The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Election Season Begins: The SGi Tickets and Independents

Election season has officially begun at St. John’s for Student Government, Inc. (SGi). Voting starts on Wednesday, Apr. 15 at 7 a.m. and will close at noon on Friday, Apr. 17. This year, two full tickets are running, the D.R.E.A.M. ticket and the H.E.A.T. ticket, and two independent candidates, Michael Outlaw and Medina Surajpal. 

Inclusivity, accountability and communication are objectives of both campaigns, with a large focus on fostering better relationships with students to represent their desires and needs. 

“We are not a mouthpiece of the admin.” H.E.A.T. states on their Instagram account (@voteheat), “We are the voice of the students.”

The H.E.A.T. ticket is led by SGi Organizations Committee Chair Patrick Kohn. H.E.A.T. stands for “Honesty. Equity. Accountability. Transparency.” Some of their main goals include:

  • Refining organization standards
  • Creating partnerships with Campus Departments, Organizations and Campus Groups
  • Changing the structure of SGi

The other members on the ticket for H.E.A.T. are:

  • Julia Betancourt, the candidate for vice president
  • Amy Ackel, the candidate for treasurer
  • Natasha Yangthito, the candidate for secretary
  • Jamie Selletti, the candidate for senior senator
  • Chris Bernabe, the candidate for Junior Senator
  • Ethan Burrell, the candidate for sophomore senator

In their Plan of Action, H.E.A.T. writes, “We must empower [students] and give them the larger say they deserve and should have been granted since the beginning of the first Student Government, Inc.”


The D.R.E.A.M. ticket is led by junior Ariel Laura Metayer, and the objectives of their ticket are “Accountability. Visibility. Sustainability.” Some of their main goals include:

  • Cultivating a healthy community on campus
  • Developing clarity and authenticity on all platforms
  • Becoming a reliable resource on campus, with a focus on marginalized communities

The other members on the ticket for D.R.E.A.M. are:

  • Carley Germain, the candidate for vice president
  • Andres Mercado, the candidate for treasurer
  • Phoenix Totesau-Johnson, the candidate for secretary
  • Caitlin Cassidy, the candidate for senior senator
  • Cherokeesun Goodson, the candidate for Junior Senator
  • Samantha Lanza, the candidate for sophomore senator

Totasau-Johnson, highlighting the objective of communication and promoting activism, wrote on the official D.R.E.A.M. Instagram (@vote.dream.sju), “There’s nothing more powerful than utilizing platforms to speakout.”


The two independent candidates are Michael Outlaw, who is running for president and Medina Surajpal, who is running for Senior Senator. A junior, Outlaw’s objectives include reorganizing SGi to be a better advocate for the student body and to enhance the social scene on campus. On his Instagram (@outlaw4pres), Outlaw states, “I will make sure that we all encourage each other to take initiative and seize the moment. This is the main way that effective change can be made.”

Independent President Candidate Michael Outlaw. COURTESY/SGI

Surajpal, a sophomore, is a student ambassador, a current member of the St. John’s chapter of Kappa Delta Phi and has a desire to work with children who have learning and behavior challenges.  All information for her has been found on the official SGi website.


Elections will occur online through the eBallot voting system. The Instagram account for SGi, @sjusgi, will allow each of the candidates to speak and campaign individually from Monday, Mar. 30 to Friday, Apr. 3. More information on each of the candidates can be found on the SGi official website here


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About the Contributor
Alicia Venter
Alicia Venter, Editor-in-Chief
Alicia is a senior Journalism major with a minor in English. She joined the Torch during her freshman year as Assistant News Editor and later became News Editor. In her last year, she is now serving as the Editor-in-Chief. She is excited to expand the Torch’s online presence through the Torch’s newsletter and other digital platforms. She is a native Kentuckian and loves painting, blaring music too loud and strong coffee! You can reach Alicia at [email protected].
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