Flames of the Torch: SGI e-board candidates need to challenge the status quo


Torch Staff

Election season is now upon us. With new e-boards emerging to serve for the 2018-2019 academic year that will undoubtedly impact the climate on campus — and further guide where it’s going — this is one of the most important times, if not the most important, in the year.

One of the most significant of these elections is that of Student Government Inc. (SGI).

While many may not realize this, SGI is a huge force behind the student experience at St. John’s and the most recognized organization on campus when it comes to representing students’ voices to the University’s administration.

On April 5 and 6, we will get to vote into office those who will represent our student body. And this is not a simple decision, nor is it one we should take lightly.

Last week, we did a story on the P.L.U.G. and S.E.E.D. tickets, the first opposing tickets since the 2015-2016 academic year, as well as the independent sophomore senator Hannah Sesay.

We were truly impressed to hear these candidates and their goals; especially because a common theme among all of them is the importance of inclusion, diversity and transparency.

This year, we have seen an increasing number of students take to organizing to challenge the status quo at the University. There have been protests and demonstrations, but most importantly, there has been an overarching call for change from students — many of which say the University has perpetuated racism and bigotry through its policies and the practices of some of its employees, among other concerns.

This goes back to a common theme we’ve covered and heard discussed throughout the year: Students need more communication and accountability from the University — and one major way of ensuring that is through the student body’s interactions with SGI.

We can’t help but agree that elevating the voices, concerns and goals of the student body is indeed the most important thing that any e-board will tackle next year.

A lot has been said and promised, but there is much to be done, and it is our job as students to hold our representatives accountable.

At the end of the day, their influence as leaders in SGI can make real change happen, as they work directly with administration and faculty.

But if these leaders choose inaction and empty words, the status quo will only remain.

We encourage all students who will be on campus tomorrow during common hour to go to the DAC living room for the SGI debate, which will be moderated by our editor-in-chief, Suzanne Ciechalski.

Learn more about what these candidates value, and what they can offer you; this is an important step in letting your voices be heard.