SGA Speeches: Advocacy For Transparency
On Monday night, February 19, in the first event kicking off a week of campaigning, the candidates running for positions in the Student Government Association (SGA) gave their speeches. From freshmen running for their class board, to upperclassmen running for student body and vice president, there were many common threads across each individual’s ideas.
Candidates focused on their desire to reform the SGA, improve Marist as a community, and enact genuine change across campus. Many advocated for increased transparency and communication between the SGA and the student body, as well as improving the relationship between SGA and Marist’s administration.
Serious concerns were raised over issues including the prevalence of sexual assault at Marist, and the candidates promised to talk about what’s really happening on campus. Many important issues are being swept under the rug, and the candidates for student body president and vice president are adamant about making Marist a better place for everyone.
Presidential candidate Ted Dolce and Vice Presidential candidate Ankofa Billips’ reasons for running are simple: they believe that “progression is found through commitment to growth," and they are determined to hear the concerns of the students and work as hard as they can to fix them. They are not running for themselves, or for the glory of attaining such a high position in student government, what is important to them is giving the student body a voice.
“Although we realize that we [are the ones] that have the voice, everything we do is not for us” says Ankofa. Their platform is a culmination of everything they’ve heard from students over their past three years at Marist. It is not the platform of only Dolce and Billips, but it is the platform of the student body. They made clear that they understand that people are the system a government thrives upon, and they want to represent the students in the best way that they can.
Dolce believes that a candidate’s actions speak louder than their claims of what they aspire to achieve as a part of SGA. Previous candidates have been in SGA for years, but if they had properly executed their responsibilities in the position that they signed up for, they would not be saying “'This is what I plan to do,'” but would instead be saying “'This is what I’ve done.'” Dolce’s motivation to listen to the students, work from his heart, and use his power to help others is what sets him apart from others candidates.
Presidential candidate, Christopher Glogan and Vice Presidential candidate, John Ferris, are determined to use their platform to stand up and speak about what’s really going on on campus. They claim that Marist has its flaws and there are serious issues that need to be addressed and reformed. Glogan and Ferris are determined to “leave Marist better than the way they found it.”
They want to be the missing link between the administration and the student body, a bridge that has been lost in the past few years. It’s time for the administration to hear the students’ concerns and enact change to improve Marist for everyone. They are advocating for increased transparency and communication, and will “speak about the subjects that some would prefer we don’t speak about at all” says Glogan.
Glogan and Ferris are the “real” candidates (the slogan was emblazoned green t-shirts throughout the room) because they are willing to talk about the real issues on campus, including sexual assault. “It’s a huge issue hitting a lot of us in the face that’s really being pushed to the sidelines, and there’s no reason for that” says Ferris.
Promoting representation, building the community, focusing on the real issues and unifying campus are some of the main goals of their campaign. Transparency with administration is a huge factor, and Glogan believes that it’s time for them to listen; “We hear them, they should hear us.” Glogan and Ferris are working to transform Marist’s SGA into a place where everyone can be heard, where students can stand together to enact change.
Both pairs running for student body president and vice president strongly believe in transforming Marist. They believe in making SGA more transparent, fixing the lines of communication with the administration, and listening to the concerns of the students while working diligently to fix them.