UI Charge runs on relationship building for UISG election

UI Charge is one of three parties running in the UISG election on April 3 and 4. The party is focusing on building relationships across campus, hoping to engage all students across campus.


Katie Goodale

Adiu Arou (left) and Dady Mansaray pose for a portrait in the Main Library on Monday, April 1, 2019. Mansaray and Arou will be running for president and vice president on the UI Charge ticket.

Brooklyn Draisey, News Editor

“It’s your story, shouldn’t you be the one to tell it?”

That quote ends UI Charge’s promotional video. The party is led by UISG Sen. Dady Mansaray and Adiu Arou, who are running for UISG president and vice president, respectively.

The Daily Iowan opened the interview to all members of UI Charge, but only Mansaray was available.

Mansaray said the candidates on his ticket have different perspectives but are all passionate about making a difference on campus. Many students on the ticket are from areas not traditionally represented in UISG, and Mansaray tried to recruit from groups that, he said, have been ignored.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to have those different students at the table,” he said.

Dedication to the community is what makes UI Charge unique, he said. His ticket wants to move the UI forward together through building relationships that involve everyone.

Related: UISG presidential candidates debate platforms and campus issues

“This campaign has never been about me, my running mate, or my team, it’s about this community, and it’s about time we have a student-body representative that will fight tirelessly … to establish that relationship,” he said.

Many of Mansaray’s goals for next year, should UI Charge be elected, stem from problems he’s seen in the organization’s current structure. One issue he has chosen to focus on is increasing UISG’s presence on campus and creating relationships with students.

Mansaray said one way he plans on doing this is using a video explaining UISG and its role at the UI to increase students’ knowledge of the governing body and how it affects them. The video would, hopefully, be shown at OnIowa and around campus during the first week of school.

“I decided to ‘take charge’ and put this amazing group of students together to ensure that student government has a presence on campus,” Mansaray said.

He also wants to work with different groups on campus to promote existing programs before turning all the focus and funds toward new projects. He has been frustrated with UISG making promises that it doesn’t follow through on, he said, and making and maintaining relationships on campus will help keep UISG accountable.

Mansaray noted the residence halls’ compost-bin program as one project that UISG should continue to promote and advocate for, as well as partnering with the Campus Activities Board to create more events for students.

“We are all passionate about this community … but we need to act on our intentions,” he said.

After running for president last year with the Student Collective Party, Mansaray said, he learned to keep enthusiasm up while campaigning even when others start to burn out from what is a very stressful process.

He also learned that there are many areas that require creative solutions, such as marketing and solving problems. As with the issue of tuition, some problems need to be thought of in a new way in order to be successfully addressed, he believes.

In the end, no one has all the solutions, Mansaray said. What’s important is facilitating conversations with everyone to fix problems together.

“If people know what you’re doing, they’ll step up,” he said.

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