Constituents surveyed Student Council candidates Monday, asking nominees what they had to offer the campus community. High among students’ concerns were the candidates’ abilities to solicit student support, act as mediators between students, faculty and staff, and create sustainable changes to meet student needs.
“The same issues keep rising up: accessibility and representation,” said Matt Lamb ‘12, candidate for co-president.
Three StuCo positions are up for election this semester. In the running are Evelyn Fraga ’13 and Matt Lamb ’12 for co-president, Kate Aronoff ’14 and Sean Bryant ’13 for campus life representative, and Samantha Bennett ’13, Sarah Dwider ’13, and Andi Merritt ‘13 for secretary.
Attendees targeted the candidates for co-president, asking them to define their campaign goals and strategies for achieving them in a short, one-term period. Both candidates were enthusiastic about StuCo’s recent activity, specifically the council’s involvement in mediating debates surrounding GenderFuck and Thursday Night party restrictions, and stressed a need to continue collaborating with other student groups and reaching out to individuals.
“We need to keep applying ourselves. We have to hit the ground running,” said Fraga.
She outlined two goals: to work with the Student Budget Committee (SBC) to help student groups best utilize their funds and to facilitate greater school-wide discussion on sexual assault policy and response. Lamb also stressed creating a safe forum to discuss pressing issues such as sexual assault, but he additionally proposed creating a union for student groups on campus.
Candidates for student life representative presented strategies to encourage students to get more involved in StuCo activity. Aronoff proposed frequent student surveys to better target students’ interests and concerns. Bryant suggested better implementing social media such as Facebook and Tumblr so that StuCo could be “just a click away.”
Secretarial candidates put forward ideas to make StuCo agenda and decisions more accessible. Dwider spoke of transitioning the secretary’s role so that students could utilize StuCo as a directory within the campus community, aiding students in finding the right forums to voice their opinions. Merritt spoke of “tapping into” the campus news sources the students already access such as the Reserved Student Digest and The Daily Gazette to encourage students to participate in StuCo. Bennett proposed efforts to streamline the StuCo system, suggesting the council look to other college student councils for pointers on encouraging student participation and addressing other campus concerns.
Voting opened after the meeting and will continue Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in Sharples and from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in Essie Mae’s. StuCo is eager to move forward with its new team.
“I hope that the new members will be able to quickly hop on board with what StuCo is currently doing and know that we are flexible and ready to act on their ideas as well,” said current Co-President Gabby Capone ‘14.