Contenders spar over ticket goals

Brad Griffith

Candidate for President of Student Government, Inc.

It is with much enthusiasm that I write this article on behalf of the C.H.A.N.G.E ticket to my peers! My name is Brad Griffith and I am seeking the presidency of your Student Government Inc. to initiate a C.H.A.N.G.E. within SJU. Why C.H.A.N.G.E.? Many of us have had the opportunity to be involved on campus and have heard the cries of the student body. They were cries for C.H.A.N.G.E.! Some of our activities include: the New Student Orientation Program, Alpha Mentoring Project, Leadership Development Programs, Resident Assistant, volunteer for Inner City Games, Haraya, The Pan-African Student’s Coalition, Organization for Latin American Students, Caribbean Students Association, etc, etc.

Once again, why C.H.A.N.G.E for Student Government, Inc.?

We know from being in many organizations that the main concern for all is money! We propose constructing a system that is “organization friendly.” To do this we must make certain that we create a diverse and well-rounded budget committee. Another issue with the budget procedures is that many students are unfamiliar with them. Therefore, it is key that we implement interactive informational sessions. This would encourage questions, answers and suggestions.

Another top priority on our agenda is academics. There needs to be a C.H.A.N.G.E. with the entire teacher evaluation process. Having a student-based evaluation would be more effective. We need to assess how professors are performing and suggest what C.H.A.N.G.E., if any, should be made.

I know that half of us have fallen asleep in those 10,000-degree classrooms. I think we would all agree that the environment needs to be worked on. The heating/cooling system needs to be improved so that we can learn in a conducive environment.

What is Student Government, Inc.? This shouldn’t be a question in the minds of the student body because we are “solely responsible for coordinating, stimulating and regulating student activities,” yet half of the population doesn’t know we exist. Exposure is, therefore, key! We need to have a table in strategic locations, such as the main cafeterias and student centers. Once we are in the public’s eye, keeping involvement up to par is also important. One way to do this is through “friendly competitions” between organizations. This would also expose organizations to prospective members. Many organizations, such as Greek letter organizations, academic and cultural have all suffered greatly. We must remember that these groups are the livelihood of SJU!

It is imperative that we reach out to the resident students. I know, as a Resident Assistant, that the resident students lack involvement or activities. With the rise of the new Residence Hall Association (R.H.A.), next year’s Student Government, Inc., and its interaction with R.H.A., will be key! The C.H.A.N.G.E. ticket proposes to work hard with R.H.A. to work out the kinks that the residents are currently experiencing.

Internship awareness is yet another concern for many of us. I am a second semester junior and am now in my position for Queens Supreme Court. Like many of you, I didn’t see the importance of outside experience until recently. To help prevent this lack of knowledge, a stronger link between Student Government, Inc. and the Career Center needs to be established.

The members of this ticket and its supporters urge every one of you to think about the above issues and vote to bring about a positive C.H.A.N.G.E. – Row A.

Kristina Verbitskya

Candidate for President of Student Government, Inc.

All right, forget about the Frisbees, the freebies and the flourescent flyers. Let’s get down to what this election is all about: making a difference.

The I.M.P.A.C.T. ticket and I are running in the 2001-2002 Student Government, Inc. executive and senatorial elections because we have the ideas to make things better and have the will power to implement these ideas to make an impact for every student at St. John’s University.
What we bring to the table that CHANGE does not is experience. Among the seven members of this ticket, we have 14 years of total Student Government experience and involvement. This involvement speaks volumes about our character and passion for this university. Being the more experienced ticket, I.M.P.A.C.T. better knows how to handle the responsibilities that come along with representing this great student body.

The I.M.P.A.C.T. ticket prides itself on the fact that we will strive to represent all undergraduate students and their best interests. We can work for diverse groups on campus effectively, because many of us come from different facets of the university. Members of I.M.P.A.C.T. are involved in St. John’s University on every level, from orientation programming to fraternities, sororities, political and cultural groups.
I.M.P.A.C.T. has a realistic platform built from all original ideas. The key to our platform is something simple, but almost always overlooked in politics – our ideas can become a reality. We’re not promising things we can’t deliver.

Communication with the general student body is one of the keystones of our platform. We also hope to maintain proper relations with the Residence Hall Association and administrative organizations. We want to strengthen our ties with all the organizations and continue the working dialogue within the St. John’s community.

Increasing the overall participation on campus is the backbone of this ticket. Organizations need more participation and involvement and adding another activity fair each year would help that. The University Center acts as the home to all student organizations and it should be a place where they feel comfortable. That is why Student Government will use part of its budget to renovate the UC to create and better distribute organizational office space.

To improve academics, we plan to make faculty evaluations more accessible to students by publishing them both in print and on the web. Important to many students are the issues that come with transferring from college to college within the university. We want to solve this problem to make transferring as painless as possible.

Food service concerns are always a part of campus life and here it is no different. We would like to bring in an outside food service to create competition for Aramark on campus and in the Montgoris Dining Facility. Competition will force Aramark to bring St. John’s students the best quality food at lower prices. With the advent of dorms, there are more people on campus 24 hours a day and with this should come a viable 24-hour-a-day option for food service.

Overall, we are the better ticket, due to our knowledge and experience. To call for unwarranted change, one must have the proper responsibilities in mind and have viable goals. Basing a campaign on purely circumstantial information and false accusations is not a call for change. So the right choice for you is to bring your ID and vote Row B on Wednesday and Thursday.