Students running for Student Government Association (SGA) positions may now begin campaigning. There are three students running for SGA president. They are Lee Cohen, Hailey Hennessy and Lowell Ritter. Twenty-four students are running for a senator position while the treasurer, vice president and secretary positions are uncontested.
The website where voting will take place will not be active until closer to elections. Once votes are tallied, the newly elected may “officially begin their term of office at 12:01 pm on the Friday, one week after final exam week of the spring semester in which they are elected. Shall officially end their term of office at 12:00 pm on the Friday, one week after final exam week of the Spring semester in which they hold office unless the term of office is reduced by resignation, impeachment or the failure to maintain the qualifications of office,” according to the SGA constitution on their website.
Hannah Dill is the current SGA president but she is not running for another term. She’ll graduate in May and will be attending law school in the fall.
“I had a very positive experience as SGA President. I was able to help the SGA transition between directors of student life as well as improve the connection between the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management,” Dill said in an email. “What I am most proud of was that the budget committee, led by Treasurer Paul Clayton, was able to continue as well as improve the process for allocating the budget set by last year’s SGA.
“As my last project, I am working with the Academic Senate to gauge students concerns about the potential implementation of Friday classes. I am proud of all the hard work and dedication set forth by the 2012-2013 SGA,” said Dill.
By CECELIA ROEDER
Lowell Ritter is one of the three candidates vying for the title of SGA president.
Ritter is a business major and an RA for IUSB Riverside housing. Ritter is involved with Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, and is currently the SGA Vice President.
Ritter did not respond to our numerous requests for an interview.
More information about Ritter and his presidential campaign can be found on his website, http://www.lowellritter.com
By DANIELLE MILLER
The virtual polls will soon open to allow students to vote for the next Student Government Association (SGA) members of the 2013/2014 academic year.
Hailey Hennessy will be among three hopefuls on the SGA presidential ballot. Hennessy is a junior at IU South Bend majoring in general studies with plans to continue her education towards a Ph.D in sustainability.
Hennessy recently received the Women Helping Women: Honoring Student Volunteer Leadership award by the Women’s Philanthropy Council at Indiana University on April 3. With her award she is honoring the Center for a Sustainable Future according to an Indiana University Foundation press release.
Hennessy has served as a senator for the SGA since spring 2011. As a senator she has dealt with many upper-level administrators and has already developed those relationships.
“I know what it’s like to work with different types of people at IUSB. We represent the students but we work face to face with faculty, staff and administrators. You can’t just say what you want changed, there are policies to abide by. If you went in blind you would not know how to do the process in a correct manner,” she said.
Hennessy’s course of action if elected president is three-fold.
“First I want to work with campus police to see what we can do to improve dispatch time from Bloomington to IUSB. If there is an issue on campus like a stolen purse, if you call the police it goes straight to Bloomington and they dispatch to our campus. It takes a long time,” said Hennessy.
“Secondly, I want to help further the sustainability movement on our campus. It’s something that keeps our campus up-to-date and competitive with other schools. It reflects we’re on top of being a responsible campus,” she said.
“The third is being the change that our students want to see, being their voice, to stand up and let our opinion be heard by administrators, staff, faculty and student government,” Hennessy said.
As a senator Hennessy has served as chair of the Homecoming Committee, SGA Awards Committee, Recycling Committee and the Search and Screen Committee for the Director of Student Life. She has also voted to fund numerous successful campus events.
Hennessy currently works at the gateway administration center where she has been since September 2011. She feels this has given her a firsthand experience in understanding students’ most common issues on campus.
“I work one-on-one with students all the time and hear what difficulties they come across. You have to be like a detective and talk to them to find what problems they’re dealing with in order to send them to the appropriate place,” she said.
The theme of Hennessy’s presidential campaign is the student voice. She says that the 12 senators who endorse her offer diversity to the student voice.
“They will do a perfect job. They do not have the exact same opinions as me but I think we need diversity to accurately represent the student voice,” Hennessy said. “I want to make students feel they made the right choice if I’m president. I do a good job of putting myself in others shoes. I work for them, not myself.”
By MANDI STEFFEY
“Given the chance to become president of the student body, I would really make sure that the true issues affecting students do not get swept under the carpet,” said Lee Cohen, one of the presidential candidates for the Student Government Association (SGA).
Cohen is more than ready to push a few ideas forward if he is elected president by the student body. Fliers around campus for Cohen and the others on his promise a lot—bigger events on campus, better student representation for grade change petitions and a simpler path to graduation.
Cohen’s ticket includes Matt Kavanagh for vice president, Ariel Koehler for secretary and Tom Kurzhal for Treasurer. Senators on the ticket include Amanda Bogard, Chaise Cope, Dexter Lanning, Duane McFarland, Justin Chupp, Kawme Ng’andwe, Nick Sheppard Patel, Mandi Bowser and Peter Goldstein.
If a student wishes to vote for Cohen as president, they will be voting for the entire ticket made up of this team of individuals.
One of Cohen’s biggest reasons for wanting to see changes is that the majority of IU South Bend’s budget is made up by student tuition. One of the biggest grievances campus-wide is that there isn’t enough to do. Cohen said he thinks that if the students are making up most of the budget, there should be more to do on campus.
Cohen said events like the Boo To You event put on by the Disney Alumni Association serve a great purpose to students. Nontraditional students were able to bring their children to the kid-friendly event, and traditional and on-campus residents were able to get out for a night of free fun.
Bigger and better events are at the top of the list on Cohen’s ticket. His ticket’s campaign flier reminds the students that the SGA controls “well over half a million dollars” and all of that comes from students.
“I’d really like to see bigger things on campus to bring students together,” said Cohen. “There is a need for more things on campus for students to get involved with.”
Cohen said he has sympathy for non-traditional students and would push for events that would better suit them.
Another problem Cohen sees on campus is the bureaucracy involving petitioning a grade change. The ticket’s campaign promises that student justices will guide students every step of the way when it comes to petitioning a grade that a student might deem unfair.
The last bullet on the campaign is a simpler path to a diploma. As a student who has experience exploring many different career options, Cohen knows the pains of switching majors and losing credits.
“Degree requirements need uniformity. We must reduce ludicrous graduation requirements. As a ticket, we will push the university for simpler degree requirements, launching students towards their careers,” the flier states.
These three main points, according to Cohen, are the basis of the campaign.
“The direction I’d like to take with the SGA is helping individual students more,” Cohen said. “The SGA’s mission should be to help people.”
“I think the most important thing, if I win this election, is that as SGA president, I have a mandate to represent the student voice. As head of anything, you begin to accumulate some klout. And I think that klout is what’s important—we can use it to change things,” he said.
Cohen also commented on the recent news concerning IUSB possibly switching Monday/Wednesday classes to Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes. While Cohen said he can’t speak for everyone on his ticket, he does not agree with the possible change.
“I know people who drive an hour plus each way to get to school every day,” said Cohen. “And coming in an extra day will cut into students’ budgets. I personally know IUSB students who work 30 hours a week while trying to balance a full-time school schedule also.”
“A lot of IUSB students use the weekends, including Fridays, to work,” he said.
According to Cohen, issues like this will be at the forefront of his radar.
“As president, I’d make every effort I can to visibly oppose measures that would detriment the student body as a whole,” said Cohen.
Cohen is a 23-year-old general studies major. He’s been on a few campuses and is now looking to finish his degree at IUSB. Cohen has completed internships and programs involving government and politics in Washington D.C. He has been with the SGA and has worked on the internal budget committee.