The Student Government Association (SGA) executive board candidates have outlined their policy goals for the 2021-2022 term ahead of Monday’s elections, in which no positions are being contested.
For the 2021-22 term, current SGA President Julia Nicolls is running for re-election, Student Life Committee chair Carolyn Murray is running for Vice President, Finance Committee member Ria Sandeep is running for treasurer, and Ariel “JR” Go is running for secretary.
“I actually prefer running opposed,” Nicolls said. “I believe that it better benefits students to choose who they want as their representative and encourages those running to work hard and earn their seat.”
The pandemic had an impact on this election as more students opted for remote learning this academic year and many are not running for SGA positions, according to Murray.
“Student’s lives have drastically changed during the pandemic,” Murray said. “Running any organization has proved to be more difficult.”
Despite the shortage of opponents, the cabinet is still campaigning for their platform.
“SGA often posts updates and information on their social media,” Go said. “Students are definitely encouraged to apply and run for open seats.”
Voting begins Monday and will continue through Tuesday
On their website, the candidates have listed out the goals they primarily want to focus on.
With vaccines becoming more widespread, the cabinet’s website said they believe that it is important to keep students educated and up to date.
“COVID-19 has impacted the lives of all students at Seton Hall University,” Go said. “Students are curious about the distribution of vaccines, so we would like to better inform them about it.”
The overall plan is to keep students informed regarding vaccine rollout, especially as they become available to the general public, according to the campaign’s website.
- Faculty Training
The cabinet plans to work out any technological problems that have occurred during the shift to remote learning.
“Faculty training is essential so students have access to the best education possible by our faculty and our faculty are equipped to handle all situations,” Sandeep said.
With proper technology training for online resources, such as Blackboard and Teams, the inability to readily access grades would become a problem of the past.
- Textbook Accessibility
In order for students to better avoid paying large sums of money for textbooks, the cabinet plans to address this financial struggle by possibly implementing a free e-book system, as digital copies of books have become more common.
- Student Employment
Another financial issue that students have to figure out is finding a source of income. The cabinet plans to investigate student employment opportunities and advocate for increased employment for students, especially outside of Federal Work Study, according to their website.
The cabinet plans to work towards having the University provide more internship and job opportunities for all majors, as many have been geared towards business majors.
“Student employment opportunities increased on campus would help students get more jobs,” Sandeep said.
Another goal of SGA is to further improve the SHUfly service – to revisit current locations and to upgrade the schedule to possibly incorporate more stops.
SHUfly reliability and accessibility efforts are important for all students, whether they dorm or commute, so they can access the campus, South Orange, and surrounding areas, Sandeep said.
- Academic Advising
Students typically meet up with their respective advisors twice a year, and the campaign members feel those two meetings are not enough to promote academic success.
“Students may need more guidance with regards to the classes they should take and the achievability of possibly adding a minor or double major,” Go said.
In order to have more focused and helpful advice regarding classes and careers, the cabinet aims to train advisors to better assist students, according to their website.
- Hiring Process
In regard to hiring administrative and faculty staff, the campaign plans to continue incorporating student input on the process.
“Students should have input in the hiring process since that directly affects who they're working with,” Sandeep said.
- Diversity & Inclusion
The campaign members plan to increase SGA efforts regarding diversity by continuing to promote and co-sponsor diversity-related events and affinity months, according to the website.
“Diversity and inclusion should always be an essential initiative so that more students feel included on campus,” Sandeep said.
The goal is to mandate diversity training for all SGA-recognized clubs and organizations, as mentioned on the website.
- Environmental Standards
The campaign promises to advocate and investigate environmental standards and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications within campus buildings, specifically those that have been renovated, according to their website.
“Environmental standards are going to be stressed so we can all do our part to keep the Earth as safe as possible,” Sandeep said.
- Financial Transparency
With college being a massive financial contribution to a student’s education, the campaign wishes to continue their efforts towards financial transparency within Seton Hall.
“Financial transparency allows students to know exactly how tuition rates are determined,” Sandeep said.
Emma Thumann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org