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Meet the Candidate: Kyle Ricker

On Thursday, Feb. 22, The Maine Campus interviewed Senator Kyle Ricker after he announced his candidacy for Student Body Vice President earlier this month. Ricker pledges to alleviate everyday student life issues by streamlining accessibility and communication channels between campus leaders and the administration.

As a third-year student at the University of Maine, Ricker is completing a dual education and political science degree. Ricker holds his sixth consecutive term as a senator and is a part of the Student Leadership Committee, which oversees popular initiatives impacting campus life.

“In terms of helping students through student government, I’m reaching my limit in what I can do as a Senator. A lot of initiatives that I want to take on are more ambitious in scope, and I have to run for an executive position where I can be at the forefront of initiatives that help students,” Ricker said, citing his decision to run for student body vice president.

Working with the Center for Student Involvement, Ricker regularly organizes weekend events on campus; in the past, he has served on the Student Organization Committee, which recognizes campus clubs, and chaired the committees for mental health and political activism. In the policy arena, Ricker supports students obtaining the ability to view up-to-date syllabi of interested classes prior to enrollment. He is hopeful to continue pursuing this initiative in student government at an executive level.

“A part of the reason why I’m pursuing this position is because I want to be in that conversation and carrying on the topics that current executives are working on, such as syllabus bank,” Ricker said.

“One of the initiatives I’m working on is a 24/7 study space. I’ve had friends this past finals week who were up studying until 3 a.m. The traditional student who lives off-campus [may not] have an apartment that’s quiet enough to study at; I think it’s important for students to have an area to go to.” 

Ricker foresees that the position of vice president will allow him to continue his track record as senator and successfully spearhead student-supported initiatives across the finish line. Previously participating in the electoral budget committee for four semesters, he monitored student activity fees and distributed allocations for campus clubs and organizations that requested funding. Ricker also elaborated that this process directly benefited his personal extracurricular involvement from Model United Nations and Pre-Law Society to choir, dance, track and crew.

“The Vice President of the student body should be someone involved outside of student government and active in all areas on campus, such as athletics and clubs. Having those qualities makes you a lot more interconnected to the campus community,” Ricker said.

Ricker believes that his receptivity and approachability both on and off campus provide more outreach opportunities with both students and campus leaders. According to Ricker, connecting with students on a broader level will reduce the cloud of uncertainty on campus regarding the importance of the student government. 

“Most students don’t know what student government is. I’m trying to fix that,” Ricker said.

Ricker respects all of his fellow peers in student government, including the current Student Body VP Keegan Tripp, who is pursuing the presidency with Memphis Peterson as his running mate. 

“They’re both amazing people. They’re incredibly passionate. They both clearly love the University,” Ricker said. “Even if I lose this election, I’d still love to work with Keegan and Memphis on many initiatives and hopefully get my own initiatives there.”

“As a student, it feels like I’m in the dark about many things that go on in the Administration. As Vice President, I want to bring the students’ point of view to them,” Ricker said. His objective is to speak directly to administrators about extending the add/drop period, even though it does not fall under the discretion of the student government.

Ricker concluded: “I love public service. I want to be doing something that has a tangible impact on people.” 

Voters can forward student government-related inquiries to Ricker directly through his UMaine email,, and can remain updated with his campaign pursuits by following his official campaign Instagram account @kylerickerforvp  

A formal debate between the Vice Presidential candidates, Memphis Peterson and Kyle Ricker, will commence this Monday, Feb. 26, in 101 Neville Hall at 5 p.m. Interested students, regardless of major, can contact a student government member to apply for soon-to-be-available leadership opportunities, including the Financial Affairs Chair, Director of Communications and Fair Elections Practices Chair.

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