SOAR and YOUIowa present visions for Undergraduate Student Government

Both SOAR and YOUIowa are running in this year’s USG elections, and have platforms aimed at trying to make campus a better place for students


Grace Smith

Instagram profiles of the University of Iowa Student Government’s senatorial tickets are pictured on Sunday, April 4, 2021.

Brady Osborne, News Reporter

Undergraduate Student Government election voting starts today, and most prospective senators have chosen between two tickets to run on.

SOAR and YOUIowa are running in the upcoming election. Students can vote on MyUI and voting closes on Thursday.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the senate race will not be contested this year. There are 27 ticketed senator candidates running for the 29 at-large seats — 12 as part of SOAR and 15 as a part of YOUIowa.

Speaker of the Senate Samantha Stucky, who is running on the SOAR ticket, said these tickets allow like-minded senators to collaborate and develop ideas with their peers.

“The purpose is that you get together with other people interested in running for senate, and you’re not doing it alone,” Stucky said. “You’re campaigning to create a platform that is a lot stronger. You are going to work with these people in the future, so it’s better to build these connections and build these opportunities rather than going into it blind.”

Stucky said the SOAR ticket is trying to promote and support student organizations and advocate and represent all student voices and opinions.

“SOAR is an acronym that stands for Support, Organize, Advocate, and Represent,” Stucky said. “The purpose is that we are there to speak on behalf of students and not over students.”

Senator and Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Senate Jack Lauer, who is also running on the SOAR ticket, said SOAR aims to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus, while creating a more accountable system for campus administrators.

“Our platform is built upon providing the most transparent and efficient care and support possible for undergraduates here at University of Iowa,” Lauer said. “Whether that means supporting your student organization or providing finances for your student organization, all the way to providing dynamic diversity, equity inclusion initiatives to ensure that we have a more accountable system in place for campus administrators.”

Sen. Ryan Westhoff, who is running on the YOUIowa ticket, said YOUIowa’s platform is one of responsiveness and transparency.

“A lot of us on the YOUIowa ticket have finished our first year on USG and we have sort of seen how things work,” he said. “One of the big things that we noticed is that a lot of the work we do is kind of hidden from the larger student body.”

Westhoff said YOUIowa is aiming to allow for more student feedback on senate initiatives before it is too late to change or fix things that students want fixed.

Sen. Alexis Carfrae, who is also running on the YOUIowa ticket, said she chose to run on this ticket because many of the senators on the ticket are newer to USG, and she has connections with a lot of them.

“Most of us are in senate this year, so these are the people who I work with every Tuesday night when we have Senate meetings,” Carfrae said. “So, I chose this ticket because I have a lot of connections to people, and I thought this is a great group of people that I could get some things done with.”

There are senators running as independents and constituency senators, as well, who are not part of either ticket.

Laurer said once elected, the tickets focus on getting things done, because the two groups share many policy points.

“I think that when voters look at our platforms, they will see a lot of overlap and a lot of intersectional priorities that each of the tickets have that we share,” Laurer said.