Khalif Nunnally-Rivera and Maija Hall campaign for SGA elections on promise to represent all students

By Stuart Foster

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, a candidate in this year’s Student Government Association presidential election, said that he and vice presidential candidate Maija Hall want to represent all students on the University of Massachusetts campus.

Nunnally-Rivera, a junior studying geography and urban studies and who is currently the SGA’s secretary of diversity, listed several major goals for the campaign. These goals include increasing representation of students of color on campus, addressing gender-based violence at UMass and achieving tuition freezes as major goals of the campaign.

“One of my biggest things is really uniting this campus and making sure we are all on the same page,” Nunnally-Rivera said.

He added that he wants to see the SGA function as an organization which encourages student political involvement through greater outreach than the SGA has previously had.

Nunnally-Rivera said that as an SGA senator who worked with the Committee on Ways and Means his sophomore year, he has a good understanding of the Student Activities Trust Fund, which oversees the funding of Registered Student Organizations on campus.

“I found it’s very valuable,” he said. “It helped me understand the RSO budgeting process and the needs of RSOs.”

Looking forward, Nunnally-Rivera said that he and Hall, who is a junior studying sociology and currently serves as president of the Black Student Union, plan to advocate for the increased recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups on the UMass campus.

Nunnally-Rivera mentioned that the access and affordability of UMass is a major issue for him and Hall in their campaign, and that he and Hall would lobby for fee freezes and free higher education.

Nunnally-Rivera also said that continuing statewide advocacy day for these issues will be important in their campaign.

“Addressing gender-based violence and being strong supporters for the Survivor’s Bill of Rights is also important,” he said.

Nunnally-Rivera wants to increase communication between different activist groups at UMass so they can find more ways to work together to solve issues of common interest.

“I feel like that’s really key in building a powerful student body,” he said, “a student body that can actively voice its concerns to the administration.”

He said that the SGA is extremely important as it serves as a reflection of national and state governments brought to the campus level.

Nunnally-Rivera added that the SGA helps to develop leadership skills and prepares students to work collectively on solving issues.

“I think that on a greater level everyone should be involved in the political process, whether it’s on your campus, in your state or at the national level,” he said.

Nunnally-Rivera said that Hall started their social media campaign on the first day they were allowed to campaign, March 8, via a Facebook page.

They also created a website through Weebly, which has information about candidates and their platforms. Nunnally-Rivera also said that they were going to be releasing different platforms of their campaign over the week before the election began.

“We have old fashioned flyers,” Nunally-Rivera said, adding that they would be “going to dorms and meeting with student organizations on campus.”

Nunnally-Rivera said that people should vote for him and Hall because they represent what students want to see accomplished on the UMass campus.

“We’re for the students,” he said. “We’re going to put the community above all else.”

The SGA elections opened on Campus Pulse on March 20, and will remain open until March 23. Nunnally-Rivera and Hall are running against one other ticket: Anthony Vitale and Nick Rampone for president and vice president, respectively.

Stuart Foster can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @Stuart_C_Foster.