Circle Spotlight: 2019-2020 SGA Presidential Candidates

For these episodes of Circle Spotlight I sat down with a guest co-host, Marist Circle’s Managing Editor Kenneth Guillaume, to interview Marist’s SGA Presidential candidates for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Pam Armas’s and Mark Palmer’s Vice Presidents were not in attendance for the interviews. Here are few of the important questions and responses from the candidates:

Q: When did you decide to run?

Pam Armas: At the beginning of this semester following our conference at Harvard.

Mark Palmer: Well, I was in student government for a little bit this past year, and I resigned due to different things that were going on, a new constitution passed. Once that passed I left, so deciding to run around, pretty much around christmas time, that’s when John Sasso, who’s my Vice President decided to do it. I was waiting on his response. Once he said, you know, ‘Let’s do it, let’s put time and effort, let’s actually do it’ I said ‘why not’.

Joe Sarci: We each had different plans on what we were going to spend our last semester doing, and it kind of just happened organically. I think that’s what makes our relationship so special.... We just kinda looked at each other and were like maybe we should really do this.  

Q: What makes you stand out from other candidates?

PA: Although I haven’t been in SGA, I’ve been pretty involved in campus and taking on leadership roles. I think the main and most important one has been working with student activities, and I mentioned that in my speech last night [March 26], it’s been a very eye opening job, not only do you get to see all the clubs and the people, but you get to see the logistics behind everything and how difficult that can be some times. You see sometimes why there isn’t club involvement, because if you don’t see a place, and that’s something were working on, having a place and website and several different resources for students to know who to contact and where to go for these clubs on campus and organizations. And that’s just not happening right now, also we know the club chartering program is really hard, getting access to club allocations is really hard, and booking a room can be really tough making sure you have the space to have your club meetings.  

MP: We have had leadership experience and are currently in leadership roles right now. John is ultimate frisbee team captain. I’m currently vice president of Marist democrats, I’m in the midst of planning a trip to go to Washington D.C. and go to Syracuse for a conference. There’s proof in the pudding that we have leadership experience and I think that’s the most important part. We’ve had every single leadership experience on this campus besides SGA president and vice president. What sets us apart is that we have leadership experience and the proof is thereJS: We are really taking a hard stance. A lot of hate other candidates are just promising we are more of along the lines of, we are pretty much guaranteeing and we are going to make some serious change. Like with the whole entire override system, with limited options, we feel that they are underrepresented so we are really pushing for that. Another thing too is that some other candidates talk about mental health, we talk extensively with a lot of mental health services, people involved on campus and we just feel that the space available to mental health services is too small, you have 2 300 people coming into a small area, and it is just too small to accommodate the needs to the campus. So we're definitely pushing for those issues and I think that is definitely what sets us apart.

JS: We are really taking a hard stance. A lot of hate other candidates are just promising we are more of along the lines of, we are pretty much guaranteeing and we are going to make some serious change. Like with the whole entire override system, with limited options, we feel that they are underrepresented so we are really pushing for that. Another thing too is that some other candidates talk about mental health, we talk extensively with a lot of mental health services, people involved on campus and we just feel that the space available to mental health services is too small, you have 2 300 people coming into a small area, and it is just too small to accommodate the needs to the campus. So we're definitely pushing for those issues and I think that is definitely what sets us apart.

Q: How do you plan to build off the Dolce administration?

PA: Yea, absolutely, and I think that working to get an up-to-date website would be a great starting point, keeping the open door policy and making myself as accessible as possible. Also I think the For the Record project that happened last year, that was really cool because we saw the student on campus, we saw students doing things, even I walked around and was reading people's stories, I was like ‘that’s really cool, I would want to do that’ or like ‘they did that? Why is that not at Marist?’. . . So if we can bring that initiative back on campus with student leaders, that would increase our club support, as well as school spirit because you’re starting to put a face to a name.

MP: Absolutely. There’s a lot of different clubs that have been started under Ted’s administration, whether it’s Marist Fem, there’s Marist STARR, there’s a lot of different clubs out there. And obviously being Marist Democrats vice president, how am i not a person or champion of diversity and inclusion, that’s something that’s near and dear adn something that I care about. So of course, anything that my administration can do for any clubs that trying to pursue that, then we’re absolutely going to give them the money for it, give them support for it, and if they need man power, we give that too. Under my administration there will definitely be a focus on that, and we will continue to do what Ted has done and continue to work with, whether it’s ARCO/BSU we will work with all different clubs. We really want to make sure that everyone feels that this is their campus...  

Roda Mohamed (Joe Sarci’s VP): With the last administration, Ted’s administration, we have a lot of talk on race and a lot of issues that are being discussed on campus, and I think we are definitely moving in the right direction and having those being more exposed in our administration is something we’re looking forward to.  

Hannah KirkComment