Loyola students: it’s time to pick your new student body president. Four campaigns, each comprised of a presidential and vice-presidential candidate, are vying to become the next intermediaries speaking on behalf of students to the administration.

As you fill out the electronic ballot that will be e-mailed to your Loyola account on Tuesday, March 27, remember which campaign has your best interests in mind. To ease your decision-making process, Inside Loyola asked the four pairs running to complete candidate questionnaires. We’ve summarized their responses to give you the pinpointed information about the backgrounds and priorities of the four squads.

Matt Razek & Tori Spears
Experience –  
Razek: USGA Speaker of the Senate (two terms); has been on USGA for three years; Student Ambassador Executive Board Member; Intern in the Dean of Students Office; Student Representative on the Board of Trustees Advancement Committee, Homecoming 2012 Planning Committee, Student Center Name Game Committee, Director of Campus Ministry Search Committee, Board of Trustees Jesuit and Catholic Identity Committee, Director of Student Leadership Development Search Committee; Resident Assistant; etc. 
Spears: USGA Undesignated Senator on the Residence Life and Dining Committee; Delta Sigma Pi, Professional Business Fraternity; Residence Hall Association Northside Area Council Program Coordinator; National Residence Hall Honorary; etc.

Goals – 
1. Increasing Shuttle and 8-RIDE Services
Shuttle service on the weekend by reducing the number of buses during non-peak times. Expand the hours and radius of 8-RIDE services, including vans at the Water Tower Campus.
2. Improvement to Dining Facilities
Develop a better partnership with Aramark to improve food quality and options. Increase sustainable practices relating to the dining halls. 
3. Raising Graduation and Retention Rates
Work with the Office of the Provost to reduce academic major credit hours to ~40-45 per field of study so that all students graduate within four years and not forced to go a fifth year, when all financial aid is lost.

Eftiola Trebicka & Nicholas Ramirez
Experience – 
Trebicka: Junior Senator for USGA; Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee; Student Representative for the Library Board, University Core Curriculum Committee, Academic Affairs University Policy Committee, and Council for Student Success; First-Year Companion. 
Ramirez: USGA Senator; Member of the Facilities and Transportation Committee; Peer Mentor for the Cristo Rey Scholars Program.

Goals –
1. Improve USGA Communication and Transparency
Publicize what USGA does for students. Collaborate more frequently with other student organizations.
2. Provide Holistic Care for Students to Ensure Success
Make sure students enjoy their time in and outside of the classroom. Relocate the Wellness Center. Develop better programs concerning alcohol education. 
3. Improve the value of the Loyola Degree
Help more students graduate in four years. Increase access to advising and career services.

Matthew Smith & Derek Gliwa
Experience –
Smith: Freshman Companion; Student Ambassador. 
Gliwa: Various clubs and groups at Loyola.

Goals –
1. Instill life in Student Government
Believe they can bring fresh perspectives to USGA, as the two candidates are not ingrained in the group’s workings. 
2. Feel the pulse of the student body
Reach as many students as possible to evaluate their needs. 
3. Raise awareness of USGA’s role in policymaking
Increase interaction between students and USGA.

Julia Poirier & Sarah McDowell
Experience – 
Poirier: Justice Chair for USGA; has been on USGA for three years; Student Representative for the Community Engagement Committee, Constitutional Review Committee, Transportation and Facilities Committee, and Social Events Committee; LIFT Student Advocate; Feeding Illinois Development and Communication Intern; Interfaith Implementation Committee; Chief Communications Officer of Women in Leadership; Communications and PR Director of Oxfam Loyola.
McDowell: Has been on USGA for two years; Chair of the Residence Life and Dining Committee; Chair of the temporary Social Events Committee; Peer Mentor for First-Year Students.

1. Tuition
Promote student dialogue surrounding tuition increases as they hinder a student’s finances.
2. Improving the Dining Halls
Increase healthy options and sustainable practices in dining halls. Provide more options in the Terry Food Court. 
3. Increasing Diversity
More difference regarding the socioeconomic, religious, racial ethic, and gender make-up of Loyola’s student body. Create a more inclusive campus.

Voting for this year’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA) election begins Tuesday, March 27, when electronic ballots are e-mailed out to students. The polls will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 28. To learn more about any of the candidates, visit LUC.edu/usga.

Tonight, there will be at a debate between all the presidential candidates at 7 p.m. in the Convergence Studio in the School of Communication. See a live stream of the debate on the digital screen located in CFSU.