Once again, it is campaign season for the new freshmen of the Student Government Association. Campaign week began on Monday, September 20 and continues until September 28, when voting ends. The Election Commission worked with SGA and the first-year candidates to have a smooth and fair electoral process, resulting in the election of six new senators. After repeatedly meeting potential candidates and reviewing their documents, it was reduced to just eight candidates. On September 22, the Election Commission held a debate for these eight first-year candidates to answer questions about their individual campaigns.
Unlike last year, candidates have the option to debate in person, as well as campaign in person, such as handing out cookies on the South Campus or handing out flyers or pins. The electoral commission and the SGA were extremely satisfied with the participation in the debate, as all of the cinema at the Connelly cinema was at full capacity. About 180 freshmen and SGA members came out to listen to the candidates and decide who they want to elect on September 27 to represent them.
Second-year Election Commission members Gavin Woodin and Elizabeth Baladez led the debate by first allowing all candidates to run. After the presentations, each candidate made an opening statement. The candidates were extremely confident, energetic, friendly and came well prepared with very persuasive speeches. Then, each candidate answered five questions about why they want to be part of the SGA and what they want to stand up for if elected senator.
Candidates discussed a variety of things, from creating an academic mentoring system, to making more mental health resources available, especially for new students, and to facilitating greater communication between students. SGA and students. They expressed various concerns, such as creating greater transparency between faculty and University staff and students. They stressed the importance of enabling students to have a voice in LMS policies, whether through public meetings or suggestion boxes.
After the debate, The Villanovan spoke with freshman candidate Tyler Moore, who discussed the campaign and how he was trying to get his name and message across to the freshman class. Moore noted that he had made several posters, which were hung around the South Campus, as well as numerous social media posts regarding his background and goals. On top of that, he got testimonials from his professors and peers on why he’s a good fit and even hosted an Instagram Q&A event to get people to ask him more questions.
“I look forward to next week and see the results,” Moore said. “I hope for the best and to be able to represent my peers and the community.
Regarding the debate, Moore said: “I think the debate was very well organized by the EC. I was really surprised at the turnout which of course being a CSA approved event helped. I thought it was cool how engaged everyone was with all the candidates. It was nice to be able to show your personality and who you are to our peers. While social media is an integral part of our campaigns, the ability for everyone to see you in person has helped put a name on a face. I think it was also easier to express ideas because social media can’t get that much attention. ”
Overall, all of the candidates agreed on one thing: the importance of truth, unity and love. Despite the competition, each candidate shared the same goal and desire to help make the Villanova community stronger, healthier and happier through transparency and communication.