The Student Government Association election candidates focused on unity and inclusivity in the SGA debates for the ongoing elections, hoping to draw the student body together and make every voice heard.
“We are the frontline warriors for the students,” Demetrius Dillion, candidate for Vice President and Senate Chairperson, said during the SGA Debate.
Promises of centering the student body became the common theme of the event. Each candidate discussed ways they would uplift student’s voices.
“The purpose [of student government] is to represent the student body,” Christian Alexander, candidate for Senate Chairperson, said. “We have to be available to the students.”
“[We need to] be a voice for the students,” Benjamin Rodriguez, another Chairperson candidate, said.
The debate unfolded in three segments: Chairperson, Treasurer, and President and Vice President questions. The Senate Chairperson candidates consisted of Demetrius Dillion, Takunda Chikundra, Denae Joyner, Benjamin Rodriguez, Christian Alexander, and Vanessa Cadet.
The two treasury candidates were Alex Bercian and Samih Awad. The Vice President candidates consisted of Katherin Camyao, Naiya Patel, and Demetrius Dillion. For presidential candidates, there were Demone Webb, Kevin Bercerra-Cardoza, and Matthew Micheaux.
The debate was moderated by the Globe’s Charlotte Reames and the SGA’s Deonte Bracey.
As the questions progressed, it was evident that inclusivity and unity were on the front of these candidates’ minds.
“I’ll make sure my administration reaches out to all GGC students,” Patel said. “Be sure their needs are met.”
Patel’s running mate, Webb, nodded in agreement at her statement. “I know exactly what it takes to get the job done,” he said in his opening statement.
Bercerra-Cardoza placed emphasis on unity between SGA and various RSOs at GGC. As a previous president and member of different RSOs, Bercerra-Cardoza highlighted his experience to relate to the struggles small clubs often face on a college campus.
“I’m very pro-leadership,” Bercerra-Cardoza said. “I want to improve the relationship with SGA and RSOs.”
With the possibility of in-person sessions beginning in the fall, the question of how to smoothly transition back to a semblance of normalcy loomed.
Micheaux drew emphasis on the importance of a team and the possible challenges that will come with in-person sessions.
“I have what it takes and the proper skill set to get the job done,” he said. “[But] I’m not a health expert. That’s when I will utilize my team and resources and medical experts. Ask them for their advice and direction.”
Webb emphasized another point of unity within his answer.
“I can’t sit up here and want to be a student body president without advocating for all students,” he said. “Let’s face it. All students come from different walks of life, so I would push awareness in the Disabilities Office so they understand to be accommodating.”
Bercerra-Cardoza had a similar approach to his answer, conveying the importance of being inclusive of all students’ learning abilities.
“The whole hybrid, synchronous, asynchronous aspects are great things that we have implemented,” he said. “I would keep all of these options available to all students.”
The results of the election will be released to the student body soon. The new student body government will be sworn in during SGA’s Pass the Gavel event on April 29th.