SGA candidates call for campus upgrades

by Jackie Tempera / Beacon Staff • December 1, 2011

Student Government Association candidates focused their speeches around student life this Wednesday, making calls to action regarding dining hall cleanliness and increasing interest in student activities, mentioning little about any academic concerns. 

The round of speeches kicked off with a brief introduction from current Vice President Tau Zaman, who will succeed departing President Jeffrey Rizzi next month. 

Of the 11 open positions on SGA, nine of them have only one candidate. To win the election, candidates have to win 51 percent of the vote. 

First to speak was junior Caitlin Higgins, sole candidate to take over for Zaman as executive vice president. Currently a class of 2013 senator, the broadcast journalism major said she would bring experience to the position. 

Higgins voiced her passionate concerns for Emerson’s current meal plan option. 

“Students need to be able to eat three times a day, all semester, at their own convenience,” she said. 

Prospective WLP Senator, junior Alyssa Guarino spoke next, explaining how as a commuter student she wants to become more active in on-campus activities.

If elected, Guarino said she hopes to help make her fellow writing, literature and publishing peers aware of how the three branches of the major work together. 

She said she also hopes to decrease the major’s emphasis on literature because some students are not as passionate about this section of the program. 

“This takes a majority of our credits,” said Guarino. “Some students would rather jump right into publishing.” 

Hopeful class of 2012 vice president, Maxwell Peters, bounced to the podium. The marketing communication major tacked off his various involvements on campus including Greek life and WEBN. 

“I want to give back to a class that has give me so much and a school that has given me so much,” said Peters. “The questions is, how does a class leave a mark on Emerson?”

Peters said he hopes to move forward with this idea in the next year, if elected. 

Prospective class of 2014 senator Ramon Calderon, a political communication major, echoed Peters, stating that he hopes to become more active in the Emerson community. However, his said his decision to run stemmed from his desire to fix the dining situation. 

But it was the class of 2015 that had the most candidates, with nine students vying for the open leadership roles. Laurel Heenan and Emily Wald gave speeches for the vice president position. Ariana Cante, who is also a candidate for the role, was absent. 

Heenan said that she hopes to gain a more well-rounded perspective of the student body by getting to know her classmates more closely. Wald, on the other hand, said she wants to involve the class of 2015 in the Boston community. 

Lilly Joynes and Aishwarya Ramani, the two candidates for class of 2015 senator then made their speeches. Ramani, a political communication major, said she hopes to make the SGA more accessible to the freshman class.  

Ramani said as a senator she would meet with the Resident Life Association to create more  flexible regulations, especially in reference to violations with identification in the case of fire drills. 

“We are trained to evacuate immediately, we don’t have time to search in room for a small piece of plastic,” she said. 

Voting will begin Dec. 5 at midnight and end Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m. Students can vote at vote.emerson.edu. 

Ramani ended the group of speeches on a positive note.

“I promise to work with you for one hell of an awesome year,” she said.