Hello! I am Emily Pham, and I am the social media manager at Constellation Sustainability. As Constellation is a student organization that seeks to create a network of sustainability groups and students, we engage with USG-T and maintain the importance of our readers and followers to know and educate themselves on the current executive tickets.
Thank you very much to Kate for taking her time out of her campaign to talk to us! Constellation does not endorse any particular candidate and keep this series for education purposes.
Tell me about yourself and what you’re involved in on campus.
My name is Kate Hostal! I am a junior studying Finance and Business Law with a minor in Criminal Justice. I want to become a lawyer after I graduate - right now I am hopeful that I will be able to prosecute white collar crime or represent labor unions. On campus, I am involved in Sun Devil Mock Trial, Undergraduate Student Government, McCord Scholars, WPC 101 Facilitators and CCAP @ ASU. I have also conducted a research fellowship at the Center for Correctional Solutions on the Downtown campus!
What inspired you to run for USG president?
I was inspired to run for USG president because it is clear to me that ASU needs to do better to support students. Throughout the past two years I have served in USG as a Senator and as Senate President, where I have worked on a variety of different initiatives to improve student life. However, what I also found was that it is difficult to make substantive change on campus, so I am running because I have the knowledge of what issues students care about and the experience to accomplish them.
Tell us about your campaign!
Our campaign is all about including all ASU students because we believe we can make change if we join all together!! Aidan, Alex and I (along with our campaign manager Jyoti) have been working really hard to make our campaign inclusive of all students and very accessible. We have been meeting with students from all different parts of the university and changing our platforms to incorporate their feedback! We are excited to keep reaching more students throughout the rest of this week!
What are some of the first changes you’d make as a USG president?
The first changes I would make (in no particular order of importance) would be to create Tempe specific priorities (these are currently done by the Council of President's but not specifically for USGT), integrate sustainability incentives back into the appropriations process, create a USGT petition platform for students, host a townhall so students can get to know our team and advance the fight for a CAARE Center on campus!
How does sustainability fit into your campaign?
Sustainability is one of our core campaign platforms. We are committed to advancing ASU's commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals! We believe we can help create a culture of sustainability on campus by committing to sustainability within USGT, promoting sustainable options to students, and ensuring that the University integrates sustainability into its practices. We will do this by expanding campus composting, introducing sustainable vendors for students, purchasing sustainable activation items in USGT, bringing sustainability into the appropriations process and more!
What differentiates your campaign’s sustainability points from your competitors campaigns, as well as the previous administration’s?
The biggest difference between our campaign's sustainability points and our competitor's is that we are committed to creating a sustainable culture on ASU's campus. Our sustainability platform has been specifically crafted and adapted based off feedback we have received from sustainability leaders on campus and incorporates a three pronged approach (USGT specific, student specific and University specific) with items not previously encouraged by other administrations (such as bringing sustainability into the appropriations process). All of these efforts are meant to not only let individual students choose to be sustainable, but to ensure that the University as an institution is making sustainable decisions, so that students know that the items they receive and actions they take will all go to helping the planet!
What do you think is ASU's most pressing sustainability issue?
I think ASU's most pressing sustainability issue is accessibility. It is no secret that being sustainable requires commitment, but that commitment is not possible without the knowledge of sustainability to begin with. Until ASU makes sustainability education, services and training readily accessible to students it will be difficult to achieve the culture of sustainability we want to see.
We are a year into this pandemic. What do you believe are new problems that students are facing as a result of the pandemic, and what are your intentions for addressing them?
Because of the pandemic, students are facing alarming rates of mental health trouble and feelings of loneliness. We believe in order to best address this symptom of the pandemic, ASU needs to provide robust mental healthcare to students. This means continuing telehealth (for accessibility), maintaining the commitment to free counseling, hosting more mental health forums, providing study days and doing whatever possible to reduce the burden on student's mental health. Another key way for us to address this issue is by hosting safe, engaging events where students can socialize and relax once the Fall semester begins. Mental health is not the only issue students are facing because of the pandemic, though. Many students are facing new financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are committed to maintaining the Student Crisis Fund that Kate helped create a year ago and expanding the accessibility of the fund to include mental health crises, medical crises and more!
What difficulties do you anticipate if you were to become USG president?
One of the unique things about our ticket is that we already have six years of USG experience, so we know exactly what difficulties to expect. We know that when it comes to making change within the University, the administration is often obstinate. We anticipate this obstinance, particularly for initiatives such as making Election Day a school holiday and the establishment of a CAARE Center on campus. We are equipped to deal with these roadblocks because for two years we have been learning how to overcome them!
If you could send a mass message to every student at the Tempe campus, what would say to them right now?
You are not alone. This year has been incredibly difficult for many students and USGT should be a place of comfort for you. We are committed to making USGT the go to place for student support and advocacy. We know that you all deserve better from the University and we are committed to making that happen. Let's join all together and make ASU a better place!
Follow Kate and her campaign at:
Instagrams: @katehostal // @alltogether.asu