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Meet the candidates running to represent the College of Engineering in StuGov

The+two+candidates+running+to+represent+the+College+of+Engineering+in+the+Student+Government+Senate+are+Lucky+Onyekwelu-Udoka+and+Student+Government+Sen.+%C4%B0smet+A%C3%A7%C4%B1kg%C3%B6z.+The+candidates+provided+their+photos.
The two candidates running to represent the College of Engineering in the Student Government Senate are Lucky Onyekwelu-Udoka and Student Government Sen. İsmet Açıkgöz. The candidates provided their photos.

Lucky Onyekwelu-Udoka and Student Government Sen. İsmet Açıkgöz are the two candidates running for the four seats available to represent the College of Engineering in the Student Government Senate.

Açıkgöz, a senior in aerospace engineering, already represents the College of Engineering after being appointed to the role of senator in October. Onyekwelu-Udoka, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, is seeking a first term as senator.

In 2023, the four engineering Senate seats had three candidates to fill them. The 375 engineering students who participated elected a fourth candidate by way of write-in and will be able to elect two more write-in candidates this year due to the lack of candidates.

Student Government is a student organization that exists to serve and represent all students, according to the student organization database. They annually distribute $2.6 million in student fee revenue to organizations on campus and in Story County.

The Student Government elections will take place March 5-6, and ballots will be emailed to students’ Iowa State email addresses.

The following interviews were conducted by email:

What are your qualifications for being a Senator?

Açıkgöz: “I have prior experience in this area; let me go further with this: I advocated and lobbied at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., for the future of the Aerospace industry in the U.S. by being among a group of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics members at Iowa State University who represented a handful of states of the Midwest. Aside from this, I served as the sustainability coordinator of my hall council (of Martin Hall) back in my sophomore year.”

Onyekwelu-Udoka: “My qualifications stem from a robust background in technology, a commitment to academic excellence, and a dedication to student welfare. I aim to bridge the gap between students’ needs and the college’s resources, making me a suitable candidate for a senator position.”

What are the most significant issues facing your constituents, and how will you address them?

Açıkgöz: “Specific engineering courses are known to be weed-out classes. These classes remain weed-out for years after years, which significantly concerns my constituency. I aim to be an envoy when it comes to voicing my constituency’s concerns like this one.”

Onyekwelu-Udoka: “The primary issues include the need for enhanced student engagement, more innovative research opportunities, and a more inclusive and diverse engineering community. I plan to address these by promoting collaborative environments, focusing on student welfare (mental health, and career development).”

Why should students vote for you?

Açıkgöz: “Students should vote for me because I come from a very diverse background. I was born in Düsseldorf, Germany; raised pretty much in Ankara, Turkey; and finished high school in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. This much traveling made me obtain a decent level of inclusivity and adapt to different settings/environments quite easily. In addition, I strongly feel like I embodied the core values of a Cyclone engineer.”

Onyekwelu-Udoka: “Students should vote for me because of my dedication to making tangible improvements in the College of Engineering. My campaign’s focus on inclusivity, student welfare, and academic collaboration aligns with the needs of our community.”

Why do you want to join Student Government?

Onyekwelu-Udoka: “I am motivated to join Student Government to empower the students of the College of Engineering, advocating for a more inclusive, dynamic academic community. My vision includes creating a collaborative environment where every student can thrive academically and personally.”

Why do you want to return to Student Government, and what are you most proud of during your time in Student Government?

Açıkgöz: “I am most proud of the privilege that I got to serve my constituency by helping set up various events/panels, such as the Prep Week Breakfast we had last semester; at the same time, being among the group of Iowa State Student Body Government representatives who advocated for the entire student body’s issues at the Capitol on Iowa State Day this semester.”

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