HomeNews & updatesEquity and Inclusion candidate Mylo Bissell and newly elected senator Graciela Breton-Solano...

Equity and Inclusion candidate Mylo Bissell and newly elected senator Graciela Breton-Solano answer questions – Times-Delphic

Mylo Bissell is running unopposed for Equity and Inclusion Senator. One of their competitors, Areli Herrera, said in an email that she has decided to drop out of the race. 


Their other competitor, Graciela Breton-Solano, has won the second Equity and Inclusion Senator position through UNITY Roundtable. Equity and Inclusion Senators serve as the co-chairs of UNITY. UNITY carries out the election of one of these senators, while the student body elects the other. 


Voting for the election for Equity and Inclusion Senator will begin at 8 a.m. tomorrow on MyDrake and close at 8 p.m. on Friday. The Times-Delphic will moderate a candidate forum tonight at 7 p.m.


The Equity and Inclusion Senator is responsible for “[seeking] to maintain a voice and vote of diversity on the floor of the Student Senate” and advocating for “awareness and education” of equity and inclusion issues, according to senate bylaws. They also “[act] as a liaison” between the President’s Panel and UNITY Roundtable and hold a minimum of one office hour each week.


Here’s what we asked Bissell and Breton-Solano about: 
Please provide your name, major(s), school year, pronouns, and social media accounts and/or other places where students can learn more about you and your campaign.
If you have platform points for your campaign, please list them and explain the meaning and goals behind each one.
What are your goals for this position? Are there issues that you plan to address, or initiatives that you plan to start or continue?
What qualifications do you have that are relevant to this position, such as involvement with organizations on or off-campus?
In what ways have these qualifications made you an effective student representative, planner and communicator?
If elected, how will you ensure that you represent the interests of the organizations that make up Unity Roundtable?
What’s your favorite part of the Drake Relays?

The candidates were advised that they could choose to answer either question two or three or both.
Mylo Bissell
Mylo Bissell, First year, Theatre Major and Writing Minor, They/Them, @mylo.s.bissell 
 [Chose to answer via question 3]
I am running on a platform of Four Pillars I feel Drake Bulldogs deserve:
Y’all means All- This is my promise for every Bulldog who I encounter. It is a promise to proudly uplift, value and advocate for every single person I meet, know or share space with. I see y’all, you matter and I want all y’all to feel welcome or at the very least— seen.
 
Advocating for Adequate and Effortless Accessibility- There is no reason it should be an afterthought to ensure that students have the ability to succeed in their classes if they don’t fit a default mold of ability. I aim to ensure that students are always able to succeed and never feel as though this school doesn’t value them at the absolute base level.
 
Timely and Appropriate Response- I want to ensure that when students experience any kind of micro- or macro-aggression that beyond just the administration they feel the student body rallying behind them. I want to ensure that I am in the corner of anyone and everyone fighting discrimination and prejudice in all its forms. 
And finally 
Institutional Change, bit by bit. This isn’t something I expect to accomplish in my time at Drake. Changing the entire culture of this university is not an act we can reasonably believe we are behind but I want to have small moments where people feel that things are even a little bit improved, no matter how minute because it will create a culture and legacy of progress I hope we can all feel proud of. 
To make Drake a better place for marginalized voices and for people who increasingly feel neglected and ignored by the institution.
I am a CREW Scholar here at Drake which has allowed me to have a lot of frank conversations about the ways this campus is and isn’t equitable and how it can fail or succeed at inclusion. Not only that I was a staffer and editor on my high school newspaper where we were constantly told to ask questions for the benefit of a student body who is not readily given answers and I find this inquisitiveness has helped me realize just how important it is to have people who choose to work for the student body in positions of power.
By ensuring I have frequent conversations with not just the representatives of those organizations who sit on Unity Roundtable but by attending their events, and making sure they have an open and direct line of communication with me, with representatives having my personal contact information and providing a public google form that I’ll check regularly for any and all concerns from students.
 
This will be my first Relays! I am very much so looking forward to seeing our student athletes who have started their college careers or finished their high school careers during COVID, run and be supported by their fellow Bulldoggies! 
Graciela Breton-Solano
Please provide your name, major(s), school year, pronouns, and social media accounts and/or other places where students can learn more about you and your campaign. 
My name is Graciela Breton-Solano, I’m a sophomore studying LPS and Politics. My pronouns are she/her/hers and you can find me on Instagram @gracielabsolano
If you have platform points for your campaign, please list them and explain the meaning and goals behind each one.
I have three goals moving forward with my position, being involvement, collaboration, and communication. I want to widen our outreach on campus because all the multi-cultural events put out amazing events that deserve more attendees to experience them. I want to facilitate a space of collaboration between the multi-cultural organizations because I think we will be that much stronger if we work together and support each other. As Unity’s representative through senate, I will make sure to communicate with everything that is being decided on and keeping all their concerns when making any decisions. 
What are your goals for this position? Are there issues that you plan to address, or initiatives that you plan to start or continue?
At the beginning of the fall semester, along with hosting our multicultural activities fair to get the word out to incoming first years about these organizations, I want to host an informal meeting with all the presidents of each organization. I really want to focus on collaboration and support amongst all of us in hopes to make our outreach further on campus.
What qualifications do you have that are relevant to this position, such as involvement with organizations on or off-campus? 
I joined Unity my sophomore year as programming chair, so I got to see the behind the scenes on what the executive board of Unity does as well as help push out some events. Along with that I ran the Instagram page where I tried my best to promote any events the organizations would host. I also got on the executive board of La Fuerza Latina as secretary as I wanted to help with any organizational concerns to make sure we progress as an organization. 
In what ways have these qualifications made you an effective student representative, planner and communicator?
Both have taught me a lot of what it means to become involved and work as a team to make sure these programs and events run smoothly. Through [the] programming chair position, I learned how much goes into planning events and through secretary of LFL I tried my best to make sure everyone on the board stayed organized and up to date with what we were doing. 
If elected, how will you ensure that you represent the interests of the organizations that make up Unity Roundtable? 
I will make sure that there is always transparency between me and the organizations I represent. I will make it my duty to make myself available, even outside of my office hours, my email will always be open to hear out any questions and concerns.
What’s your favorite part of the Drake Relays?
This is my first year on campus so this will be my first Relays! I am excited to see students come together to celebrate for a weekend and am excited for all the events that will be going on.


The Times-Delphic made minor edits to these responses for clarity and style. 

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