SGA Voting Guide – Senators
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Welcome to DailyCollegian.com’s Student Government Association guide for Senate voting. For our guide to House Council and Lieutenant Governor voting, click here.
Elections will be held Monday, September 28th and Tuesday, September 29th. Students can vote in the Campus Center from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or in any of the dining commons, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
DailyCollegian.com sent a voluntary questionnaire to candidates. Those who responded are listed below. To begin, click on your residential area. Below each category, there is a complete list of candidates who will be on the ballot.
1. Nick Fanuele
I am self motivated, hard working and passionate about my beliefs. I am highly qualified as a leader with experience being Vice President of my high school class. I have also been captain of my baseball and basketball teams and a Stage Crew head in drama. As a freshman I am already involved in the Finance Society, Sports Management Club and intramural sports. As a passionate Liberal I will be supportive of many reforms. Some of these issues would be improvement of the DCs, lower fees, etc. But the issues can’t come from the SGA it has to come from the student population. If you want to be properly represented I suggest to cast a vote. I feel I will be a great candidate to initiate change on campus! Thanks.
2. Kyle Howard
3. Andrew C Prowten
I have a firm belief in civil responsibility. I have always been politically active by writing to my representatives, volunteering for various organizations, and becoming a member of moveon.org, Military Families Speak Out and the ACLU. Last year I was in a very successful march and lobby project led by the student group PHENOM (which i plan to work closely with) around the MA State house to fight fee hikes at the university. Lastly, I have very good skills working with and listening to people. So not only will I listen to what my fellow students want, I will be able to respectfully, but sternly, speak with the administration in defense of students.
My main priority will be working with groups like PHENOM to guarantee the financial security of students today and tomorrow. I also plan to work with the Administration, the campus police, and the Every Woman’s Center to find proactive ways to protect women from sexual assualt and harassment on and off campus. I also wish to be an Ally with the Stonewall center and any other groups on campus who need an advocate. Lastly I hope to set up some way to let students around campus work directly with their representatives in SGA and the administration. This could possibly take the form of a “town meeting” setting or “Questions, comments or concerns” type boxes in residence halls.
4. Michele Sudan
5. Patrick Watson
Main issues I’ll focus on: Making the SGA more accessible to students through the use of technology, online outreach through blogging, Facebook and Youtube.
What I’d like to see more of in the SGA: I know that the website is in the process of being completely revamped, so I would like to see more improved and diversified methods of regularly connecting representatives to the students who elect them. This would help keep the SGA transparent and accountable.I’m that friend you have who you always thought would be good at this kind of thing, and now I’m taking your advice.
What I’d like to change about the SGA: I would like to see the Senate 100% elected by students. This means that seats that were previously appointed by the ALANA caucus would finally be voted on by students.
What is the dumbest thing I’ve ever said in class: I was visibly perplexed one day in a high school history class. “Watson, why are you making faces at me?” the teacher asked. I replied, “I apologize for my
6. Michael Weintraub
Up until the governor of Central approached me with the question “do you want to be a Senator?” I had no plans for office. Unlike other candidates who I hear expressing interest in a sure-fire resume, I’m not in this for selfish reasons. Now that I am running for office I’ve developed a platform of: absolutely no corruption, no promises I can’t keep, and to work with passion in order to change all of our UMass experience into a better one. I already have plans to attain free wifi, better showers, and dorm room seat cushions; as well as any other suggested improvement by any UMass student or Senator.
Main thing I’ll focus on as a Senator: There is no one main issue. I will work on any issue I think will actually pass.
I’d like to see more of in the SGA: Election time: out with the old and ineffective, and in with the new and willing.
What I’d like to change about the SGA: I want the SGA to practice more altruism and much less bullshit. Just because we’re surrounded by adults who are full of it doesn’t mean we have to make the same mistake.
The dumbest thing I’ve ever said in class: “Cheese”
1. Scott Aldrich-Holmes
2. Chelsea Aquino
I served in the Senate last year representing the off- campus area. I served on the Student and Academic Affairs Committee, which worked on textbook affordability. I also tried to have the SGA website updated.
My main focus this year will be on affordability and availability on campus for parking. I also want to continue with updating the SGA website so that students can see what their representatives are doing for them. I would like agendas and minutes to be updated weekly, and a contact list is a necessity.
3. Andy Berg
In the past, I’ve been a Senator from the Commuter Area. Last year, I spent some time as the chair of the Student and Academic Affairs subcommittee. This past summer, I was on the SGA Coordinating Council.
I come to this position as a non-traditional student. I left school for several years to run a business that I created. I’m back at UMass to harmonize my work with my beliefs. I think that this experience has given me the opportunity to bring a unique perspective to the SGA.
As a Senator, I introduced legislation brought to me by registered student organizations. In the SGA, I feel that my primary job is to be accountable to the students and RSOs that I represent.
I believe that is vital that we reduce fees, review university contracts that affect students (textbooks), ensure student support services are funded, and support victims of hate crimes.
4. William Cody
I am a former SGA member at transfer school. I love trying to solve problems that affect lots of people. I hope to bring more representation for veterans, as I am an Iraqi War vet, and there is a growing population on campus of veterans.
Two issues already brought to my attention are parking fees and bus routes.
5. Josh Davidson
One of the most important qualities for a public official to have is a strong sense of personal responsibility for those they represent. Making Umass a better place for students is my number one goal. In the past, I have worked within the SGA as a senator and student trustee candidate so I have seen what is wrong with our current system and how it can be fixed. I have also worked as an RA on campus which has allowed me to hear many of the concerns, complaints, and praises students have about their UMass experience. Many of these concerns are central to my platform.
My main focuses as a member of the SGA would be: student parking, wireless Internet and SGA transparency/accountability.
Other ideas include a Personal Finance Class available for all students and scholarships available through the SGA for students who contribute in a significant way to the campus community and distinguish themselves academically.
6. Charlie Felder
Main issues I’ll focus on: Transparency regarding RSO funding and general monetary disbursement from the SGA
What I’d like to see more in the SGA: Honestly, I can’t say I’m a fan of much at all. I’ve watched for two years as personal disputes have threatened to bring SGA proceedings to standstills and as RSO funding has been misused and misdirected to pet projects rather than student organizations which deserve equal monetary support. Aside from the political and social talent that some of the SGA members display from time to time, I don’t want to see a continuation of the same old same old. I want students to know what is taking place, and where their money is going, and that their elected representatives in student government aren’t promoting personal agendas. Which is why I’m running.
What I want to change about the SGA: The adversarial tone at SGA meetings has to go, as well as the manner in which they currently appropriate RSO money.
The dumbest thing I ever said in class: What springs to mind isn’t actually a statement, but a rather humorous mid-class realization which was so sharp and surprising that I actually said, “Wait!” out loud. It was funny, but I’ll be keeping the actual realization to myself.
7. Tikaan Galbreath
8. Amanda Jusino
9. Azeen Khanmalek
I have been involved in UMass Student groups, often in leadership positions. For the past 2 years, I have worked with MassPIRG coordinating the Global Warming campaign, and I am currently Vice-president of the Policy Debate Team. I know what it’s like to be involved plan events, and try to deal with the school administration and its bureaucracy.
The primary issue I seek to focus on is the use of student space on campus. I believe that this is our campus, and we should be able to use it. I plan to fight to do away with the need to attain permits to table and hold events in the campus center concourse, as well as outside the campus center and student union. Free and open space is what provides for a vibrant, diverse, and active community, and that is exactly what we should be fostering on our campus. I will also fight to allow student groups to use campus center rooms free of charge, and try to secure campus center rooms for offices for RSO’s currently without one.
10. Derek Satya Khanna
Main issues I’ll focus on: I will focus first on online elections, assuming that it does not pass on Monday/Tuesday. I will then focus on accountability within the SGA for misuse of student funds in this past year. But the main issue I will focus on, is trying to represent all students interests, which is something that the SGA hasn’t done in a while.
I’d like to see more of in the SGA: The SGA funds Student Legal Services which is an excellent service and I hope they expand this to allow for full student representation to court.
What I’d to change about the SGA: They have no accountability as they hack even basic levels of transparency. I will change this system of unaccountability. I also want an SGA that helps RSO’s with their programs to allow for each RSO to be as successful as possible with their limited resources.
The dumbest thing I ever said in class: Tried to debate a professor when he said that the Civil War was fought solely to end slavery. And ended up having to drop the class.
11. Tyler Langlais
12. Benjamin Levine
Main issues I’ll focus on: online voting, ridding corruption within the sga
What I’d like to see more in the SGA: legitimate debate and discussion about campus issues
What I’d like to change in the SGA: the way certain organizations utilize their budgets
13. Eric Magazu
The main issue I’ll focus on is delivering a Democratic Voice for students.
What I’d like to see more of in the SGA: More interaction with student groups and individual students.
What I’d like to change about the SGA: I want the SGA to go directly to students for direction on event programming.
The dumbest thing I ever said in class: That I was ashamed my rhoticity (the fact that I pronounce trailing r’s in words).
14. Rudy Mahotiere
15. Jeremy Rumeld
16. Melissa Sandefur
I am accomplished, self-starter city girl with a strong sense of urgency and a southern charm, who responds positively to challenge and pressure. Ten-year track record of diverse managerial experience. Respected leader of small, multifunctional political debate teams with expert communication and interpersonal skills.
Issues I’ll focus on if elected: Parking Costs, Parking Restrictions, Incentives for Fuel Efficient Cars, Meal Plans, Tuition, as well as anything else brought to my attention.
There are no candidates on the ballot. Voters must write-in candidates.
2. Rafael N Medina
3. Mohammed Syed
4. Melissa Urban
This past summer I worked at the Massachusetts State House with Representative Ellen Story of Amherst. I also organized against the $1500 fee increase last year that is now being rebated back to most students this fall.
If elected I will work to increase accessibility to overnight health services. This year University Health Services closes at midnight, and since it is the primary facility for all of the five colleges, UMass students are not the only ones at a disservice. To me, this and other issues of safety on our campus need to be addressed.
I was the vice-president of my student government at Bradford Christian Academy during my freshman year. I then transferred schools and joined the student government as an officer. I have had experience leading groups in the workplace, mainly overseeing landscaping projects on a farm. As for traits, I am driven, interested in the opinions of my peers, and confident. I also love planning and managing events.
My major plan of action, once in the senate, is to establish office hours in my dorm room where anyone can come talk to me about issues, opinions, suggestions, criticisms, etc. I would also encourage the other senators to do the same. As for policies, I’d like to look at the funding for all of the student run organizations on campus and see how we could redistribute those funds in a more equitable manner.
2. Misbah Anwar
I have the experience and a lot of passion to represent my student body.
I will make sure campus issues are improved even further, school fees, parking fees, etc.
3. Rachel Aylward
4. Nicholas Barton
In high school I held numerous leadership positions, including being President of my National Honor Society, being a board member of my school’s Key Club (a volunteer service organization), being the founder and captain of my school’s Mock Trial Team, and organizing various fundraisers.
I will fight for all of the issues that my constituents care about. I will invite anyone living in O-Hill to come to me with anything they are concerned about and would like the Senate to look into, and I will make sure it gets the proper consideration from the SGA. I want to make sure every UMass student has a voice in the issues that are important to them, both in the Senate itself and as a liaison to the administration. I look forward to the opportunity, if elected, to make sure that the SGA budget is appropriated fairly among all the RSOs, which will be especially challenging and important due to the budget constraints that the University is current experiencing.
5. Will Fan
Student government and finance are my two greatest passions. Since middle school, I’ve been involved in everything from bake sales to school budgeting. I’ve dealt with school budget cuts, club funding, student involvement, and
student health. I’m a very hard worker: I like to get things done and done right. When a budget item is suspicious, I challenge it. I always make a point to care for the beneficiaries of the SGA: The students. The decisions I make all boil down to: is this good for the student?
I would like to challenge the practice of club appointed senators. Their appointment via clubs does not signify their accountability to UMass students as a whole. I would also like to get students more involved. I believe the last election statistics indicated that only 12% of students voted. For this reason, I’m for the use of internet in elections. Hopefully this act will increase participation. Further, I would like increased budget transparency. Students interested in UMass budgeting can only make informed arguements if the information is there itself. A SGA website update would be nice as well.
6. Emmett Fitzpatrick
7. Jessica Jankowski
8. Jarred Rose
1. Leanne Brown
2. Erica Nyer
I was an elections commissioner Freshman year and was able to experience how elections were run on our campus. I attended numerous SGA meetings and I was surprised to see the politics behind the student government. I didn’t feel like the interests of the students were addressed, and I did not like how there wasn’t a real passion to make this university a more functional environment.
Last semester I worked with many of my peers on the online election petition. It is an issue that I feel very passionate about after spending eight hours counting individual ballots with the elections commission. Our system is inefficient and discourages commuter students from participating through the election process. Also, I truly want a senate that represents the students. Everything that is passed through the SGA should be with the intension to give more to the student body and provide the necessities for each student to succeed. If elected, I would love to work closely with students and have a student government that represents their interests.
3. Stephanie Rocha
4. Brandon Tower
The main issue I will be focusing on is providing students with options for affordable textbooks. The first chance I get, I will be introducing a bill that simply asks professors to email students a week in advance of the start of a course what textbooks and materials will be needed. This will give students time to shop at places like Amazon for the most competitive price for them, not the Textbook Annex.
The Democratic Voice coalition is also going to work towards bringing Wi-Fi to dorms, putting elections online, and making sure there’s a functional SGA website where ALL students can see what their government is spending money on.
What I’d like to see more in the SGA: Recently Central Governor Dave Robertson worked adamantly to bring new laundry machines to dorms on campus; this is the kind of tangible change that the SGA needs to provide more often, the kind that has a real impact on student life.
What I’d like to change in the SGA: The SGA needs to reach out to students. Instead of representatives blaming the student body for being apathetic, the SGA needs to make the institution relevant so students feel like what goes on in Senate matters.
The dumbest thing I ever said in class: Not said but did; I once slept through my alarm on the day of a final presentation for my History of Sport class.
1. Jessica Bonheur
I have served on many executive boards and chairs such as the Executive Board clerk of The City School and the Uphams Corner Youth Council. I am patient, aware of what the people want, and am committed to positive change. (JessICAN)
I also worked on the Obama for America Campaign and know the work and dedication it takes to get voters on your side and give them what they want.
My platform focuses on: lowering student fees; increased cultural events such as HASA/CASA nightl bringing back tutoring in the Malcolm X Center; mending relations between UMASS police, administrators and students; creating means for students to get cheaper books.
2. Matthew Carr
3. Ellie Feinstein
4. Sebrena Ganpat
5. Kimberly Garber
In the past, I have been a part of student government in school, have held captain positions on sports teams, and have other leadership roles in youth groups etc.
If appointed, my main goal is to just improve all around happiness of students. This is my second year living in Southwest, and throughout this time I have encountered so many different people who want so many different things. If I could find a way to accommodate all of them, whether it be with wireless internet in dorms, or a bus that comes right at the timethey may need it, I’d feel completely accomplished.
6. Cassie Jeon
7. Ben Johnson
8. Dan Stratford
I have a venerable career of community service behind me. Over the summer, I interned for Congressman Steve Israel (who represents New York’s Second Congressional District on Long Island), from which I gained an understanding of the dynamic, constantly-evolving, and furiously churning nature of politics and the political process, as well a grasp of political strategy that could only be afforded by first-hand experience. As far as personality traits go, I am extremely hard-working and diligent, yet prudent and appreciative of the value of deliberation.
I’m running on a trifecta of accountability, transparency, and efficacy. To me, those three issues are intertwined – If the SGA is not transparent, then we will have no grounds upon which to hold it accountable. If it is not accountable, then it is likely that it will be ineffective. If it is ineffective, then it will not be able to serve us as students. An increase in SGA efficacy will enable us to affect change on campus that will greatly improve day-to-day student life, like, for example, wireless internet access in the dorms and the lowering of textbook prices.
9. Catie Warren
1. Ian Moloney
2. Danillo Sena
3. Brad DeFlumeri
If elected, I plan to lead an effort to meet with campus officials and lobby on behalf of non-commuting undergraduates for more accessible and affordable undergraduate parking, and will go as far as the University President and the Board of Trustees for resolution, if this problem is not fixed. Additionally reforming and perhaps re-writing the legislation governing, the “qualifying student health insurance plan” (QSHIP) is another area badly in need of legitimate discussion and promises to be a hallmark area of reform during my governing tenure. Granting and not granting insurance waivers based on the whims and demands of insurance companies has for far too long disadvantaged some of our most vulnerable student populations on campus.
What I’d like to see more in the SGA: Very little. Corruption, waste, fraud, abuse and cronyism abound and serve to disadvantage legitimate representation by students. I will, however, note that the SGA senate in recent years has done reasonably well to find mutual areas of common interest among senators and use these commonalities to mobilize thought and action on particular subjects. In this same way, I would like to use shared interests and concerns as a springboard to improving the undergraduate parking situation on campus, which is in dire need of scrutiny and investigation, to say the least.
What I’d like to change in the SGA: There is a lot wrong with the way the SGA operates and polices itself — from blatantly unconstitutional provisions of its governance documents, to little or no accountability when acting on ‘behalf of and in the name of all undergraduate students’, penetrating inward-looking scrutiny of all systems, processes, and functions should be a high priority for any SGA official, and it certainly will be for me.
The dumbest thing I ever said in class: I once said that Ronald Reagan was a “good” president. History, on the other hand, dictates that he was a “great president.” My apologies to the Gipper.