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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2023 Student Government, Inc. Elections: Meet The Candidates

C.R.U.S.H. and REVIVE presidential candidates introduce tickets’ future plans.
Photo Courtesy / Student Government Inc.

The 2023 Student Government, Inc. (SGi) election sees two tickets — CRUSH and REVIVE — competing for this year’s executive board positions. Both presidential candidates sat down with the Torch to share their plans and initiatives for the coming year.

Pictured (from left to right): Paul Gaylor, Jennie Vosilla, Nawsin Kamal, Sana Farooqi, Cynthia Adebayo and Samantha Sebhatu.
Photo Courtesy / Nawsin Kamal

CRUSH — which stands for committed, relentless, united, sincere and humble — released their platform on Monday. Presidential candidate Nawsin Kamal broke down the listed initiatives.

Donating premium meal swipes — a plan she and the current president, Ethan Burrell, have been working on — is something she sees happening soon. “That is a vision that both Ethan and I shared,” Kamal said. “I have been working very closely with him.” 

Kamal is a junior government and politics student. She joined SGi in 2021 when she was a senator and the inaugural chair of the governmental affairs committee. Last year, she ran for vice president, which she did not win. However, she was voted as the speaker of the student senate, and joined the executive board by way of that position.

CRUSH plans to start an SGi-moderated monthly podcast where members speak with administration and student leaders. “I feel like there are many questions that the student body has and a lot of times they are intimidated to ask,” Kamal said. “I feel like this would aid that.”

Student inclusivity is prioritized in the CRUSH platform, according to Kamal. “I’m also really excited about the non-traditional students section of my platform,” she said. “I want to have voices that belong to the disability community to be heard within the student government. That’s something I personally think we lack.”

Non-traditional students refer to graduate students, commuter students and “students who aren’t necessarily college age.” 

“I feel like they’re not involved in a lot of campus programming,” Kamal said. “I want to create programming for such students because I don’t want them to feel alienated from the community.”

Kamal also wants more representation of students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. 

“I want to ensure that students who express themselves in different ways and want to advocate for certain things for the student body belonging to their community can do that through the student government as well,” she said. “We want representation for everyone on campus.”

With the influx of students expected following the closure of the Staten Island campus, Kamal wants to start a Staten Island wellness committee. “I want to provide them with representation from the student government,” she said. “I think a really good way of ensuring [representation] is ensuring that we have committees under the executive branch.”

The Full CRUSH Ticket

President: Nawsin Kamal

Vice President: Sana Farooqi

Treasurer: Paul Gaylor

Secretary: Jennie Vosilla

Press Secretary: Cynthia Adebayo

Senior Programming Coordinator: Samantha Sebhatu

Pictured (from left to right): Christly Borno, Nina Allen, Shannon Bassaragh, Emily Hernandez and Palak Seth.
Photo Courtesy / Nina Allen

REVIVE’s goal is to “revive the school spirit.” REVIVE Presidential Candidate Nina Allen is a junior management student. During her freshman year as a biology student, she joined SGi as a freshman representative.

“I decided to run for president because I saw that there was a decrease in school spirit and I’m here to revive that,” Allen said. “Being a commuter student, I see that there is sometimes a disconnect with [commuters]. I’d like to bring activities for students to feel more connected to campus.”

The ticket plans on releasing their platform in a “unique way.”

“Instead of a document, we’re probably going to be doing some Instagram posts that show what our initiatives are. We’re hoping in the next two to three days,” Allen said on Monday.

Allen is concerned about the lack of school spirit at St. John’s. “I wasn’t sure about running [for president] until I saw the decrease in school spirit,” Allen said. “That’s why I decided that I wanted to run.”

REVIVE’s plans include moving University Service Day — which now falls on a weekend — to a weekday “to get more involvement from students.” Allen believes hosting it on a weekend limits attendance. 

They also plan to open an on-campus food pantry to provide food for students living in food insecurity. Although she thinks it will take time to open the food pantry “because applying for grants isn’t easy.” Allen believes it is a valuable initiative that she plans to finalize.

“We also have unique ideas of opening an on-campus bar for students over the age of 21,” Allen said, seeing it as an opportunity for students and alumni to network, but she thinks it “will take more time.”

“There will be a lot more discussions with faculty and staff,” Allen said. “I think that will be something that will be implemented much later.”

Last semester, St. John’s University President Brian Shanley told the Torch that an on-campus bar is not currently in the picture, but the University “would certainly have to think about what makes sense for us to sell it on campus someplace.” 

Allen also plans on hosting a formal for St. John’s students who graduated during the pandemic. “They didn’t get to have a prom, so a big senior programming coordinator event is going to organize a winter formal or spring formal so we can have the seniors experience that for once,” Allen said.

The Full REVIVE Ticket

President: Nina Allen

Vice President: Shannon Bassaragh

Secretary: Emily Hernandez

Treasurer: Christly Borno

Senior Programming Coordinator: Palak Seth

Students will be provided with usernames and passwords through their St. John’s emails, which will enable them to cast their e-votes. Voting is open from April 2 through April 4.

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About the Contributor
Dea Hoxha
Dea Hoxha, Editor-in-Chief
Dea is a junior journalism student currently serving as Editor-in-Chief. In 2022, she served as the News Editor of The Torch. As Editor-in-Chief, Dea is excited to expand The Torch’s presence throughout the St. John’s community. When she isn’t writing, you can find her going on a coffee run while listening to Taylor Swift or Harry Styles.  Dea can be reached at [email protected]
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