at WSU Vancouver

Presidential Candidates

Vicente Chavez & Davina Cepeda

Hi, I’m Vince Chavez. I have been extensively involved on campus since I first arrived, starting out as an Impact Volunteer with the Student Diversity Center. As a Peer Mentor, Researcher and Student Ambassador, I have gained experience representing the VanCoug community and have learned a lot about how the institution functions. I have the privilege of welcoming new and future VanCougs and introducing them to our campus as well as have a platform to voice their campus concerns.

Hello, I am Davina Cepeda. My involvement traces back to my first experience as an Impact Volunteer. Since then, my interests to get more involved has only grown. In my pursuit to better contribute to the VanCoug community, I currently serve as an ASWSUV Senator, a Clerical Assistant in Student Affairs, and a SALT Ambassador. With these positions, I strive to be an approachable resource for students who seek guidance or have questions, while also relating to them and discovering new issues that we all face as students

We run on a platform called ACT: Advocacy, Compassion, and Transparency. We are advocating for equity and accessibility. We aim to minimize and eliminate barriers that exist in our institution such as textbook costs. We will continue to advocate for further funding for open educational resources to give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed. Furthermore, we firmly believe engagement and transparency are critical to any functioning governing body. Therefore, ongoing communication through conversations will be one of our top priorities. We will lead with love and compassion and be active with engagement this means reaching out to our peers rather than the other way around. We will take active steps to encourage more self-care while continuing to carry on the strength of the VanCoug community. Thank you.

Caroline Brenner & Zeke Estes

Caroline and Zeke have consistently fulfilled a variety of positions across campus over the last three years. Ranging from Student Activities to Student Media, and everything in between, their impact on the campus community and student life is evident. Both Caroline and Zeke have found their niche in student government, serving this year as the Director of Leadership Development and the Senate Secretary. Although they have both served on campus in a number of other roles, ASWSUV is the only organization that has allowed them to enact change on campus. Serving as the leaders of ASWSUV, Caroline and Zeke would be able to lead and direct the student voice to incite change across WSU.

If elected, Caroline and Zeke have a four-tier platform. This platform starts with a basis of accessibility on campus, followed by communication, transparency, and student involvement. Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, accessibility is taken in the context of ensuring that the needs of our non-traditional student body are given due consideration in order to inform our other initiatives on campus--to make sure that every student, no matter their background or their schedule, has equitable access to campus resources. The second and third tier both support thriving student involvement opportunities. With transparency and effective communication, there is potential to grow student life and enhance our student’s VanCoug journey in a unique and engaging way.

Senate Candidates

Sofia Grande

My name is Sofia Grande, and I am running for ASWSUV Senate. I am currently a freshman majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Business, expected to graduate in 2021. If elected to Student Senate, I will ensure a voice for the students I represent. Every student has a right to voice their concerns and I want to be able to deliver their message. Throughout my academic career, I have gained valuable skills that will help me succeed in Senate. I have had the pleasure to serve as the president of the National Honor Society and Red Cross club and vice-president of my senior class. Additionally, I serve as the vice president of the Neuroscience club on campus, as well as a reporter with the VanCougar. Through these experiences, I have gained skills in leadership, teamwork, and public relations. These positions and skills gave me the experience needed to address the concern of the student body to Senate.

Working at the VanCougar has helped me connect more with the student body and learn about their concerns and issues. If elected I would do my best to help the student body. I will not only maintain regular office hours, but I will seek the engagement of the student body. My goal is to stay connected with students and their needs. And the best way to do this is through active communication. I want to make everyone feel included in our VanCoug community. I plan to create an all-inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone on campus, independent of race, religion, gender or sexuality. To accomplish this, I plan to work with groups on campus that focus on creating equality. Such as the Student Diversity Center, Latina Student Association, the Cougar Pride club, Black People United, and many more.

Matthew Leeper

I want to be a part of ASWSUV student government because I have a deep love and passion for the WSU Vancouver campus and the students that are a part of it. I believe that I have much more to offer the students who surround me than what I am doing right now, and I strongly believe that being a part of ASWSUV student government will help me accomplish this. In this I want to work towards having more areas on campus where students can not only have a place to study but also have a place where they can spend time with their friends (outside of the Firstenburg Student Commons and/or the cafeteria). I will be able to do this because I have experience working with others on campus such as my experience as the SAB Cultural Events Coordinator and my experience creating the Cougs & Cars Club that is new to campus this school year. In addition to these previous experiences, I intensely enjoy working with others, listening to what others want/need out of the campus, finding out what can be improved personally and in other areas as well. Lastly, I am a very proactive person, meaning that if I see an area which can be improved or that something can be done to further my progress, I tend to jump on the opportunity to improve that something.

Gregory Olson

I would like to increase the positive culture at WSUV. I have a plan to increase visibility and give recognition to WSUV. By being involved in the community and doing good things around the community we will get publicity recognized.

I graduated with an AAS in Business Administration (with a CD in Supervisory Management) and Associates in Arts (with honors) from Clark College. I was the business club President for 2 business clubs at Clark College. I was the creator of the Business Innovations Club, where I built the club from the ground up. Our club was looking for a way to be able to compete in academic and community involvement competitions, so we looked into FBLA-PBL (Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda). We found what we were looking for and joined the largest business club in the nation

I know how much time and dedication it takes. I do not take this lightly, nor will I let the students down. We have a lot of intelligent, creative, and innovative students here at WSUV. I intend on tapping into the knowledge and innovation of our students and challenge the student body to not just be “hate free”, but to care for each other and create a culture that is uplifting and encouraging.

I want to get moving and start organizing fundraisers to bring in a band where we can host a dance/concert. I have a few resources available to me. I know, personally, the promoter of Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I would like to work with the powers that be, to abolish the parking fees.

Taryn Llorente

Being a part of ASWSUV is a definite dream of mine. I have lived in Vancouver my entire life and have been a WSUV student for three years now, making the position of ASWSUV senator the perfect position for me! I have many ideas and suggestions to hopefully help the campus to run as smoothly as it can for the current and future students.

If elected to senate, I will do my absolute best to change the building hours so that students have more access to prime study areas outside of the traditional class hours. Last semester I was locked out of the Design and Innovation Center (VECS123) the day before my two finals for over an hour, so the issue of building accessibility is very personal to me.

At a young age, I began working as a hostess at a restaurant which allowed me to become very comfortable communicating with others and overall very personable. As a Starbucks barista, I learned the trade quickly and my excellent leadership skills allowed me to become a barista trainer after starting my employment only a few months earlier. From both of these jobs, I developed skills that will help me to uphold the ASWSUV mission. With my charismatic and outgoing personality, I will not be shy while working directly with the student body, and as a natural leader, I will do my absolute best to enact change on campus to serve you, the student body, to the best of my ability!

Taryn Loun

I believe that all experiences are best with active participation. Being able to be part of the student body in creating change and voices to have a lasting impact on not only my education but for future students gives the honor to provide service to my community. Being a mom, extrovert, and having previous life experiences help me navigate challenges to speak up, listen and create new pathways for success. I have previously testified before the Senate in Olympia to change laws and applaud all efforts of democracy to improve systems.

I believe that all experiences are best with active participation. Being able to be part of the student body in creating change and voices to have a lasting impact on not only my education but for future students gives the honor to provide service to my community. Being a mom, extrovert, and having previous life experiences help me navigate challenges to speak up, listen and create new pathways for success. I have previously testified before the Senate in Olympia to change laws and applaud all efforts of democracy to improve systems.

Currently, I would really like to help with housing options for students. I do not know where they are at with this, or, as a senator I would be a part of the planning but I think on-campus housing would vastly impact our community by creating volume for an array of campus needs. The economy of campus would soar and the growth potential is very exciting. However, I would be willing to help in anyway, to anyone as long as I can be a part of positive impact. I don't know if more pressing issues are on the table currently. I look forward to be an elected official and taking on all issues to promote the wellbeing of WSUV students, faculty and staff.

Matthew Frohlich

I want to represent students and what THEY want and make everyone feel welcomed and heard no matter who they are or what views they have. Being welcomed and heard and being agreed with though are two things often conflated at this campus which alienates people you may not suspect, something I vow to change.

My life goal is to be a representative of the people and as such I have decided to pursue a degree in pubic affairs that will help me better know how to govern. I also am very good at budgeting money and getting the most value of every dollar. Additionally, I’m fairly persuasive and able to get my views across and heeded, which in this case will be the views of my constituents. For example, in a period of about a month I was able to raise over $7000 by going door to door for my high school football team; I know how to sell.

I will uphold my mission, to ensure that the student interest is represented, by going out every week for at least an hour and asking people around the university about their opinions and what they want out of me as a representative of their views; I will come to them. Additionally, those that want can come to me with anything at any time will be listened to and respected. I will make my contact information public knowledge if elected.

I want to help students obtain lower tuition costs and increase the pay of professors by aggressively lobbying the state legislature. I want to decrease the price of books everyone pays at the beginning of the semester by going through third party dealers who charge lower rates. I also hope to decrease wasteful spending with my votes

Emily Duong

As a woman of color and a leader of a newly formed cultural organization on campus, I want to directly bridge the communication gap between Senate and those who are underrepresented, whose needs are often not voiced. As president of the Vietnamese Student Association, I’ve seen how a cultural club as small as five can grow immensely in just six months if given the right opportunity. While others fight to diversify campus, I’ve taken it into my own hands to create a space whose main focus is to engage students of color in activities that relate to their cultures and interests, and collectively grow as individuals outside of academics, including in cultural, educational and social aspects of student life.

However, as a cultural club leader, there is only so much I can do to represent the needs of these students. I am taking the chance to run as Senator to embody the small voices of those who have not been vocal in the past due to lack of opportunity, platform, and efficacy.

My goal as Senator of ASWSUV is to foster a sense of community that emphasizes inclusivity. I will actively reach out to non-traditional students, students of color, and other grossly underrepresented and grossly uninvolved demographics, and create opportunities for them to engage in student life with meaning. Just as I have created meaning for myself through the formation of my own cultural club, I want being a VanCoug to mean something to you outside of academics as well. I know our student government, student clubs, and student activities board do not cover all the bases. Lots of students fall through the crack. My ultimate goal as your Senator is to bridge the gap and fill those cracks with whatever means necessary to best serve you.

Nicholas Nansel

Coming to the end of my third year here on campus, I’ve realized how little I have been involved in contributing to the lifestyle of WSU Vancouver students since I started attending. I’m hoping to change that this coming year by working with the student body to create an environment that will help them grow and succeed

As many students on campus have come to learn, time management and focus are integral to the success of whatever your goals may be; studying to pass an exam, finish that paper, or get to class on time. I hope to utilize these to help assist the ASWSUV team throughout the year. Being involved in the neuroscience, biology, and psychology programs, I hope to be able to bring a diverse range of perspectives to best assist the student body.

Communication is a huge part in maintaining efficiency through interrelated projects designed to better campus life. Not only with the leadership of ASWSUV but also with the student body as a whole. As a neuroscience major and biology/psychology double minor, I hope that I can be a bridge to those students, to bring their ideas and perspectives to help improve the campus for all.

One thing I’ve come to realize during the past three years on campus is how easy it is to for students to arrive, and leave, campus without realizing the opportunities that are available to them that were created by their peers. From interesting social events to networking presentations, finding new mediums to convey these experiences and increase participation should be a priority

Chloe Casey

I would like to be part of ASWSUV student government because I believe getting involved with your campus is an important part of college. I would love to be a part of making this campus the best it can be for the students who attend and be an advocate for them as well.

I have had extensive experience in different student government positions since high school. I went to Hayes Freedom High School and was involved in the Associate Student Body there. I held the position of Secretary my junior year and President my senior year. After graduating I went on to Clark College where I joined the Activities Programming Board that operated under the Associated Students of Clark College. There I held the position of Social Events Coordinator my first year and Family Events Coordinator my next year. I have had extensive leadership training which involved one overnight leadership training at my high school, two 3 day leadership retreats in Olympia and Wenatchee, as well as attending the National Association for Campus Activities twice, once in Spokane and once in California.

If elected Senator I will do my best to uphold all roles and responsibilities that are expected of me. I will do this by being a reliable and timely worker, showing up when I am supposed to and doing what is asked of me. I will also make sure I take time to organize my work and school schedules so that they are manageable and do not work against one another. I will make myself available to students and be an advocate for their needs. I will attend all of the training and mandatory meetings that are expected of me. Lastly, I will be a positive contributor to the image of WSUV and will conduct myself in an appropriate manner during my work hours as well as outside of my work hours.

I think it is very important to listen to the students wants and needs and to plan accordingly. Even more importantly I believe that it is important for students to feel heard. Even if there isn't much you can do, it is still important to listen. My plans are to use this position to make positive changes here at WSU and advocate for students. I think that it is sometimes harder for evening/night students to get involved or have access to the opportunities that day students have, therefore, one of my goals is to try and incorporate ways that they can feel like they are involved and heard. In order to do this I would make myself available, when time permits in my schedule, to have late office hours to answer questions these students may have and be present during their school times so they may have access to the same opportunities that the day students have. Also, I think it is important to schedule at least a few small night events for these students and I would be more than willing to do so if that were an opportunity for this position.

Emily Elder

Representation and participation are absolutely essential for any functioning democracy, whether it be on campus or in the real world of politics. I want to be involved because I care about this campus and the community, and recognize the unique and diverse student population we have.

I’ve never been a shy person, and easily can get out there and talk to people. Part of being a senator is knowing who you represent, and while there are many ways to do that, my approach is definitely hands on. I work very hard, and am very passionate about serving and I think this will only help me be a better senator. I recently was a part of a group of WSU students who participated in Coug Day at the Capitol, a lobbying event in Olympia where students lobby for higher education needs. Being there was amazing because it gave us an opportunity to represent our campus and the needs of our students. I’m excited to continue to do that kind of work for our campus.

There are many ways in which a person can be a leader, and leading by serving others is one way. While it seems paradoxical, it’s actually very important to serve the group that you wish to lead because the relationship between a senator and the rest of the student body requires a lot of empathy, awareness, foresight, and commitment to the growth of people (Spears 116-123). Having this kind of relationship only makes it easier to be clarify the needs of those you serve and to then create solutions that actually work.

My plans for ASWSUV largely depend on the needs of the student body, and while I can list of every complaint on my laundry list I can recognize that I am merely one student on this campus. I don’t think it would be fair for me to have this big, grandiose plan based on assumptions and self-centered needs. If elected, I want to hold a “get to know you” sort of event; one where students can share their concerns; barriers to success in school and post-graduation, hardships faced on campus and at home, or anything that you want to see changed. And while I can’t promise that everything can be fixed, I can promise to be a listening ear and a voice for that change. Generally speaking, I recognize that the student population of this campus is not the stereotypical, college going student. We are working students, student parents, commuting students, and have unique needs. I only hope to address those needs in a way that improves our college experience here at WSUV.

Maribel Garcia-Igueldo

I want to be a part of ASWSUV to make a positive contribution to the quality of student life and activities on campus.

The skills I have that will help me serve in ASWSUV are that I am a well-rounded individual, I am a full-time student, a part-time tutor at a psychological services office, and secretary of the psychology and neuroscience club on campus. I am also able to manage multiple responsibilities while maintaining a busy schedule. Most importantly I am open-minded and appreciate the diversity that WSUV embodies

I will uphold ASWSUV’s mission to serve the student body if elected by interacting with students around campus and listening to their feedback with an open-mind. I will then use their feedback to better represent the student body.

If elected my plan for ASWSUV and the entire community at WSU Vancouver for the 2018-2019 academic year would be to increase student involvement. I will accomplish my plan by pushing to increase the funding of clubs, enabling them to increase their involvement on campus and in the community.

Colten Sullivent

My name is Colten Sullivent, and I'm running to be your representative in ASWSUV Senate. I'm a junior studying Computer Science, and I intend to graduate in 2020. During my time at Lower Columbia College, I served as the Assistant Director of Forensics. I worked directly with student government to manage the LCC Speech and Debate team. I know the unique challenges involved in running a highly active club and organizing events both on and off campus. I want to use these skills to help WSUV clubs and organizations become more involved in our local community. Universities are often viewed as self-serving and insular. We as students recognize the importance of the academy not just as a tool of personal enrichment, but also as a tool of societal enrichment. If elected, I would focus on working with clubs to become more involved in our local community through civic engagement. By taking part in volunteerism and political activism, we can begin to dispel the myth of the self-serving academy while also making a better world to live in. What's more, I believe civic engagement is a crucial part of personal enrichment. Volunteerism and political activism expose us to diverse lifestyles, cultures, and worldviews. Engaging with our local community also helps us to develop new skills and network with like-minded individuals. If elected, I would hope to create more of these opportunities, enabling WSUV students to reap these benefits.

Jonathan Abbot

I have a very well-rounded resume to show that I would be an ideal senator for the next year! I’ve been an ambassador for two years and have been very active with events on campus. I have made a difference in the minds of incoming students and now I feel that it’s time to step up and ultimately affect the policies that affect the student body.

Communication as a senator is a must, since we are your advocates for student government. I will challenge myself every day to be the best communicator between students and ASWSUV. As part of the S&A committee I am well versed in the budget and legislative process that are a day to day necessity for this position.

The ultimate mission is to serve the student population and I believe heavily that we must be held accountable. As my way of making sure I uphold that mission I will have scheduled office hours that will be posted so that students can come to me and ask questions. I’m also on campus all the time so feel free to come up to me!

Student involvement on this campus molded me into who I am today. We have a diverse set of clubs across campus across. If elected, I will regularly attend club meetings to understand the needs of clubs. Also, as an engineering major, I have noticed a lack of personal resources for our students to work on projects outside of the classroom. Like Pullmans Frank Innovation Zone, I want to see a Vancouver equivalent where our stem students have the same resources.

Joseph Pyles

My name is Joe Pyles and I am submitting my candidacy for ASWSUV Senator. Although I have been attending WSU in Vancouver since the spring of 2013, I officially have the credit hours to rank as a junior. In no real hurry, I expect to graduate by 2020. Having been here for half a decade, I feel moved to become more involved and invest myself in the community that has embraced and inspired me. I have had the great privilege to work alongside, receive advice or support, and study under generous, compassionate and engaging students, faculty, and instructors. In short, I would like to pay it forward.

If elected as your ASWSUV Senator, I will not only continue to work to improve student life and the strength of our community, but I will then be granted further occasion and authority to speak on behalf of student’s needs and experiences. In the time that I have spent at WSU, I have increasingly grown more and more motivated to give back to our campus and build lasting connections. One way I am achieving this is by working hard to create and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with the faculty and staff charged with organizing and providing the tools and foundation for student success. I often encounter information, experiences, and/or issues that may exist, but are otherwise uninvestigated, ignored, and unresolved. While I am compelled to figure these things out for my own success, it is never lost on me that such successes could potentially benefit the next student who encounters just such obstacles. Although these frequently occur around digital platforms and services, there are also logistic issues relating to resources, and services. In addition to advocating for my own needs, I will continue to confront and work to resolve or improve these circumstances by researching, troubleshooting, and advocating for student accessibility and empowerment.

Jonathon Young

I want to provide leadership to the Senate. I was involved in College Access Program. I exhibit servant leadership and have 23 years’ experience. I also want to get students involved in their own campus affairs.


The Associated Students of Washington State University Vancouver's mission is to provide the students of Washington State University Vancouver a unique student life experience through advocacy, leadership, and activities.

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