Candidates from the upcoming Student Government Association’s special elections spoke at a Press Night on Nov. 13 about their goals and experience. There are nine open positions. Those who are elected will officially begin their positions next semester.
The candidates and representatives from the Berkeley Beacon and WECB News gathered to hear statements from those hoping to be elected. Out of the seven students running for a position, four were present to discuss their ideas and answer questions.
This marks the first time members of the class of 2017 will elect officers. They will choose a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and senator.
Other open positions include president, treasurer, and senator for the class of 2016 and the senator for the communication sciences and disorders department.
Jasmine Reyes, the SGA elections commissioner, started the event by reading the statements from the candidates who were not in attendance. Daniel Goldberg, a freshman visual and media arts major who is currently the only student running for the class of 2017 president position, said he had to miss press night because he was in class. He said in his statement that he is inspired by how engaged his class has been so far and, as their leader, would hope to help shape what his class could become.
Navidra Hardin, a sophomore marketing communication major and the only write-in candidate for class of 2016 senator, could not attend, because he is studying at Emerson’s Kasteel Well campus in the Netherlands. Hardin is a former LGBTQ commissioner for the SGA. In his statement, he said that as a class senator, he hopes to implement transgender-friendly restrooms on campus.
Sophomore Michelle Douvris, a marketing communication major, is running for class of 2016 treasurer. She did not attend press night or provide a statement due to a miscommunication about the event.
The first candidate to speak was Victoria Loubert, a sophomore visual and media arts major. She is running for the class of 2016 president.
“I want to create a strong, clear, united voice for the class of 2016,” said Loubert. “We’re about to become upperclassmen, so it’s time for us to enact our changes to the Emerson experience and leave a legacy.”
Loubert also said she wants to create more conversations between the SGA, the class councils, and the rest of the student body through monthly forums.
Running for vice president of the class of 2017 is Andrew Allen, a visual and media arts major.
“The freshmen class this year is outstanding,” said Allen. “I’ve never seen so many people willing to take advantage of their surroundings and their resources.”
Allen said he hopes to improve connectivity in the dorms and provide more resolutions for dorm disputes.
Juan Sebastian Hernandez, a visual and media arts major, hopes to become the class of 2017 secretary.
“I’ll make it my priority to do the secretarial duties mandated to me, like maintaining notes, correspondence, and other similar tasks,” said Hernandez, “but also ensuring the students are being heard.”
Reyes pointed out that none of the class of 2017 candidates are members of the Freshmen Class Council, a group that members of the freshmen class can join to learn about student government.. While it is not required that they be a part of it, Reyes said that it is unusual to not have any of the council members on the ballot and that, if elected, those running will have to work with the constitution the council has drafted.
There is one write-in candidate on the ballot for the communication sciences and disorders senator position: freshman Alexandra Nikolaidis. If elected, she said she wants to help close what she sees as the gap between her major and other majors offered at the college. She also said that, even though she is a freshman, she is very comfortable working with her department head, professors, and other students on the issues they face.
Currently, all of the candidates are running unopposed. Reyes said it is not too late for students wishing to start a write-in campaign.
Voting opens at midnight on Nov. 20 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 21. The ballot can be accessed via vote.emerson.edu.