2021 ASOSU Election: Get to know the candidates

Cara Nixon, News Contributor

President/Vice President 

Alexander Kerner and Stella Harkness

Alexander Kerner is a second-year English and education major on the school administration track and Stella Harkness is a first-year bioengineering major on the pre-law track – they are both from Portland, Ore. Kerner has previous experience in the ASOSU House of Representatives.

Kerner and Harkness would like to focus on increasing club and Greek life activity, improving university transparency and communication, supporting resident advisors and graduate employees, addressing police accountability and increasing diversity at OSU. 

“I feel like we’re taking a very realistic approach to what we can do and what we can offer people,” Kerner said. 


Dhru Patel and Dylan Perfect

Dhru Patel is a third-year international business major originally from Klamath Falls, Ore., and Dylan Perfect is fourth-year political science major from Albany, Ore. Patel is the current president pro tempore of the ASOSU Senate, while Perfect is the director of government relations. 

Patel and Perfect want to focus on three key areas: their experience and past victories for students, community representation, and progressive change for students. More specifically, they would like to support students financially and emotionally during and after the pandemic, advocate for the S/U policy to remain consistent, hold the university accountable for their carbon neutral goal, focus on racial justice and police accountability, expand on-campus resources like the Survivor Advocacy Resource Center and Equal Opportunity and Access Office, look at raising the student worker wage and support student and faculty unions. 

 Patel said, “Dylan and I are running at the top of the ticket to make tangible change, but that change comes from the community, it comes from all of the different groups that we want to represent and that we want to see positive change made in their favor for.”

Speaker of the House

Lucas Schnell

Lucas Schnell is a political science and writing major from Salem, Ore. He has worked in the House of Representatives and currently serves as the speaker pro tempore, a position that led him to pursue the Speaker of the House position.  

In this position, Schnell would like to focus on creating a more inclusive environment and make decisions about representatives based on equity, diversity and inclusivity at OSU.

 “We’re best when we have all of our voices heard and when our House of Representatives is actually structured in a way that can represent the students that are there,” Schnell said. 

Student Fee Committee Chair

Muhammad Aatir Khan (MAK)

Muhammad Aatir Khan is a second year PhD candidate majoring in public policy, originally from Karachi, Pakistan. Khan has been a member of the House of Representatives since April 2020 and was involved in the fee reduction for the fall 2020 term and fee setting for the 2021-22 academic year. 

Khan, if elected, wants to ensure that student incidental fee dollars are allocated as equitably as possible and to make the fee setting process more efficient and transparent. 

“I think that SFC has one of the most critical roles in student government and I felt that the current fee setting process has some redundancies, so I am looking forward to playing a part in improving and streamlining that process,” Khan said.


Student Fee Committee At-Large-Members

Jessica Lopez

Jessica Lopez is a fourth-year bio-health sciences (pre-PA), Spanish, and psychology student from Portland, Ore. 

If elected, Lopez would like to focus on university groups that are in need of funding and make the process more equitable. 

Lopez said, “There are many organizations at OSU that don’t get enough funding or support, so I hope I can provide more support and stability through the Student Fee Committee position.”


Bennett Poulsen

 *Poulsen did not respond to requests for comments by the time of publication.

Jack Hill

Jack Hill is a second-year economics major originally from Portland, Ore. Hill has experience in ASOSU in the House of Representatives and as West Side Treasurer, which he said taught him how to be spending-minded. 

“I wanted to run because the student fees only ever seem to increase, but no one in the process is especially interested in decreasing student fees,” Hill said. 

If elected, he hopes to work with other SFC members to create a proposal that will lead to mandatory reporting of past service levels and the option to revert to past service levels. 



Xander Robertson 

Xander Robertson is a third-year physics and economics student originally from Kingston, Wash.  Robertson is running for re-election as a Senator to continue the work he has done so far in the position. 

Robertson has worked on and would continue to work on various projects if re-elected, including plans to restructure ASOSU to better represent students, student engagement and involvement and sustainability and changing the way CAPS is funded to better support student-athletes at OSU.

 “I want to continue doing the work that I’m involved with now, so that a lot of these programs that are beneficial to the student body can be seen through in their entirety and can be completed,” Robertson said. 

Drew Jacobsen

Drew Jacobsen is a third-year environmental economics and policy and sustainability major from Eugene, Ore. 

 If elected, Jacobsen wants to “increase student engagement in ASOSU affairs, hold the university accountable for ensuring student success and wellbeing and make sure student fees are being appropriated efficiently and effectively.”

“I feel the best way to make a difference is through systemic change, and the quickest way to affect any system is through the institutions that directly shape it,” Jacobsen said. “Now, I realize ASOSU has limited power in university decision making, but with strong student leadership I believe it can have serious sway.”


Bailey Langley

Bailey Langley is a second-year environmental science major with an option in economics and policy from Tualatin, Ore. Langley currently serves in the House of Representatives and hopes to continue her involvement in ASOSU through the senator position.

If elected, Langley hopes to continue working to increase student engagement and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As a member of the House Projects committee, my colleagues and I have focused on ways to increase engagement during elections by outreach efforts, worked with CAPS to support student’s mental health needs and are currently writing a resolution supporting textbook affordability,” Langley said. “If elected to the Senate, during my two-year term, I would be able to continue these types of efforts and undertake larger projects.”


Lily Butler

Lily Butler is a third-year natural resources and sustainability major originally from Eugene, Ore.  After working closely with ASOSU Senators through her job at Campus Recycling, Butler decided she wanted to experience the position herself. 

Butler is operating her platform based on four objectives: community, accountability, resilience and equity, to make the acronym C.A.R.E. She also would like to improve the connection between students and student government and work on community outreach. 

She is planning to work diligently on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion – she’d like to support communities of color, students with disabilities and LGBTQ+ students, people who she feels like are underrepresented in both the ASOSU voting pool and candidacy. 


Tali Ilkovitch

Tali Ilkovitch is a second-year junior studying natural resources originally from Washington D.C. They are running to be re-elected to the ASOSU Senate. 

“In my position as Senator, I will not campaign for reform, because that is not enough. I am here to restructure the systems that have been designed to exclude BIPOC, queer, disabled, neurodivergent, low-income, undocumented and/or religious minority identities from higher education, and pursue true equity and justice on campus,” Ilkovitch said. “I will uplift student voices and narratives, and build collective solidarity and power between undergraduate students, graduate workers, faculty, staff and community members.”

In addition, Ilkovitch, if re-elected, will be opposing armed policing on campus and low wages for workers during the pandemic and address food and housing insecurity, mental health, sexual violence and healthcare. 


Tanya Bihari 

Tanya Bihari is a second-year computer science student from Portland, Ore. Bihari has spent some time as an undergraduate representative in ASOSU and said she wants to continue her career in student government to make the university’s environment more inclusive and transparent. 

“I am running for this position to help make a difference for the OSU community and to commit to promoting and advocating for diversity and creating an inclusive environment for all,” Bihari said. “… I want to ensure transparency in everything ASOSU does so that the student body knows what is going on and how they can be involved and learn about how their money is being allocated in all parts of the OSU community.”

Specifically, Bihari wants to address Black Lives Matter and protecting students of color on campus, gun control and campus security, community safety and health and student wellness if elected. 


Lars Romsos

Lars Romsos is a first-year general engineering student from South Tahoe, Calif.  After becoming involved with the Young Democratic Socialists Association earlier this school year, Romsos realized he wanted to make a difference in the community. 

Along with making OSU a safer campus, Romsos would also like to increase the number of community gardens and improve awareness and engagement with ASOSU. 

“I feel like it’s kind of difficult for people to feel represented for at the university if they don’t even know that the ASOSU exists. I just want to make sure that the ASOSU gets more publicity or is explained better,” Romsos said. 


Sera Park

Sera Park is a second-year nutrition major originally from Lake Oswego, Ore. 

“I’ve always wanted to be involved with ASOSU and it seems the duties of a Senator is what fits the most of my interests,” Park said. 

If elected, Park would like to identify the main issues students are concerned about and work to fix them in her role to meet her overall goal of making OSU a better place. 


House of Representatives (Undergraduate) 

Caleb Powell

Caleb Powell is a second-year mathematical economics major from St. Helens, Ore. He is running for re-election to the House of Representatives. 

Along with having a drive to lead others, Powell is also interested in economics and wants to improve budget transparency for OSU students. 

“I think that’s the main reason why I ran is to help on budget things in a more equitable way and then also increase the transparency of the budgets as well,” Powell said.  

In addition to his experience with ASOSU, Powell is the oldest of six kids, works for the Sierra and has a leadership role in his fraternity Phi Kappa Beta – each of these roles, according to Powell, have prepared him to continue serving as a Representative. 


Duy Hoang

Duy Hoang is a third-year biology student originally from Salem, Ore. Hoang is running for re-election to this position in hopes of continuing his work in ASOSU’s House of Representatives. 

“I hope to further work with the student-fee funded units to help OSU students understand how their money is used,” Hoang said. “I also want to continue to build on my previous knowledge of this committee and continue to grow to help further improve ASOSU.”


Griffin Scott

Griffin Scott is a second-year industrial engineering major from Medford, Ore. Scott was motivated to run initially because though he believed ASOSU to be doing a good job, he noticed a disconnect between the student government and the student body, and he wanted to change that. 

Now running for re-election, Scott wants to continue growing in his position, working to increase student engagement, amplify the voices of underrepresented students and focus on providing volunteer opportunities to students. 

“I’d love to be able to be a part of initiatives that help bring about more volunteer opportunities because that’s something I’m really passionate about – community outreach,” Scott said. 


Luke Goldsworthy 

Luke Goldsworthy is a third-year computer science major originally from Salem, Ore. 

“I wanted to run because, especially during the pandemic, I felt a little bit disconnected from my community and it seemed like the best way to get more in touch with it was to get directly involved,” Goldsworthy said. 

Goldsworthy, if elected, would like to focus on budget transparency and serving the interests of students in regard to recreational facilities.

As a student who has switched from computer science to graphic design and back to computer science, Goldsworthy feels like he has a broad perspective on the OSU community. 


Maria Arellano

Maria Arellano is a fourth-year majoring in bio health sciences. 

“I am running for a position in the ASOSU House of Representatives because I want to serve as a voice for students whose needs are often overlooked from multiple perspectives,” Arellano said. 

Arellano said she wants to bring awareness to student concerns, advocate for student wellness and assist students in finding ways to stay engaged during and after the pandemic if elected. 

With past experience in Community Engagement & Leadership, Arellano believes she is prepared to handle a new role in ASOSU’s House of Representatives. 


Matteo Paola

Matteo Paola is a third-year transfer student studying political science originally from Canby, Ore. Paola is running for re-election, wanting to continue to improve the benefits and services offered to students at OSU. 

“I think ASOSU offers a lot of services that are beneficial to students who are aware of them,” Paola said, “and I am running for re-election because I hope to improve the funding these services receive, inform more students about what resources are available to them and fight for a better student experience at OSU.”

If re-elected, Paola said he wants to push for compensation for all members of ASOSU – he believes the lack of compensation for certain positions is a hindrance to the potential of the student government. He would also like to address food and housing insecurity among students by expanding the HSRC and other resources to meet the community’s needs. Additionally, Paola wants to improve awareness of ASOSU and increase student engagement with student government.


Matthew Edwards

Matthew Edwards is a third-year political science major originally from Klamath Falls, Ore. 

Edwards is running because he wants to build financial transparency for students and be a voice for the student body.

“I’m going to look at all viewpoints; I’m not someone who’s going to be always conservative or always liberal, but I’m going to look at everything,” Edwards said. 


Reece Kikuchi

Reece Kikuchi is a second-year computer science major originally from Wailuku, Hawaii. 

Kikuchi was initially encouraged by friends in the Young Democratic Socialists Association and We Can Do the Work campaign to apply for the House of Representatives last spring and has held his seat since September. 

“I’m running for my House seat again this year because I’ve met people in ASOSU who have the same great visions for student life that I have, and I want to continue working on that project with the support from my fellow students,” Kikuchi explained. 

Kikuchi is basing his platform on three key foundational points: invigorating student democracy, creating a more just public safety system and focusing on assisting students during the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing to work with the HSRC to advocate for student needs. He will also be advocating for the reopening of the campus pharmacy. 


Sahana Shah

Sahana Shah is a first-year bioengineering student from Corvallis. 

Though she has been at OSU for only a short time, Shah has lived in Corvallis for the past five years, and she said she feels inspired by the community and wants to find ways to connect with students and advocate for their needs through ASOSU. 

 “Being a woman of color and a woman in STEM, I feel that I can bring a necessary perspective as a representative,” Shah added. 

If elected, Shah’s platform would focus on three points: diversity, inclusion and support. Specifically, Shah would like to advocate for more academic learning resources and extra support for those who don’t learn in a neurotypical way. Additionally, she would like to spread awareness about conditions like autism on campus to build acceptance and make OSU a more accessible campus for all. She also would like to highlight underrepresented voices through her position.


Joe Page

Joe Page is a second-year public health major originally from Errington, Nev. Page is running for re-election to the House of Representatives, where he has been working as the Chair of House Projects Committee. 

“I would like to continue the work that I’ve been working on as Chair of the House Projects Committee and see some more projects into next year,” Page said.  “I think it’s kind of important to have continuity of membership.” 

Page wants to make ASOSU a more accessible institution for the student body, and he believes his experience with student government and with being president of the Resident Housing Association has prepared him for this role. 


House of Representatives (Graduate)

Kathy Hu

Kathy Hu is a first-year masters student studying mechanical engineering, but she has been at OSU for the past four years. She is originally from Corvallis, Ore. 

Hu is running for re-election to this position, and she was originally motivated to run to bring the conversation of transition during the pandemic to graduate students specifically, because their experiences are different than undergraduates.

In this role, Hu wants to support cost-reduction measurements not just for grad students, but for everyone. This means encouraging more open-education resources and having professors pivot from costly resources to more free options for students.

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