ASOSU presidential and vice presidential ticket: Justin Bennett and Aiden Tariku

Justin Bennett (left) and Aiden Tariku (right) are running for ASOSU president and vie president respectively. 

Joe Wolf, ASOSU Beat Reporter

Under the tagline “OSUnited,” presidential candidate Justin Bennett and vice presidential candidate Aiden Tariku’s four main platform planks are tuition affordability and fiscal responsibility, diversity and inclusion, transparency and mental health and wellness.

According to Bennett, he would like to continue to work with the Oregon legislature to ensure they take into account student voices, as well as attempt to increase communication between OSU students and the Board of Trustees, such as working to schedule meetings when students are available.

“If you bring each other down to the same level, you can actually have a real conversation,” Bennett said.

According to Tariku, the ticket wants to audit student fee-funded units to ensure students dollars are being spent effectively, as well as increasing the diversity of the SFC itself.

“I want students to know they can come to us with any issue, no matter how big or small,” Tariku said. “We want to try and follow as much as we do lead. And by follow, we mean listen. The legislation and policies we work on should be reflective of their demands.”

According to Bennett, he spent his early time in college trying to find ways to get involved. His first experience with ASOSU was phone banking, which led to running for Senate and ultimately his current role as the executive branch director of government relations. This Cabinet position manages ASOSU’s lobbying efforts at the state and federal level. Learning about ASOSU at START, for Bennett, the position of president in particular is the best way to enact change on campus.

“I feel like I have come full circle, I’d like to think someone at START can look at me and have that same thought, ‘I can do that someday,’” Tariku said.

According to Tariku, this year as a senator he has enjoyed the variety of legislation being discussed.

“Coming into ASOSU is macro-level leadership affecting more than just yourself or your immediate surroundings,” Tariku said. “Also every person that I have met through Senate has been really cool and down to earth.”

According to Bennett, his time in student government has given him insight into campus issues at the student, administrative and legislative levels.

“As president, it is not something you can do alone,” Bennett said. “I understand the responsibilityof the position, that they are big shoes to fill, but I feel comfortable knowing I have support around me.”

According to Tariku, he expects the Senate and elections to be his two biggest responsibilities. This year, he credited current Vice President and President of Senate Radhika Shah with keeping the chamber informed, but wants to increase this communication by holding individual meetings with every senator every term.

“I’m the only person running who is currently in Senate,” Tariku said. “No other candidate currently running would be making that smooth transition from senator to president of the Senate. From my first day in Senate, I have been observing the process.”