Sophomore Caleb Weiland and junior Reagan Kolberg are the lone candidate team standing for the USD Student Government Association’s Presidential Election that will take place March 8-9.
Weiland, a political science major and spanish, civic leadership studies double minor from Beresford, South Dakota is running for president after serving as the president pro tempore and governmental affairs chair. Weiland also serves as the chair of the Student Federation.
Kolberg is a health service administration major and a legal studies in business minor from Yankton, South Dakota. Kolberg is serving as the chair of finance and has served on the finance and student affairs committees and is Weliand’s running mate as vice president.
Weliand and Kolberg’s platform, with the slogan “All in for USD” is built on three pillars: Student Health, Accessibility and Advocacy.
“It’s really important that SGA as an institution, as senators, we do more with outreach and understanding that there are a lot of different perspectives,” Weiland said. “I think you’re going to see, under our administration, a lot more focus on campus issues.”
The first pillar, student health, is multifaceted, focusing on both mental and physical health. Kolberg said that having mental health resources available to students is very important to them.
“Fortunately, the Cook House has received increased funding and we really want to work with the student body and make sure that funding is going to things that are actually going to cause that Cook House to have much more outreach,” Kolberg said.
Weiland and Kolberg are planning to get clarity on student health through Sanford and getting that information out to students, as Kolberg said not a lot of students know how student health works or how their insurance and student health work together.
The second pillar, accessibility, includes getting ADA accessibility to buildings across campus. Weiland also said that accessibility extends to a syllabus bank for students, which passed through SGA last semester.
“If you can go on before you even register for a class, you can go see what the course work is like, what the schedule is like (and) what the textbook is like,” Weiland said. “That is good for our students and then they can best tailor their schedule to best fit their needs.”
The final accessibility factor is Weiland and Kolberg’s plan to bring back Safe Rides for students. Safe Rides provides students the ability to get a safe ride from downtown or other places to their homes.
As for advocacy, Weiland and Kolberg understand that USD has a broad student base and students come from different backgrounds, and they want SGA to represent all of USD. A big topic with advocacy is the new Opportunity Center and the changes to the Center for Diversity and Community.
“Reagan and I are advocates for diversity and inclusion, we both were prime sponsors of legislation to stand for the CDC last semester,” Weiland said.
The team said they want to listen to the student organizations most affected by the changes and see what SGA can do to help.
“That’s what’s so disheartening about the dismantling of their space, they have the largest impact, more than most student organizations,” Kolberg said. “…We want them to be able to make the impact that they were making, and I think we’re just going to work as hard as we can to make sure they still feel that they have that level of support.”
With the election two weeks away, the team will continue to campaign to get enough approval votes. Two other candidate teams were unable to gather the signatures needed by SGA’s deadline, forcing them to drop out of the race. Therefore, the election for Weiland and Kolberg will be a yes or no vote on March 8-9.