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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Two ASUCD senators leave the Thrive slate to become independent

Senators Mallika Hari and Owen Krauss chose to leave the Thrive slate due to differences in values

 

By EMILY REDMAN — campus@theaggie.org

 

Senator Owen Krauss, a second-year international relations major, and Senator Mallika Hari, a second-year political science major and public health minor, announced that they will be stepping down from all responsibilities with the Thrive slate at the Oct.14 senate meeting. They have both chosen to continue in their senator positions as independents.

“It is my belief that not only has this slate contributed to a toxic two-party system, but it has also actively caused hurt and strife among many,” Krauss said at the senate meeting after resigning from his position as vice chair and interim chair of Thrive.

Both Hari and Krauss stated that Thrive did not align with their values anymore, and they find that continuing as independents will better suit their goals as senators.

“My moral and ethical duty has centered around ASUCD, and I will strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of a senator,” Hari said at the senate meeting.

When choosing to run with the Thrive slate, Krauss said that he did not thoroughly research the slates before running with them.

“Probably in hindsight, I really should have looked at the slates I was picking and what I was running on,” Krauss said. “But even now, I don’t think it would have changed me becoming an independent.”

Hari initially chose to run with the Thrive slate because she valued the effort they put into listening to many opinions and perspectives.

“[Bi-partisanship] is very vital to a functioning Senate,” Hari said via email. “Listening and compromising with each other to best represent the student body is close to my heart.”

For Krauss, the bi-partisan, two-party system was a reason to leave Thrive and continue as an independent.

“For a long time there’s been a two-party system gridlock,” Krauss said. “I’m not okay with being a part of this toxic environment.”

Krauss also said that Thrive and BASED senators do not disclose when they are working together due to bi-partisan tensions, and he feels that senators should be focused on working for the students rather than slate politics.

“I think by not being a part of it, it allows me to work with anyone and everyone,” Krauss said.

Hari said that she learned about the history and beliefs of prior senators and does not feel that they align with her values.

“Being an Independent is the best position for me to be in, in order to represent my own perspectives and opinions and support the Student Body to the best of my ability,” Hari said.

Though his slate has changed, Krauss’ goals as a senator have not.

“The forefront of my campaign when I was running was LGBTQ advocacy and that hasn’t changed,” Krauss said. “Going forward, [the plan is to] do my best to not only set out what I came to do, but also to help reform a process that’s been toxic for so long.”

Hari looks forward to her future as an independent at the senate table and wants to focus her work on supporting students.

“Being independent encompasses my perspectives and opinions more,” Hari said. “I will be able to reach more of the student body and represent students from all walks of life.”

Senator Kristin Mifsud, the newly-appointed vice-chair and interim chair of Thrive, was contacted but not available for comment.

 

Written by: Emily Redman — campus@theaggie.org

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