SGA candidates begin their campaigns: Nominees speak at candidates’ night

[Amanda Martin]

SGA candidates met to discuss the upcoming election and to give short speeches about their candidacy on Wednesday, April 5 in the North Hall Commons.

Election co-chairs Maddie Alper and Ezequiel De Leon explained the election timeline and reviewed the rules and procedures for voting, campaigning and distributing election results.

The co-chairs reminded the candidates that those who run officially unopposed could still lose if a write-in candidate receives enough write-in votes.

Following the review, the co-chairs led the ballot lottery, which determines the order in which candidates appear on the ballot for their positions.

The candidates were then allowed three minutes to give an optional speech introducing themselves and explaining why they were suited the position. Of the 20 candidates in attendance, 16 chose to speak.

Three of the four candidates for student trustee attended and chose to speak.

Sophomore Benjamin Carrington, a business management major, said, “I think as a student here, this is a great place – very fostering as a university – but like every place, there are some parts I think they can improve on. Just as a student I tried reaching out to different offices and different people and found that my voice really wasn’t getting heard.

“I thought [as a student trustee] I could advocate for all of us in the student body in a much bigger position.”

Junior Karl Bryan, who currently holds the position, spoke next. Bryan has been involved in student government since his freshman year.

“I’ve been doing many different initiatives this year as a student trustee. Working with the administration, I’ve been trying to get fees lowered. I’ve been trying to get the dining hall options changed,” he said.

Bryan emphasized the importance of being “dedicated and passionate” when it comes to student government.

Junior Mike O’Brien, another candidate for student trustee, took the floor following Bryan. “I want to be your voice to the Board of Trustees and have your interests at heart. I want to represent our school at various meetings across the state and voice how the people at Framingham State University make a difference on and off-campus,” he said.

The candidates for SGA president, juniors Fallon Soye and Kyle Rosa, were given the chance to speak next, but neither was in attendance.

Junior Jack Capello, candidate for SGA vice president, spoke for both himself and Rosa, his running mate. Capello, who runs unopposed, urged all in attendance to speak to their friends and neighbors about the importance of voting in the election.

“Like Joe to Barack, Kyle and I have been working together over the last few weeks about what we want our campaign to be like and what we want next year to be like. We’ve talked about giving students a platform where they can give their opinions. … We believe there are things that can be enhanced on this campus,” he said.

Junior Bridget Green, the current SGA secretary who is running unapposed, said she loves her current position and hopes to continue her work next year.

Junior Sarah Horowitz, current Student Activity Trust Fund (SATF) Treasurer and unopposed candidate for the position, said, “Who better to elect than someone who loves nine-hour big budget meetings, who loves meeting with clubs and who is passionate about budgets in general?”

Junior Molly Fennessey and Sophomore Martin Conley are both running for the position of class and club officer.

Fennessey, a fashion merchandising major, has been a member of SGA for two years. She said, “I would like nothing more than to be a part of e-Board. I think it’s so important to get your voice out and let everyone know how you feel about the school.”

Conley was in attendance but did not speak.

Brianna Goulet, candidate for one of four available Class of 2018 senator positions, said she only recently joined SGA, but has really enjoyed her experience and hopes to return.

Neither of the two candidates for the four available Class of 2019 senator positions, Conley and Sophomore Hailey Small, chose to speak.

Small is also the unopposed candidate for the social events coordinator position.

Candidate for one of the four Class of 2020 senator positions, freshman Isaac Vu, said he wants to join because he doesn’t really like politics, but hopes to face his fears.

Junior Jamal Kirk, candidate for one of 20 senator-at-large positions, spoke next. He said, “I’m probably the least likely candidate to be here, but I fill two demographics: the old, weird dude on campus – that’s one – and a commuter. The senator-at-large position for me is an opportunity to do something on campus really different before I step foot out of here, which is pretty soon.”

Kirk hopes to help clean up the clutter created by flyers and “visual noise” on campus.

Sophomore Matthew Pellegrino, current president of the class of 2019 and unopposed candidate for the position, spoke after Kirk. Pellegrino said he is excited to continue advocating for the class using all the knowledge he has gained so far.

Junior Brian Leonard spoke for both himself and his running mate, junior Jackie Carlson, for the positions of president and vice president of the class of 2018. Leonard has been president for three years, during which time he has hosted a number of fundraisers. He hopes to return to the position next year.

Both Junior Kirsten Hoey and Rosa are running for Class of 2018 treasurer.

Hoey spoke, urging the audience to vote for her. She cited her previous experience in both the position and leadership roles on campus as reasons to do so.

Junior Stephanie Dunn and Junior Dayna Marchant are the candidates for Class of 2018 secretary.

Dunn spoke first. She emphasized her organizational skills and her job as a Resident Assistant, which gave her experience planning events. “We’re almost done, so vote for Steph Dunn,” she said.

Marchant followed Dunn. Marchant is the current secretary and hopes to continue in the position. “I love fundraising – money, money, money for senior week!” she said, to cheers from the audience.

No one spoke for the position of Class of 2019 treasurer.

The candidate for Class of 2020 president, freshman Theyana Ruiz-Pena was the last candidate to speak. She said, “I really want to run for this position to bring more diversity to SGA.”

All the candidates running for a SGA position for the next academic year were allowed to officially begin their campaign immediately following Wednesday’s meeting.

SGA election day will be held Tuesday, April 18th from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. FSU students will be able to cast ballots via Collegiate Link.

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