Written by Noelle Fujii and Raven Bellamy.
With 457 ballots cast for the student’s government executive positions and constitutional amendment, the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i (ASUH) will usher in a new president and vice president after this semester ends.
Current ASUH Vice President Kelly Zakimi won the bid for president, beating her sole opponent by 68 percent. Current Sen. Roxie-Anne Kamoshida, who represents the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), won the bid for vice president with 63 percent of the votes.
“Along with President Zakimi and the 103rd Senate, I’m ready to advocate on behalf of the student body in whatever issues we may face in the future,” Kamoshida said in an email interview. “We are ready to be your voice. We are ready to advocate. We are ready to serve.”
Running for executive positions
Zakimi and Kamoshida were running mates during this semester’s general elections. They were part of a team that centered on the slogan “Engagement, Enhancement, and Excellence”.
“I wanted to run for ASUH Vice-President because I knew I was ready to effectively serve my constituents at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa,” Kamoshida said.
Kamoshida also served as the vice chairperson of the senate’s campus life committee this year. In addition, she has had previous experience with student government, having been active in them since middle school in California where she served as the student body vice president.
In high school, she served as the junior class president and student body president during her senior year.
“Student government has always been a passion of mine,” she said, adding that she has also held leadership positions in other clubs.
One of Zakimi’s biggest goals is to increase engagement.
“The more we engage and learn about our constituency, the students, the more we as a student government can effectively represent students,” she said in an email.
Zakimi says she plans to implement a beginning of the year survey to find out what UH Mānoa students think about the important issues students face. Zakimi believes this will help ASUH know which key issues to focus on in the upcoming school year.
“I also plan to send out regular email updates to undergraduates to inform them [of] what ASUH is working on and how [students] can get involved,” she said.
In addition, Zakimi plans to enact office hours for each senate member. She explained that office hours will be specific periods of time in which senate members are available to listen to concerns that students may have.
“Majority of students on campus are unaware of who their senator/representatives are for their respective college,” Kamoshida said. “I plan on having our Senators meet with their respective colleges monthly and have a ‘talk story’ session. This will give students the opportunity to express their concerns and be well informed/updated of what ASUH is doing.”
Kamoshida also plans on strengthening the senate by organizing more workshops to be able to more effectively serve and advocate for its constituents.
“A true leader is not born, they are made,” she said. “Aside from engagement, the senate and I will do our best to enhance student services on campus.”
Kamoshida also plans on making more appearances at the state legislature.