Candidate profile: Frank Smith III

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XXX (Photo Courtesy of Frank Smith III)
USGD President Frank Smith III (Photo courtesy of Frank Smith III)

Learn more about Alexis Kramer’s goals for her administration, stance on the transparency of USGD and why she is running for president.

Current Undergraduate Student Government Downtown President Frank Smith III, a public service and public policy student with a concentration in business, will be running for his current position with a pair of new vice presidents in this spring’s election.

Smith said Vice President of Services Marcus Dudas decided not to run for his position again and Vice President of Policy Melber Macainan wanted to get more involved in the Resident Housing Administration.

His new ticket consists of Corina Tapscott as vice president of services and Sally Lopez as vice president of policy. Tapscott is currently the president of DPC Aware and co-chair of the show programming and special events committee.

Lopez is a College of Health Solutions senator who ran for vice president two years ago on a ticket with Erika Green.

Tapscott, a social work freshman, believes her position in DPC Aware, which requires her to attend all Senate meetings, will help prepare her for serving in USGD.

Lopez, a health sciences junior, said her time as senator has taught her the ins and outs of USGD, and this will make her a better vice president.

Despite running with a new ticket, Smith said he wants to use another term to finish work he started this year, including his goal of cutting textbook costs for students.

He hopes a new approach will be able to gain more traction in the Senate, and in the end help cut the costs of textbooks.

“The thing we’re looking at is getting an online textbook version, so instead of making it mandatory for them to use the same textbook for four semesters, we’re saying, ‘Hey, would you be willing to use a textbook that has an online version?’ So we can bring down the cost that way,” Smith said.

Another issue that Smith has worked on during his term is informing the student body about USGD and its functions.

Smith believes he has helped connect USGD with students by live-streaming meetings, and said that USGD is the only one of ASU’s student governments to do so. Smith also said Senate meetings are live-tweeted by @USGDowntown. Smith pointed to a recent jump in ‘likes’ on the USGD Facebook page as proof that the government is reaching more students.

He also wants representatives and members of the executive branch on Taylor Mall so more people can find out about USGD.

“We’re here for them, we’re here to talk to them, because we’re here to represent the students,” Smith said.

Although Smith said textbooks and student engagement have been ongoing priorities that he will continue to work on if he is re-elected, Smith recalled other things that he was able to accomplish throughout his term.

Smith took credit for the First Amendment Forum and Cronkite library being open for all hours of the week, saying it is the only location at ASU open 24/7.

“People think that Hayden (Library) is open 24/7, but it is only open 24 hours a day during the week, not the weekends,” Smith said.

Other accomplishments include a payment option for student parking on campus and increasing the hours for shuttles, both measures which have not yet been implemented. Smith also said he would fight tuition-fee increase.

“I did say I would fight tuition-fee increases, and I was able to get 0 percent increase for in-state students,” Smith said.

Even on the heels of senatorial resignations and only two colleges with filled Senate seats, Smith said he isn’t deterred.

“There’s always a high turnover of senators within the Undergraduate Student Government,” Smith said. “There’s always room for improvement and keeping senators engaged.”

Correction: March 17, 2014:

A previous version of this article said Sally Lopez is currently a senior. The article has been updated to say she’s a junior.

Contact the reporter at Shaianne.Perez@asu.edu

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