Meet your president, vice president running mates
Heather St. Pierre and David Pickard
University of Rhode Island students Heather St. Pierre and David Pickard are in the running for Student Senate presidency and vice presidency, respectively, so they can better the standard of living at the URI campus.
In order to do so, St. Pierre's first priority would be to stabilize tuition rates for students. The junior political science and criminology major said this number one goal is fostered by the passion students feel towards the subject and URI President David M. Dooley's advice, saying it would be a "suitable goal" for Student Senate to achieve.
Her plan to achieve this goal is to establish and create a relationship with student governments across the state, and bring a unified front to the Board of Governors, telling state officials to invest more money in higher education so student tuition doesn't continue to increase.
"Everyone wants to succeed," St Pierre, said. "It's not fair for someone no to go just because they can't afford it... that's unacceptable."
Other goals she has include working with campus police to increase safety, to continue the renovation progress made in the Memorial Union and to work on building a sense of community at URI.
The internal aspect of Student Senate would be where Pickard comes into the picture. St. Pierre said the two of them would want to make Student Senate more internally cohesive, and, Pickard said, he hopes to keep Senate engaged and running better if he is voted vice president.
"I want to keep senate and the general members engaged," he said. "I want to help them work better as teams."
While St. Pierre has never held a position in senate, she said her extensive outside leadership experience as an orientation leader and a URI 101 mentor qualifies her to be Student Senate president because of the relationships she has established with administration, specifically at University College, where she acquired public speaking skills and the ability to empathize with students.
"I know what resources students are aware of and what resources need improvement," she said. "I have a unique perspective...it's about moving forward."
Pickard, who was a member of the Student Senate External Affairs committee, also has outside experience by holding positions in the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon, which, we said, required similar responsibilities as Student Senate vice president requires. He added that his time at URI as a working political science and Spanish major also equips him for the position.
"During my time at URI, I have developed as a person and gained skills both leadership wise and academically," he said.
Both St. Pierre and Pickard said they want to hold their positions because of a strong desire to give back to the URI community.
"[URI] is a great place," St. Pierre said. "I want to make it better than it already is."
"I want to leave something behind," Pickard said. "I want to give back to the community and the campus."
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