On March 17, Queens’ Student Government Association hosted a candidate forum, during which candidates for next year’s executive and class president positions told the SGA why they should be elected.
Before the forum came to order, the SGA quickly passed a motion that waived the previous requirement of one-year of SGA experience for all executive candidates.
Here’s a breakdown of each candidate’s qualifications and platforms:
Campbell Corder, executive president
Campbell Corder, a former SGA member who is currently studying abroad in France, is the sole candidate for Queens’ student body president. Since he could not attend the forum, Corder sent in a video, which detailed his leadership experience as well as his goals as president. In the video, Corder references his five semesters of experience in the SGA. Corder served as an SGA class representative, a class president and an executive treasurer during his tenure, he says. Corder hopes to further the SGA’s missions of allowing students to be heard and become part of the conversation, and then, as a senate, taking action on those issues.
“I will continue those developments by creating maximum visibility in all of our organizations, increase the cooperation between our existing campus clubs,” Campbell says, “and also establishing a clear path of communication between students and administrators.”
At the end of the video, Corder gives his email address to students, encouraging them to email him with any questions. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Eason, executive secretary
Jessica Eason, currently a freshman representative, said that the skills she learned while involved in first her high school student government and then Queens’ SGA have given her the capabilities needed for the executive secretary position, she said. She is very organized and familiar with most software programs she would use as secretary, Eason said.
Jenny Hua, executive secretary, executive vice president, junior class president
Jenny Hua did not attend the candidate forum but said by email that, as a sophomore representative, she has enjoyed doing “amazing things” for the campus with the SGA. Hua is involved in many other organizations besides the SGA, she said, including the Royal Ambassador Program and Queens sorority Chi Omega.
The SGA gives her a chance to be an influence for bettering campus, Hua said,
“I love being able to voice students’ opinions while also making a change at Queens one day at a time,” she said.
Mona Atta, executive treasurer, senior class president
Mona Atta, a current junior representative, wants to be even more involved with the SGA, she said. The organizational and analytical skills she has cultivated through her biology major classes will help her if she is elected treasurer, she said.
“From what I understand and from the information that I have received, those are the kinds of characteristics… and abilities that you will need as treasurer,” she said.
Caroline Allen, executive treasurer
Caroline Allen is not in this year’s SGA and did not come to the candidate forum. She did not return emails seeking information on her candidacy.
Stephanie Bunao, executive vice president
Freshman Class President Stephanie Bunao’s involvement this year in the SGA has helped prepare her for this new position, she said, referencing her leadership role in organizing Queens’ very first town hall meeting as well as her experience chairing the campus safety, security and health committee.
“And with this experience, I was able to work with my community to attack and resolve certain problems,” Bunao said.
If she is elected, Bunao hopes to build a stronger SGA, she said, adding that she hopes to do this by encouraging teamwork and communication within the SGA. Communication with the student body will also be a top priority if she is elected, Bunao said. Bunao also highlighted then need for increased transparency in her speech.
Bunao believes should be elected vice president because she’s never been the person who “waits for things to happen,” she said.
“I’ve always been the go-getter…the type of person that tries to be a catalyst for change,” Bunao said.
Zachary Trammel, senior class president
Zachary Trammel did not attend the candidate forum and could not be reached for comment.
Marcus Ramos-Pearson, sophomore class president
Marcus Ramos-Pearson did not come to the candidate forum, but said by email that his platform is to improve the “little things.”
“Very often, the little/simple things get overlooked because people think they do not make a difference,” he said.
Ramos-Pearson also hopes increase interaction between the SGA and the student body by increasing transparency, he said,
“While it’s true that the minutes of each meeting is available to the public,” Ramos-Pearson said, “most do not know how to access it.”
He is qualified for this position because of how involved he is in Queens’ student life, Ramos-Pearson said.
“Therefore, I know about the different challenges that our class shares,” he said.
Ramos-Pearson is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, an organization that focuses on improving cultural awareness.
“I also care about the success of all students in and out academia,” he said, “because I believe this a place where we can all grow to better ourselves together.”
Emily Price, sophomore class president
Freshman representative Emily Price said that, if she is elected sophomore class president, she could bring a lot the table. In high school, she was involved in a lot of clubs and was president of two of them, she said.
“I really like the position of being president because I can direct people and I can be your leader,” Price said. “And I can make change and help goals be accomplished.”
Agnes Jallah, junior class president
Agnes Jallah was not at the candidate forum but said by email that her slogan is “A Time to Speak.” If she is elected, Jallah plans on promoting an initiative that will promote tranquility at Queens, she said.
Stephanie Lewis, sophomore class president
Stephanie Lewis was not at the candidate forum and did not reply to emails seeking candidate information.
This year, the SGA has several candidates running for multiple positions. If a student were to win two or more positions, he or she would choose which one he or she would most like to hold, said Amber Perrell, assistant dean of students. The other spot would be given to that position’s runner-up, she said.
Voting for executive positions and class presidents starts on Monday, March 23 at 12 p.m. and ends at 12 p.m. on March 25. Voting for class and commuter representatives begins on March 30 at 12 p.m. and ends at 12 p.m. on April 1.