On Monday, April 28, members of the sorority Delta Sigma Theta hosted a question and answer panel seated by candidates running for positions on next semester’s Student Association (SA) E-board.
Ten candidates were present for the event – Osatohamwen Okundaye running for SA president, Jesse Ginsburg and Kelly Brennan running for SA Executive vice president, James Auer and Jordan Taylor running for vice president of Academic Affairs and Governance, Moses Vincent and Rosemary Owuo running for vice president of finance and Brittany Jordan, Goldie Harrison and Henry Lino running for vice president of programming.
Of the candidates on the ballot, three were not in attendance – Sampson Oppedisano running for President, Karen Ho running for Executive Vice President and Kayla Juvet running for Vice President of Programming.
Members of Delta Sigma Theta began the event with a slide-show presentation detailing the duties and responsibilities of each SA E-Board position according to the SA constitution.
Audience members were then asked to write questions, directed at the E-board positions in contest, on slips of paper which were read aloud to the panelists.
The questions covered topics related to the candidates’ prior experience in relation to the position they are running for, what they hoped to accomplish if elected, as well as how their talents and ideas would best serve the campus community.
“I intend to bring different institutions that are responses toward issues of campus climate,” Okundaye said. “I know the senate is currently working on the Social Justice Coalition, and it works by electing students from different clubs and organizations to come collaboratively to respond to students who feel targeted by issues of race or sexual violence”
Questions directed at VP of Programming candidates resulted in answers stressing that the position’s capabilities were not limited to the organization of the spring concert.
“The $80,000 [for the spring concert], if you budget yourself right you can split that in half for other events and programs,” Jordan said. “Anything other than just spending your money on one concert, a lot more could happen at SUNY New Paltz.”
All three Programming candidates expressed a desire to organize campus events for the fall semester to alleviate anticipation for the spring concert and other seasonally-determined events that heed warm weather.
In response to a question concerning the promotion of smaller SA funded clubs, Auer proposed a restructured manual that would better inform clubs how to receive money from the General Programming Account.
“Some clubs don’t even know they can access [General Programming]. It’s a general fund with lots of money in it a club can use,” Auer said. “Under [Council of Organization’s Chair] Matt [LaSpada]’s leadership we’re restructuring the club manual to teach new and smaller clubs how to do this.”
Students can vote for SA E-board candidates on my.newpaltz.edu from Tuesday April 29 to Thursday May 1.