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Meet the ASA presidential election candidates

Meet the ASA presidential election candidates

Learn more about Taylor Johnson and Sam Kohlmann

The 2018-19 Augustana Students’ Association (ASA) election is taking place Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 with two candidates in the running for the presidential position.

Sam Kohlmann is a fourth-year business student on the five year track to graduation, he is from Wisconsin but followed his family roots to Camrose.

Why are you running for this position?

I have been on the ASA for three years, once as the VP Student Life. I find the work rewarding, and I want to improve the student experience.

What are the key elements of your platform?

The key elements are:

Implementing procedures to increase student engagement with students and awareness of ASA operations.

Implementing a central comprehensive calendar for everything happening at Augustana so students can join new friend groups and get involved.

Working with Augustana, North Campus, and the community to implement a central online resource base of every resource available to students relating to things like emergency financial assistance, sexual assault, mental health, healthcare, etc. along with step by step road maps of how to get help.

Finally, I want to redo the pool tables and get new cues.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

My goals as president will be:

Talking with students first to get an idea of what their suggestions or concerns are regarding Augustana and the ASA.

Engaging 90 percent or more of the student body at least one time during the year.

Implementing the Central Calendar and Resource Base.


Taylor Johnson grew up in Camrose and is a third-year history student.

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I have always been passionate about student government. I have been involved in student government since grade 10, and if elected as president, this will be my third year with the ASA. Currently, I am the vice president academic and my role as VPA really sparked my interest in running for president. There are a lot of academic changes coming to Augustana next year that I have already started working on with my administrative connections as VPA. I would love the opportunity to continue the work I have been doing as president because it is something I am incredibly passionate about and love doing. With the connections I have made, and the knowledge I have gained through my current position, I am the proper candidate for the job.

What are the key elements of your platform?

The key elements of my platform are centered around strengthening connections and increasing student engagement. With a 4% budget cut coming to Augustana next year, which translates to close to $900,000, it is crucially important for the ASA to strengthen its ties and working relationships with other student groups on campus, and the SU. Strengthening ties with student groups on campus such as athletics, res life, chaplaincy, and students in the fine arts programs (art, music, and drama) etc. are important to ensure that these programs that are important to students don’t end up seeing any cuts. We need to develop a better relationship with the SU and work together to ensure that Augustana doesn’t feel the biggest hit without resources to help.

Another thing that is important to continue work on is 3/11. My committee on the ASA took on the 3/11 survey. This survey is one of the key platform points that I campaigned on as VPA. From this survey I will be presenting the findings to Faculty Council in April and making some recommended changes for the system based on what concerns students have voiced. I think it is important for students to get the opportunity to continue having a space to give feedback next year to see if changes are being made or not. Although the ASA is unable to change the system, we can continue advocating for how the students feel about the system and if more changes need to be made. Overall, there are going to be a lot of changes coming to Augustana next year, and it is crucially important for the ASA to take an active role in ensuring the changes that are made are in the best interest for students. As great as looking for a new gym deal would be, there are more important things coming down the line for Augustana that the ASA needs to be a part of. This is a time for realistic goals and achievable outcomes which I am providing in my platform.

If you should be elected, what are some of your primary goals?

If elected, some of my primary goals are strengthening the ties and working relationships between the ASA and student groups on campus through hosting more joint events, looking into different ways to use the Student Engagement fund such as looking into helping with Adopt a Viking, purchasing production tickets for contests and giveaways, etc. I also wish to strengthen the working relationship between the ASA and the SU. Secondly, with all of the academic changes coming next year to Augustana, I think it is crucially important for students to be involved in the process of change to ensure that the changes made are in the best interest of students. Otherwise, it will be easy for administration to go ahead and steamroll through without any student consultation. With changes coming as soon as this summer, and myself already starting to work with administration in regards to these changes, I would appreciate nothing more than being given the chance to continue the hard work I have already been doing and work that I will be doing in the months to come. With all of this in mind, I hope you chose to vote for me, Taylor Johnson for President.

Learn more about the candidates at the ASA Candidates’ Forum on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Wahkohtowin Lodge.

Some responses have been edited for space.

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