the student body. There will be no cloaks and daggers, students who want to know how their money is being utilized are free to do so.
Even though I love the idea of reinvesting and rebuilding, it was their third promise for their platform that really got my attention. Reengagement with students. In my time at UND, I’ve noticed a lack of communication between the authoritative elite and the rest of the students. Reengaging means connecting with the students who may feel left out or uninformed.
It’s important the student body have leadership who realize it’s their job to meet the needs of the students, not the other way around. The average student shouldn’t have to wonder what their leadership is doing in office or how their money is being spent. This should be common knowledge and not an unanswered question with no one available to answer.
Bjorklund & Owen understand the majority of students on campus have other obligations and cannot dedicate their free time to the fight for justice and students’ rights. And that is why they’ve taken the initiative to do so for us. They want to make a difference in a way that’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication and time.
Owen was my editor when I first began working at the Dakota Student. Although he is now a writer, he was a great boss and is a solid coworker. He is always professional and more than willing to help me improve my writing. He encourages me to write so my voice is heard. He believes in the engagement of individual opinions.
When I started writing, I felt unsure of myself and a little bit intimidated by the idea of writing for a newspaper. I was critical of my work and consistently questioned my writing. I never felt like my articles were good enough and I always rethought my decisions after submitting articles. Owen would call me after every submission to give me feedback on my work. After speaking with him, I always felt more confident and encouraged to continue creatively expand my thinking.
Owen is a hard worker and an encouraging boss. His feedback on every one of my articles only made me a more effective writer. His diligence and positive work ethic only enhanced his ability to relate to his subordinates and connect with them on a personal level. He is always honest, but never domineering.
Owen is man with character who believes in the will of the people. He wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their voice matter, even if he doesn’t always agree with that voice. He prioritizes freedom of expression over personal preferences. He doesn’t believe in stifling the voices of others over a difference in opinion. With him in office, you can be sure you will never feel insignificant.
David Owen is a man with conviction who will do whatever he can to make change happen. He believes in the improvement of the overall student experience at UND. I believe he is the right man for the job. Don’t forget to vote David Owen for Vice President of Student Government.
Elizabeth Fequiere is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]