Shah-Mabalatan ticket sweeps SGA election
The results for the Student Government Association elections are in for the 2019-2020 school year and the Shah-Mabalatan ticket won.
Election polls opened on Monday at 6 a.m. and closed the followeing day at 3 p.m.
As previously reported by The Setonian, candidates of the Shah-Mabalatan ticket ran mostly unopposed for a majority of the Senatorial seats, including the School of Diplomacy, College Arts and Sciences and Stillman School of Business.
Rishi Shah, the current SGA president and one of the candidates running for election, posted results on April 2 at 4:20 p.m., announcing his victory and that of his ticket before they were certified.
Shah and Tanamal both retained their seats from their current term and will remain as president and treasuerer, respectively. Mabalatan and Kerim will assume their new roles of vice president and secretary on Monday.
The SGA Senator-elects for the College of Arts and Sciences are, Arthur Adriano, Nicholas Alfano, Saadet Ceynek, Christine Connelly, Stephen Hoffman, Carolyn Murray and Kayla Rivers. The SGA Senator-elects for the Stillman school of business are Ronald Babiak, Ezequiel Myers and Anastasia Plank. The SGA Senator-elects for the college of diplomacy are Alyssa Futa and Julia Nicolls while the Senator-elect for ROTC will be Curtiss Bailey and the Senator-elect for the College of Theology is Jordan Drevelues.
The elected At-large Senators are, Saveria Antonacci, Alexander Bloom, Victoria Burns, Santiago Cabrera, Kadean Dennis, Stefan Ferraria and Taylor Newkirk.
Rishi Shah, a junior majoring in finance, management and philosophy and the new SGA president commented on winning the election.
“I feel ecstatic,” Shah said. “I am so thankful for my supportive team and I cannot wait to work with everyone, especially the members serving their first official terms.”
Shah said that for his second term, “winning isn’t as personal to me. To me, this give me greater hope for this upcoming year and a greater drive to get things accomplished.”
Tanamal, a junior majoring in economics and marketing, commented on how she feels about winning the election.
“I feel extremely grateful for winning my second election,” Tanamal said.
“I’m honored that I get to serve the student body for a second term.
However, I do wish that this year’s elections were a bit more contested.”
Tanamal went on to say that, “the last thing my ticket and I wanted was to make it seem like we were monopolizing SGA elections. I have always been extremely open to challenges and any other chances to improve.”
Shah went on to share this sentiment.
“I want to say thank you,” Shah said. “It was great getting to meet hundreds of students and listening to their stories, now it is time for action! I know that we made many promises that we must uphold, and I encourage the students to remain true to themselves. If you have an issue or if you think we can do more, reach out and get involved yourselves!”
Elise Kerim, a freshman diplomacy and international relations major and the new SGA secretary also commented on the election.
As an executive officer, Kerim said that she is, “the voice of the entire student body here at Seton Hall. While the SGA Secretary has his/her own set of duties and responsibilities, I was still elected by the entire student population (of those that voted, at least), not even from one school, as there are positions where only those in specific schools can vote for their representative i.e. School of Diplomacy Senators, College of Arts & Sciences Senator, etc.”
Tanamal’s goals for next year include, “executing the three main points from my platform.”
They include creating an SGA-GMA liaison, to re-establish the diversity and inclusion grant committee and promote financial organizations through efficient budget spending and the consultancy of her account managers.
Anthony Chen, a junior international relations and Asian studies major and one of the presidential candidates commented on the election.
“I would like to thank the student body for giving me this opportunity to run in this election,” Chen said. “It gave me a chance to speak, to listen and to meet a lot of amazing people. I seek to inspire our students, but it was really our students that inspired me.”
Chen commented that, “the SGA has made many promises in person and publicly posted on social media to our students. I have no doubt that our representatives will exhaust every effort to meet those promises because they have potential to do great things.”
Chen concluded by describing what it was like to participate in the election as a candidate.
“Although it may have looked easy, at the end of those days, I was burnt out and ready to get a few hours of sleep before the next day,” Chen said. “It was exciting because it gave me a chance to reconnect with friends that I served with in the military and on campus to create creative videos.”
Kerim went on to comment on the fact that she ran unopposed.
“I will not be ignorant to the fact that I was running unopposed in this election cycle. However, I still did receive 1,074 votes – technically, all I needed was one person to select my name on the ballot in order to officially earn the seat,” Kerim said. “I know this may be a little sappy, but to me that fact is symbolic of something much larger. Those students still put their trust in me to serve and selected my name. I am lucky, excited, and honored to be the next SGA Secretary.”
Kerim also commented on her hopes for the upcoming year stating that she hopes to bridge the gaps that currently exist among student organizations.
“Students know what SGA is, but a lot of students don’t know the extent of what SGA truly can do for them,” Kerim said. “I want to focus on ensuring our executive board and Senators are doing outreach that truly reaches our constituents.”
Kerim said that, as secretary, she would like to expand the role of being chair of the student organization advisory committee (SOAC) to serve as a consultant to new and existing student organizations.
She would also like to mandate progress reports for provisional student organizations to make the process of applying for full recognition easier.
“Another bigger thing is, I would like to call for an executive cabinet to meet that consists of a representative from every student organization on campus, to serve as an open forum and allow for networking,” Kerim said.
“Getting my information from that cabinet/committee, I will create a student organization newsletter and send it to the entire student body either bi-weekly or monthly, depending on if anything is time constrictive.”
Frank Mabalatan, a sophomore majoring in finance and management, and the new SGA vice president also commented on the election.
“Winning the election really validated the work we have been doing in SGA this past term,” Mabalatan said. “It’s hard to see a long term vision come to fruition in only one term, so it was great the student body had the confidence in Rishi and our ticket to carry it out. It means the world to me that people have that confidence in us and fuels that fire of duty and service in us all the more.”
Mabalatan went on to say that, he hopes the student body becomes “becomes the loudest it’s ever been, the most engaged it’s ever been, and the most ever been.”
His biggest plan for the upcoming year is the creation of an organization called the Women’s Alliance.
“It would bring together all of the school’s clubs and organizations which advocate for women’s interests and feminist causes on campus and create a central body for them to foster a united effort,” Mabalatan said. “They would advocate on issues such as women’s professional and leadership development in their respective fields, women’s reproductive health, and raising awareness of sexual assault against women.
Mabalatan stated that, “to the student body: now is the time. This time in our lives has the ability to be such a transformative experience. We begin to refine our likes and dislikes, our goals, our beliefs, and our dreams and aspirations. We as college students cannot afford to spend this time being dissatisfied. As your elected official, I am devoting my term of service to you all in order to make sure your college experience is all that you expect out of it.”
Rhania Kamel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter @RhaniaKamel