Undergraduate Student Government candidates Sean Crowe and Mohamad Mohamad aren’t trying to play it safe.
“We’re not afraid to say that we’re for a bunch of students jumping into a freezing cold lake,” Crowe said.
Crowe, a second-year in chemical engineering and vice presidential candidate, is running alongside Mohamad Mohamad, a third-year in chemical engineering and engineering physics.
Their campaign, Mohamad said, is founded on being a channel for average students’ voices and pushing the university on issues like the recent increased regulations of the Mirror Lake jump.
“I think Mirror Lake is the greatest tradition by students for students. With anything like that, there’s bound to be issues, but the way it works now is great and I don’t think it needs to be messed with,” Mohamad said. “When you put up gates and have only one way in and one way out, that causes more problems.”
Jumping in Mirror Lake before the OSU football game against the University of Michigan is an OSU tradition. It took place Nov. 26 this year, but after OSU officials announced students would be required to wear wristbands and pass through fences for admittance, some students took to the lake a night early to show their disapproval of the regulations.
Mohamad and Crowe are the only ticket that doesn’t include either a public affairs or political science major.
“We’re not politicians. We’re both in engineering, so we like to focus on problem-solving,” Mohamad said.
Mohamad has been involved in USG since he was a freshman and said he’s learned that many people use the organization for self-gain and to “put their names on things.”
Mohamad said USG candidates tend to focus on addressing issues that are too big for them to actually make a difference, like lowering tuition.
“It’s a nice idea, but you can’t do it, and we don’t want to win based off of false notions,” he said.
Instead, they said they want to work on fighting against the “nickel-and-diming” at the university when it comes to issues like meal plans, textbook prices and the impending second-year live-on requirement.
Students lose too much money in the textbook market, Mohamad said. He said they’d like to help fund student-driven ideas, like marketosu.com, a student-created website which facilitates the exchange of textbooks and requires an OSU email address for registration.
“It’s a simple solution that can have a lasting impact,” he said. “This website can help out students today, next year and years to come. If USG would fund these kind of ideas and take them to the next level, it might cost a good portion of money right now, but it’s going to pay for itself within five or six years.”
Their platform also aims to promote activism on campus and integrate other student organizations into USG so that more student groups have a role in the shared governance of the university.
Their biggest motivation to run, however, was to help tackle mental health issues on campus, they said.
“Ohio State’s mental health resources are great … But what I learned is that Ohio State’s resources here are very reactive, but not proactive enough,” Mohamad said.
Mohamad said they want to integrate mental health programs, like the online screening program “RUOK?”, into officer training for Greek Life and other student organizations.
There are six campaign teams running: Josh Ahart and Jen Tripi; Vytas Aukstuolis and Nick Macek; Ryan Hedrick and Nicole Spaetzel; Mohamad and Crowe; Andrew Warnecke and Logan Recker; and Celia Wright and Leah Lacure.
The Ahart-Tripi campaign was recently accused of falsifying campaign expense reports by three of the opposing campaigns. The website “voteceliaandleah.com,” which includes the names of an opposing campaign, was registered in the name of the Ahart-Tripi campaign manager, though the campaign had not reported the expense. The USG judicial panel, though, reached a unanimous decision that the team had not committed a violation. The opposing campaigns who had brought the complaint forward – Wright and Lacure; Aukstuolis and Macek; and Mohamad and Crowe – said they were not planning to appeal.
Voting is open online Monday through Wednesday.
Editor’s note: The campaigns were listed in alphabetical order by presidential candidates’ last names.