North Texas Daily

Students campaign for SGA senate seats

Students campaign for SGA senate seats

Students campaign for SGA senate seats
March 30
08:00 2022

Elections for the Student Government Association senate are now underway, with a wide array of candidates vying for seats. 

Voting is now open on Campus Labs, and will remain open through March 31 at 5 p.m. All of the candidates’ platforms can be found on the SGA election website at studentaffairs.unt.edu/student-government-association/elections. 

Twenty students are on the ballot for their respective colleges, with the most contested race being the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at five candidates. A constitutional referendum also on the ballot will determine whether the Mayborn School of Journalism will become separate from CLASS. If the separation takes place, candidate and broadcast journalism junior Ebony Kennedy would be uncontested. 

“I would like for us to have more hands-on opportunities [in Mayborn] when it comes to being a journalist and a reporter,” Kennedy said. “I would like to see some professionals come in and speak, and have them actually tell us what it’s like working in the newsroom.”

Other candidates for CLASS include converged broadcast media junior Carmen Collins, whose platform includes the goal of giving students an open space to share how they feel and practice their First Amendment rights. Psychology junior Rhiannon Harber is running on a mission to “strive for equality, fairness […] and opportunity for all students.” Students running for reelection in the college include political science junior Anthony Taylor, who is pushing for diverse representation, and psychology sophomore Ethan Gillis, who said he wants to make the university as accepting as possible. 

Write-in candidates for CLASS include incumbent senator Kaylen Ruiz, Angelique Farnham, Aaliyah Moore, Nicole Logan and Mari Ferrer.

Each college receives a minimum of two seats, so the candidates for the College of Education and College of Information are uncontested. COE candidates include elementary education junior Lindsay Kisivuli and kinesiology junior Shallie Rasin. COI candidates include learning technologies junior Tingkai Guan and linguistics senior Peyton McFarlain. 

Both the College of Business and the College of Visual Arts and Design have only one candidate on the ballot. Business economics freshman Keshaun Harris is running on a platform to ensure that every student is welcome and heard, and studio art junior Nissy Botembe said she strives to provide better accessibility to disabled students and outreach to transfer students. 

“There is only one vending machine in CVAD for 100 or so students, so there’s an accessibility issue for food,” Botembe said. “Another accessibility issue for the CVAD building is that we don’t have any bus stops there. I would also love to see more of an outreach for transfer students to feel more welcomed and feel more at home.”

George Ogbonna is a write-in candidate for the COB.

The College of Engineering has three candidates on the ballot, including computer science major Chimara Okeke, who pledges to offer undivided attention to needed functions. Mechanical and energy engineering junior Kenneth Struck has a platform of equality and integrity for all students. Running for reelection in the COE is computer science sophomore Andy McDowall, who said he wishes to continue to support and progress the college.

The College of Science will also see three candidates on the ballot, including psychology major Chelsea Nicholas, whose platform pushes for more diversity and representation. Biology freshman Eben Chandler said he wants to have a positive impact on the decision-making process. Running for reelection is chemistry and physics sophomore Gracy Schulte, who said she strives to continue to amplify STEM students’ voices through practical changes. Winston Ihemeremadu and Portia Ameyaw are running as write-in candidates. 

Lastly, the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science candidates include biology junior Aneesh Mazumder, who wants to advocate for minority communities. Traditional science junior Zachary Li’s platform wants to make the TAMS experience the best it can be and biology junior Srish Tallapaneni vowed to advocate for the diverse university population. 

SGA Chief of Staff Casey Jimenez spoke to several of the candidates at a “Meet the Senators” event on March 25 and said outreach is something he wants to see in this future senate. 

“There’s a huge network within the senate and a lot of the time issues can be addressed incrementally or fully in different ways,” Jimenez said. “I think the biggest thing [senators] can do is go out there and get that information from students. You have to know the issue if you want to fix the issue.”

Featured Image: SGA senators sit at their desks during a meeting on March 2, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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