Undergaduate elections at IUPUI will take place on March 7. The Campus Citizen has reached out to the candidates to offer the chance to write a letter to IUPUI students regarding why they deserve your vote. The following is from USG Presidential Candidate Mosopefoluwa (Sope) Ladapo. This letter was published as it was received.
What does Undergraduate Student Government (USG) mean to you?
That is the most critical question for IUPUI’s campus during this election. For me, USG has always screamed potential. When I was first elected to represent the African Student Association (ASA), I thought I knew everything about being African and representing other students like me. I was wrong. In the semesters I spent as senator for ASA, I learned a lot about myself and about what representation looks like.
Representation means listening before speaking. It means speaking for no one but you. USG is an opportunity for every student’s voice to be heard. However, why on a campus of our size, does no one believe in the power of USG’s representation? That answer lies in your hands as a student here: that answer lies in this election.
This election is the opportunity for your voice to be heard. Now is the time for you to vote. The question is, do you want what we have now or do you want change? In last year’s election fewer than 200 people voted (which is .95% of IUPUI’s undergraduate population). This year cannot be the same. If we want change, we must vote for change.
We currently have a system that works but could be greater, more effective, and reflect what IUPUI’s population wants to see. The change that we (Sope & Thompson) propose is a process that looks to increase interests in USG through three main values: involvement, communication, and community.
When I ran for President of the African Student Association I emphasized community. I repeated it constantly because I saw it was something we could work on and increase. Today I look at the space we occupy in the Multicultural Center (MC) and smile because our community thrives through the effort of the MC staff, the ASA executive board, and ASA members.
I want everyone to look at USG and say “I am represented there”, and my fear is that if we keep things the way they are now, change will never come.
I want to remind you, the undergraduate students of IUPUI, that change can only come when we decide we want change. So, even if you do not vote for Sope & Thompson, let your voice be heard by voting on March 7.