FACT CHECK: Brandon Rivera and Tsikata Apenyo’s presidential promises

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Brandon Rivera and Tsikata Apenyo, the winners of the most recent ASUP Presidential election, ran on the goals of improving food and parking.

Students have raised questions about whether the two sophomores can actually accomplish these two tall tasks, but Rivera assured after their win in March that they plan to follow through.

“Before running we made sure we can do it,” Rivera said. “We went to the appropriate people and talked to them and asked them, ‘Hey, what are the chances that this happens? What are the ways we can work on this?’ We’ve gotten positive feedback this whole time.”

The Beacon did some reporting to see how the new president and vice president’s platform checks out:

Food Carts

What Rivera and Apenyo said: “We want to team up with Bon Appetit and find solutions to make food options better for students. We have been in meetings with Kirk Mustain and have received positive feedback with the idea of partnering with food carts around the Portland area and bringing them on campus.”

What Kirk Mustain said: “All I have said is I would be willing to work with them. We haven’t had any additional conversations about how, why, where, what.”

Status: In progress? The pair’s “positive feedback” from Mustain could have been his agreement to work with them, but, according to Mustain, nothing specific is in the works yet.

Lyft

What Rivera and Apenyo said: “We have been meeting with Kaleb Miller, the general manager of Lyft Portland, to discuss the possibility of bringing Lyft on campus and creating special rates for UP students.”

What Duncan Strang, director of sponsorship sales for UP Athletics, said: “Extensive conversations have taken place with Rivera and Apenyo regarding ASUP’s interest with Lyft Portland on the UP campus. This has occurred over the past 60 days. Athletics is working closely with Lyft Portland on an agreement and partnership to support specific department transportation needs. This agreement will start in August 2016. At the same time, Lyft will begin offering introductory rates/promotions as a partnership with the UP community.”

Status: Checks out! The most obscure aspect of Rivera and Apenyo’s platform seems to be the most plausible.

Shuttle Bus

What Rivera and Apenyo said: “We want to work diligently with administration, looking for areas on campus where we can add parking and possibly use shuttles to transport students to and from parking facilities.”

“We’ve met with P-Safe about the shuttle and they love that idea. We’ve taken these steps and we know it’s possible,” Apenyo said in an interview on March 24.

What Director of Public Safety Gerald Gregg said: Gregg had a phone conversation with someone on ASUP, assumingly Rivera and Apenyo but he says he doesn’t remember any specific names, about shuttle buses. There is no definite timeline or answer to how parking will be improved but there are ideas floating around as the administration meets in small committees about the parking issue specifically, and a shuttle bus down to river campus is one of those ideas. Gregg said that while there is nothing in the works right now, Public Safety and administration is paying attention to the fact that Rivera and Apenyo ran on a promise of fixing the parking issue and it is influencing their decisions.

Status: Questionable. According to Gregg the meeting was actually a brief phone call. And although the pair may have caught the attention of administration with their platform, once again, official changes or decisions have yet to be made.

Fun Bonus: Can you guess what Rivera and Apenyo’s original platform was before Student Activities Director Jeromy Koffler shut it down?

Answer: According to Apenyo, he and Rivera had originally wanted to run on bringing Greek Life to UP. Both candidates said that Koffler shut the idea down as implausible right as they suggested it.

Although they may have scored a 1.75 out of three on this platform factcheck, Rivera and Apenyo have a whole year ahead of them to make good on their promises.

Rachel Rippetoe is a staff writer for The Beacon. She can be reached at rippetoe18@up.edu or on Twitter @rachelrippetoe.

This article was first published here

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