Patterson, Ash emphasize combined experience, academic equity in ASG run


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Sky Patterson speaks at ASG Senate. The Weinberg junior is running for ASG president on a platform of community development, academic equity and wellbeing.

Gabby Birenbaum, Assistant Campus Editor

As a freshman, Associated Student Government presidential candidate Sky Patterson said she considered Northwestern to be “the perfect fit.” The Weinberg junior enjoyed her classes and joined ASG Senate as the representative of For Members Only.

However, as she took more classes and encountered people different from herself, Patterson said she became aware of persistent problems on campus and felt inspired to enact change.

Throughout her ASG tenure, Patterson said those experiences listening to constituents and discovering problems compelled her to find solutions. As ASG’s vice president for academics, Patterson said she worked with the provost’s office to expand the Books for Cats program, which loans textbooks to low-income students for STEM classes. According to her campaign website, Patterson created the first-ever trans inclusivity guide for faculty.

“What really motivates me is hearing students’ grievances and having the desire to mitigate those problems and just work with other people to figure out what kind of Northwestern community we want to build together,” Patterson said.

Patterson and her running mate, ASG vice president for public relations Emily Ash, said wellbeing, academic equity and community development are the values that tie their platform together. Campaign manager Jillian Gilburne, a Communication sophomore, said she believes in Patterson and Ash’s ability to achieve their policy goals because they have already started working on many of them. Such policies include expanding Books for Cats to include all students on financial aid and amending CTECs to include the cost of course materials.

Patterson said that between her and Ash, they have the experience and institutional knowledge necessary to promote goals like academic equity and wellbeing. As vice president for academics, Patterson said she understands the structure of University bureaucracy and is familiar with both administrators and students. Ash’s proficiency with the internal functioning of ASG from her time as vice president for public relations compliments that skill set, making the two a “power pair,” Patterson said.

Ash also said their combined ASG prowess would translate into results for students.

“Given our combined experience, Sky and I just have knowledge of the different levers that we can pull within ASG and at Northwestern in order to achieve greater outcomes for students,” Ash said.

One such outcome is a fund they propose to create to offer stipends for low-income students in campus leadership roles they might otherwise have to turn down in favor of an off-campus job, Ash said. Their knowledge of ASG’s financial structure would allow them to achieve that goal, she said.

In addition, Gilburne said Patterson’s personality and leadership style would make her a great president.

Gilburne said she recognized Patterson’s depth and knowledge when she met her on a pre-orientation trip as an incoming student, and discovered Patterson’s kindness and confidence through ASG.

“She is equal parts strong and able to force things through that she needs to happen, but also does it in a way that makes sure that everyone feels respected and heard,” Gilburne said.

Patterson and Ash will face their opponents, SESP junior Justine Kim and SESP sophomore Austin Gardner, in the first of three debates on Monday. The election will be held on April 12.

Patterson said she is glad that this year’s election is contested, whereas last year’s ticket ran unopposed.

“People should have choices,” Patterson said. “I’m excited to just really show why we are the better choice for Northwestern.”

Email: [email protected]Twitter: @birenbomb