By Emily Summers, Staff Writer
Here’s a Q&A with RUSGA Student Body President candidate Annelise Pehr. Voting is open now and you can find the link in your email.
Highlander: What position are you running for?
Annelise Pehr: I am running for student body president
Highlander: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
AP: I am currently finishing out my junior year and I am a double major in Sociology and Peace & Justice Studies with a minor in Spanish. I grew up in Los Angeles, California as the only daughter of a Mexican Catholic mother and Jewish father. I never imagined I would end up in Denver, Colorado let alone Regis. In the spring of my senior year my parents and I came to visit another school in Denver that I had been admitted to, but I disliked everything about it, so in an effort to not make the trip a bust, my dad remembered that there was a Catholic university in Denver. We hopped in our rental car and walked around Regis during the infamous Ranger Day blizzard that I have only heard stories about from upperclassmen. I filled out the application in our hotel room later that evening and I was admitted in May, but with not enough aid. Fast forward through two months of planning to attend my safety school, Regis was able to give me
enough aid to attend. With about three weeks notice, I packed my bags and moved to a new state where I would make a place that I am lucky enough to call my home today.
Highlander: What is the focus of your campaign?
AP: The focus of my campaign is to make all people feel that they have a home at Regis, especially those that have been underserved such as commuters and all members of affinity groups. I have spent my entire week campaigning by talking to and asking students what they want to see and overwhelmingly I have listened to students’ deep desires for wanting to belong in this space no matter how “weird” they are and that same desire goes from people that identify as conservative Catholics to queer atheists.
Highlander: What is one thing you would like to improve most at Regis?
AP: As of right now my campaign focuses on three main tenets, but one specific facet of Regis that I would like to improve most is how RUSGA represents students. This year RUSGA went through a massive renovation in an effort to make it a governing body that does effectively represent the diverse voices in our student body, but it still has a long way to go. I plan to improve RUSGA involvement by advocating for policies that train student leaders to give them the tools necessary in order to be able to make the change that they themselves deem necessary within our bureaucratic structures.
Highlander: What qualities do you possess that make you the most qualified for the position?
AP: Well, first and foremost, I am a great listener which is an incredibly important skill for a president to have. In order to be an effective president my job is not to uphold my own interests, but it is to uphold those of the student body which I can do by listening to my constituents. I am also a competent communicator in which I demonstrated this year through my championing of IgnatianQ, an effort to put Regis at the forefront of queer inclusivity on Catholic campuses. I worked to bring IgnatianQ's national movement to the Regis campus through a year long campaign to bolster allyship and education around LGBTQ+ identities. Through this work I have not only learned how to acquire administrative support on student movements, but also shown long-term dedication and commitment to projects that students care about on campus. Lastly, I am patient. I am a realist and I know that in a year long presidency a lot of empty promises can be made, but that is not who I am. I promise to have depth rather than breadth in the policies RUSGA takes on next year to represent you and to be patient in gathering student voices in our paving the path for progress.
Q: Why should students vote for you?
A: Students should vote for me because I am experienced with the workings of RUSGA, I have a successful working relationship with administrators, and I am a fierce advocate for student needs.
*The only edits to this transcript were made for punctuation. All content represents the original discussion of the reporter and candidate.