VP, class council positions up for grabs

by Beacon Staff • April 1, 2009

The executive presidential speeches and subsequent QA session may have been the highlight of Monday's Speech Night, but they were not the only students vying for votes. Seats for executive vice president, departmental senators and class council positions are also up for grabs, and the candidates came out to spread their own message and pick up voter support.

Vice presidential candidates, sophomore Morgan St. John and junior Jacob Barela spoke chiefly about their desires to improve the SGA by patching up communication lines throughout the organization and meeting with advisors more frequently.

Barela said his number one priority if elected would be to help make the SGA more accessible to students.

"Communication between the student body and the SGA is important," he said. "So that if the students have questions the student leaders can take action." a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYEeZErB0Xc"Watch Barela's speech in its entirety here/a

St. John said her first form of action would be to improve students' experience with registration and advising.

"There are so many issues there and it affects all of us. It's an issue in every department and every major," she said. "I want to help senators strengthen bonds between students and the registration process so they can understand how to do it and get into the classes they need." a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loLheePZSuI"Watch St. John's speech in its entirety here/a

Both candidates agreed the indefinite cancellation of Senate meetings this semester was the result of a lack of professionalism and communication within the Senate. Since the vice president is in charge of holding Senate meetings, both candidates hope to improve the circumstances in the coming semester.

Doug Paul Case, a junior writing, literature and publishing major and former iBeacon/i opinion editor and columnist, discussed his plans for reform if elected as WLP senator. Case pointed out the need for additional publishing courses in the department, as WLP majors can currently graduate without taking any publishing courses at all, despite it technically being one-third of their major. He also highlighted the need to secure additional print credits for WLP students, who go through massive amounts of paper by constantly printing multiple copies of their work for class critiques.

Case's challenger, freshman WLP major Samuel Tang, agreed that WLP majors are in need of expanded course options, especially regarding publishing courses.

Sophomore marketing communication major John Keane emphasized his leadership qualifications and marketing background during his speech for marketing senator, saying he was most excited by the idea of being elected because a senatorial position would be the best way for him to give back to the department that has supported him through his time at Emerson.

Keane's challenger for marketing senator is sophomore marketing communication major Tyler Wilson, whose speech was given by a proxy as he was unable to attend the event.

Incumbent visual and media arts senator Matthew Dorion emphasized the need for additional space for VMA students to work in. As of now, VMA students have not been given any space in Emerson's South Boston scene shop, causing them to set up shop and build sets in any other location possible.

"VMA students are building sets in common rooms, which isn't appropriate," Dorion said.

Sophomore theater studies major Kaitlin Neagle is running for performing arts senator unopposed. Also running unopposed is junior political communication major Rosalind Fraser, who is running for communication studies senator.

The class of 2012 only has three candidates up for election, with writing for film major Martika Mercer running for class secretary, and broadcast journalism major Michael Callahan running for class senator. Jeff Coons, a digital post production major, was originally set to run against Callahan for the Senate, but opted for a write-in campaign for president after no one else put their name in for the position.

No speeches were given from the candidates of the class of 2011.

Alissa Blechner, who is the incumbent president for the class of 2010, began her speech by telling the audience that her number one priority since being elected president has been representing the interests of her class, which would not change if she is reelected. Besides pushing for better health services and more building access for off-campus students, Blechner said organizing senior week would be her main focus for next year.

Incumbent class senator Samantha Coulson, a communication studies major, is being challenged for her position by marketing communication major Ian Grady, who said he would work to improve communication between the student body and the SGA if elected.

"More needs to be done to educate students as to the role SGA can play in helping them," Grady said.