Kochheiser, Neely run unopposed for USG

For the second year in a row, the presidential and vice presidential candidates for Undergraduate Student Government will be running unopposed for the next academic year.

“We were both surprised,” said Presidential Candidate Brian Kochheiser. “We thought there were at least one or two other tickets going up against us.”

Outgoing USG President Alex Solis and Vice President David Neely ran unopposed in the last round of elections.

Kochheiser is a junior, majoring in sport management with a minor in general business. He is currently on the cabinet for USG as chief of staff.

Nicole Neely is on the same ticket as vice president. She is a junior and majoring in business with marketing specialization. She is currently on the cabinet for USG for strategic planning.

While many expressed their support for Kochheiser and Neely, they also talked about the disappointment of not having more candidates running.

Dean of Students Jodi Webb was also surprised there aren’t more students running.

“It’s a very big commitment,” Webb said. “There are many obligations students could have that prevented them from running, like academic obligations.”

However, Webb believes Kochheiser and Neely are good candidates for the job.

“They both have a lot of experience within USG,” she said. “I think they have a good understanding with the organization and issues on campus and with what is changing in the future.”

Academic Affairs Chair Kasie Durkit said he believes competition is healthy for candidates that run and is sad there aren’t more running.

“It forces people to recognize and hone in on their strong qualities,” Durkit said. “If you don’t have competition, it’s harder to truly try your best and you never know if you’re really the ticket people want.”

Even so, Durkit said she still thinks the team running is best for the job.

“I’m confident they have what it takes to win, even if they were running against someone,” she said. “They are hitting the ground running and have a great work ethic.”

Kochheiser and Neely have multiple points for their platform. They include creating a campus tag card, expanding Ziggy Points, finishing recreation center renovations and greek housing, increasing sustainability efforts and getting organizations trained by the Office for Multicultural Affairs.

With the new initiative Ziggy Points, the team wants to expand the program.

“We love it and think it’s great but we want to expand the marketing and knowledge about what Ziggy Points are,” Kochheiser said. “We also want to make the awards more attractive to students.”

For sustainability, they want to create a new themed learning community centered around sustainability. The two also want to support diversity groups like Call To Action through their multicultural affairs platform.

“I think our collaboration with Call To Action and Not In Our Town will help so they know we understand how they feel not represented enough,” Neely said. “We want them to know that we care and want to help them with that.”

Kochheiser and Neely encourage students to vote.

The ballot will be open Monday, April 7 through Thursday, April 10. Students will get a customized link to their emails, through which they can vote.