Student Government Association candidates expressed their concerns with on-campus student life — including problems with ECwireless and the dining hall — on Wednesday at the biannual SGA speech night.
Each of the 2016 class council candidates said they hope to bring unity to the freshmen class, as well as give their peers a voice.
Freshman class president, treasurer, and secretary each have one balloted candidate. Hannah Perrin will be on the ballot for the class’ vice presidential role, but at the end of speech night, she decided she will now start a write-in campaign for senator of her class.
Erin Goodyear is the sole balloted candidate for the position of communication studies senator, but was not present to give her speech because she was sick. Kassandra King, SGA elections commissioner, read the speech in her place. The Individually Designed Interdiscplinary Program (IDIP) senator position on SGA is open for next semester, but does not have a balloted candidate.
The writing, literature, and publishing senator spot is also open.
The turnout for the night was small; no audience members other than SGA President Tau Zaman and Vice President Caitlin Higgins were present in the Walker Building classroom.
Sarah Bernhart, who is running for 2016 president, said that one of the biggest issues she sees for her class is how to communicate with SGA.
“I think a lot of the class of 2016 does not know how to communicate with SGA yet, because they just don’t know about it,” said the performing arts major. “I would work hard to let people know that if they have a problem, they can bring it to SGA.”
Perrin, who decided on Wednesday night to run for class of 2016 senator instead of vice president, said she changed her mind after learning more information about the senator role. Class senators have a vote at SGA joint session meetings and attend senate meetings run by Higgins.
Perrin said she believes working with the larger SGA body will help her achieve her goals of dining hall reform and improving ECwireless. Perrin said that she will tackle the latter by working with the IT department.
Jillian Naimo, a marketing communication major, is running for 2016 secretary. She said she believes the SGA should address class affinity.
“I feel like our class is very united on the Facebook page; they will talk to each other on Facebook, but if they see each other in real life, they’ll look the other way,” said Naimo.
Sara Chaffee, the 2016 treasurer candidate, was unable to attend speech night because she had class.
Voting begins on Dec. 5 at midnight and will run until Dec. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
In January, the SGA will hold special elections to fill all other open positions, according to King. Abagael McCauley, the marketing communication senator, and Karlan Baumann, the visual and media arts senator, will not be returning for the spring. They informed the SGA of their departure after the deadline for paperwork for this election was due, thus students were not able to run for those positions, said King.
SGA President Tau Zaman said the candidates for this election are promising.
“I think they are more qualified than I was coming into SGA, and I would love to see them develop a stronger idea of the issues here at Emerson,” he said.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Abagael McCauley is the marketing communication senator and Karlan Bauman is the visual and media arts senator. McCauley currently serves as the communication studies senator, and Alex Clarke is the current visual and media arts senator.