By Amrutha Sivakumar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 13, 2013
With Central Student Government’s elections just around the corner, LSA freshman Nick Swider announced he will run for the CSG presidency with LSA junior Jill Clancy as his running mate. They are the second confirmed candidates for the 2013 election cycle.
Clancy currently serves as the chief programming officer for CSG. Swider was selected by current CSG President Manish Parikh last semester to serve as an intern under Clancy’s leadership. Through working together on student government initiatives, Swider and Clancy realized that they would be “perfect candidates.”
The duo decided Swider should run for the presidency because he has more time to give to the job, Clancey said. Despite the fact that Clancy is a year ahead of Swider, she said seniority was not a decision-making factor.
“(Swider’s) ambition, drive and enthusiasm really spoke a lot to me,” Clancy said. “We just sat down and talked about how we really are invested in CSG and with that, here we are today.”
CSG program director Anika Awai-Williams said since she took her job in 2005, there have been no freshman or sophomore student body presidents. In fact, she said she was unsure if a freshman has ever run for president.
Swider, however, doesn't see his class standing as an impediment to his campaign and even thinks it could be advantageous.
“Seeing how the first year on campus affects the next three years, it’s critical that I work with my fellow freshman and other underclassman,” Swider said. “A lack of experience within other political experience can be to my true advantage because I do not have anyone else to answer to but students.”
“I believe that ‘freshman’ is just a label,” Swider added.
They will not run as independent candidates, like CSG President Manish Parikh and CSG Vice President Omar Hashwi did last year. Instead, they are in the process of forming a political party to back their initiatives. The structure and executive board of the party are yet to be confirmed.
On Sunday night, newly-formed party forUM revealed their election candidates and platform for the election.
Clancy said forUM’s announcement would not rush their current campaign timeline. She said she and Swider want to ensure that their campaign is “perfected.”
“We really want to focus and we really want to strategize and come up with the best team possible,” Clancy said. “If this means coming out a little after forUM, then that is okay.”
Though the duo’s platform is yet to be finalized, Swider said campaign promises would include increasing CSG awareness on campus through social media initiatives and undertaking efforts to ensure students are able to interact with CSG executives on a personal level.
Competition is not a matter of concern for the duo. Clancy said seeing so many students coming forward to run for office is “refreshing” and shows a passion for change on campus.
“We really want to focus on the fact that other administrations that have come into this have made some unfortunate tall and empty promises,” Swider said. “We are not looking to do this.”
Though CSG Vice President Omar Hashwi is currently undecided about whether or not he will run for presidency next year, he outlined the specific qualities that he believed every CSG candidate should possess.
“(The candidate needs to) have ambition, put the students’ needs first and be a good leader,” Hashwi said. “Someone who has the experience with implementing things, delivering on their platform ideas and whose platform is actually the platform of the students and not some generic platform.”
—Daily Staff Reporters Giacomo Bologna and Stephen Yaros contributed to this article.