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Fordham has put in place an organization, chosen by the students, to work for the students, to affect the change we want to see in the University.
It is so important that, as a student body, we are both inquisitive and selective in our assessment of prospective candidates. The benefits of reciprocal care are manifold. If the students exercise their support by casting an informed vote, they invest themselves in a candidate. A President or VP with a large student backing is more empowered and thus inclined to take risks. This breeds change. This breeds success. It is only with this supportive community that the USG can carry out their responsibility to affect change and improve the Fordham student experience.
“You need to elect someone who takes calculated risks. Someone who is too cautious will maintain the status quo, and someone who has a really big vision but no plan for execution won’t achieve the results you need either. But if you combine a vision with a plan of how to achieve it, you can really make a difference.” – Executive USG President 2015-16, Ashley Domagola (FCRH ’16)
~Before “Meeting the Candidates”, make sure to check out our article about the organization at large. Read it? Great. Moving on…~
It’s time to meet the
*2016 USG CANDIDATES!*
President & VP Candidates
What does the Prez do, anyway?
Sooooo the President of USG is the official representative of the undergraduate schools of the Rose Hill campus. He/ She speaks on behalf of the students, and intercedes *upon student request* before the University Administration on behalf of the Student Government or any head of a recognized activity who claims a legitimate complaint or grievance. He/ she is responsible for communication and the general execution of all decisions of the Senate and the Executive Board. And finally, he/ she is obviously required to also hold regular Executive Board meetings and other official shenanigans.
And the Exec VP?
Well, they will serve as Presiding Officer of the Senate. They have to hold regular Senate meetings, establish the agendas for upcoming USG senate meetings, and assume the duties of the Executive President in his/her absence.
Let’s meet our prospects, shall we?
Sebastian Albrecht (FCRH ’17) & Matthew Santucci (FCRH ’17)
“We cannot be a reactive body to issues when they arise, rather we must be proactive, being at the forefront of change at campus, increasing our visibility and inviting students to participate into the life of the school.” – Sebastian Albrecht & Matthew Santucci
- Inclusion- As President and Vice President, we will continue to make Fordham a more inclusive & diverse campus for international, commuter, transfer, and nontraditional students.
- Organize a career day for international students, connecting them with alumni who have already succeeded in the US – sharing advice for the post-collegiate world.
- Establish ICF as the distinguished club for International culture.
- Offer excursions to historic American landmarks
- Learn from the life experience and unique perspective of non traditional students by organizing town hall events to address their needs
- Extend the Commuter Assistant mentorship program to all class levels, ensuring the involvement of upper class commuter students
- Self Expression- Since our generation is driven by self expression values and the wish to live a purposeful, fulfilling life, we will help Fordham students express themselves and fulfill their god given potential.
- Expand the individualized major program.
- Design an Internship fund for students who need assistance in mitigating the associated costs to complete a non-profit internship
- Initiate the founding of a Fordham club for professional development
- Establish “Fordham feast,” where seniors are allowed to dine with professors on behalf of the university, and other universities offer this to most students. If you want to build relationships, you need to start early. This will promote intellectual discourse and make Fordham more attractive for prospective students
- Political academic culture at Fordham- We in our respective roles as President of the College Republicans, editor on the FPR, and campus organizer for Bernie Sanders 2016, acknowledge the importance of dialogue between individuals as a way to increase thought and collaboration.
- Repeat the success of voters education week and mobilize students to vote
- Organize Presidential debate watch parties in collaboration with College Democrats & College Republicans
- Initiate the creation of a No Labels chapter on campus to foster bipartisanship between Fordham´s political clubs
- Establish discussion forums like the Global Decisions Foreign Policy programme
- Visibility- USG has an inherent visibility issue and their work often goes unnoticed. We would propose to mitigate this.
- Implement Ram Feed: a platform for students to gain access to all pertinent information
- Host a Townhall between United Student Government and Fordham´s club leaders to address their needs and discuss initiatives
- Create a monthly newsletter to the student body
Daniel Stroie (GSB ’17) & Elisha Simon (GSB’17)
“Drawing upon my experience as the Vice President of Finance, chair of the Student Activities Budget Committee, a second year Resident Assistant, and through other positions, I believe that I am qualified to represent the Fordham Community.” – Daniel Stroie
“On top of my involvement with this year’s Senate and working with the Sexual Misconduct Task Force and the Diversity Action Coalition, I have been involved with the Gabelli School of Business’ Dean’s Council since my freshman year. During my tenure, I have represented the University in many admissions events – speaking highly of my experience here at Fordham. I also represent Fordham globally as an International Ambassador for Admissions.” – Elisha Paul Simon
- Student Support- We want members of the student body to feel supported and heard by their student government representatives.
- Through events that increase the visibility of the Class Senators and make them more approachable
- Having members of the United Student Government speak to first year students at New Student Orientation, Academic Advising sessions, and CORE Programming to help students understand our role within the community.
- Utilizing the United Student Government community bulletin boards in all of the residence halls and the McGinley Center to give students a centralized location for current resources, initiatives being pursued by Class Senators, and opportunities for student engagement.
- Uniting the Fordham University community
- Promoting a community of acceptance and respect
- Continuing and building upon the efforts of the Diversity Action Coalition to recognize the critical role of diversity on Fordham’s campuses.
- Bridging the gap between residential and commuting students
- Working with the Commuting Students Association, the Residence Halls Association, the Campus Activities Board, and other programming clubs to provide more opportunities to bring the student body together.
- Connecting students at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center
- Exploring opportunities to program and work with the United Student Government at Lincoln Center to unite the undergraduate student body.
- Promoting a community of acceptance and respect
- Developing the Senate
- Working to create a more efficient and accountable United Student Government Senate
- Having meetings with class senates on a weekly basis, confirming that work on initiatives is moving forward in the right direction, and to provide access to resources that they may need.
- Regularly posting updates on each Senator’s initiatives on the United Student Government website and social media accounts
- Holding Senators accountable to the student body and providing opportunities for student feedback.
- Working to create a more efficient and accountable United Student Government Senate
Now on to…
VP of Student Life Candidates
Wait… what in the world does that mean?
This person is to act as a liaison to the Campus Activities Board and other programming groups to promote quality on-campus programming. They chair the House Committee, coordinate the selection of all House Committee members, oversee all USG programming activities, collaborate with the Assistant Director for Leadership and Commuter Student Services. They also have to supervise USG’s involvement in any programming activities that the USG does not directly organize or operate. ALSOOOO they serve as a liaison to the Division of Mission and Ministry, including the office of Campus Ministry, the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, and Global Outreach. Damn. Most importantly, they must ensure that the USG helps promote a healthy and inclusive campus culture.
Allison Kilbride (GSB ’19)
Hello! My name is Allison Kilbride and I am running for VP of Student Life. I am in Gabelli Class of 2019 and am majoring in finance. I have been a part of USG’s House Committee and GSB Dean’s Council this past year and have also been an active member of Global Outreach and Smart Woman Securities
- Showcasing Fordham’s Talented Students
- This past year the current VP of Student Life has set up an art gallery in McGinley 2nd and I want to continue to expand on this by creating more spaces on campus where students can express themselves and showcase their work
- Improving Campus Culture and Continue Creating a Positive Community
- The bias incidents this past year have left many students feeling targeted and have greatly hurt our campus and community. I want to ensure all students feel welcomed, accepted, and comfortable on campus by continuing the conversation and creating an open dialogue where students are free to share their identity and have their voices be heard. This would happen through speakers, panels, and events hosted throughout the year and making sure the core values of community and inclusivity are upheld in every aspect and part of Fordham
- Developing Programming and Club Spaces
- This past year the House Committee has worked hard to ensure clubs know and implement the specific guidelines of the club and programming spaces on campus. I want to continue to develop club and programming spaces to make sure clubs are happy and satisfied with the space that they have on campus. This includes turning the old bookstore into additional programming space and continuing to find ways to make sure there are enough (and need appropriate) programming spaces throughout campus. For example, if another prop room is needed to store costumes or a debate team needs an open style classroom that is what we will find/develop for them.
- Enhancing the Ram Fit Center
- I would like to introduce an id scanner, extended hours, and an online sign-up platform for fitness classes in the Ram Fit Center.
- Raising Awareness about Campus, Community, and Club Events
- The University and club’s put on countless events and activities throughout the year many of which are not visible to students. I want students to be able to enjoy and experience all of the wonderful programming that is put on and to do this we need to make students are more aware of these events. I would implement this by making the community and club posting boards more visible, increasing University use of social media, and ensuring students understand and know how to use OrgSyc.
- Hosting another big USG event
- Currently, USG host’s two big events: Festivus Fordhamensis and Gaudete Sunday. I want to introduce, plan and execute a third big event hosted by USG that has a theme and is focused on diversity (possibly an Around the World Carnival).
- Implementing DCB at the Vending Machines and Reintroducing RamBucks
- I want to improve students “food” life at Fordham by trying to implement the use of DCB at the Vending Machines and trying to reintroduce RamBucks.
- Gaining Constant Student Feedback
- We constantly get sent out survey’s about classes, residential life and the general Fordham Community however, I feel like students are never asked about student life. I want to start the conversation about what makes students happy at Fordham and how student life can be improved.
John Kuyat (FCRH ’19)
- Volunteer tutor for the Crotona Achievement Center in the Bronx
- Social Justice Leader for the Dorothy Day Center
- Member of the House Committee
- Actor for the Theatrical Outreach Program
- Library Reservation System
- I hope to continue my current conversation with the staff members of Walsh Library in order to create a library reservation system, in which students will be able to reserve study rooms for group work. This is an initiative I plan to continue if elected because it will give students an incentive to proactively begin studying as well as an incentive for managing time and hopefully increasing overall test scores.
- Stress Relief Events
- Last fall, I was able to bring my therapy dog initiative to John Carroll, the head of the department of Public Safety, along with the help of Mike Congiusta (FCRH ‘16). This initiative would have helped relieve students’ stress during the weeks of midterms and finals. Although Mr. Carroll had to deny our request of bringing therapy dogs onto campus due to prior animal-related incidents that occurred, I still plan this upcoming semester to continue to research new and more pragmatic ways in which I can help initiate stress relief events on Fordham’s campus by working closely with the College Psychological Services.
- Increasing Community
- In addition, creating a stronger sense of visibility has always always been a goal of mine. This means enacting a more efficient and organized means of marketing and advertising the events held on campus so that there will be an increased student attendance and an increased sense of community. I also believe it is extremely important for the University to continue to develop new ways of approaching previous racially biased incidents by improving the integration of essential values such as acceptance and community in the classroom. We are one student body and one family, and there is an inherent sense of beauty within our differences; this point cannot be emphasized enough.
- DCB for Vending Machines & Ram Bucks
- Finally, I want to begin the conversation of having the vending machines on campus accept DCB and to reinitiate the discussion of having Ram Bucks, which are essentially forms of DCB that may be used at off-campus eateries, so that they may become a valid means of payment again. Above all else, my goal as VP of Student Life will be to vocalize the opinions and concerns of the student body, to listen and respond to these opinions, and to continue to follow my ultimate pursuit in generating essential change and growth within the Fordham community as a whole.
On to the next one…
VP of Operations Candidates
Basically, the job is to oversee the operations of all USG registered student clubs. In this capacity, he/she shall hold meetings with club leaders as needed, chair the Operations Committee, and Coordinate the selection of all Operations Committee members.
Brendan Batcheller (GSB ’19)
My name is Brendan Batcheller and I am seeking the position of Vice President of Operations for the United Student Government. I am currently a freshman in the Gabelli School of Business studying public accounting. My involvement at Fordham includes sitting on the USG Operations Committee and acting as the liaison to the USG Budget Committee, Fordham Model United Nations, GO! Nicaragua, RA of O’Hare Hall for the upcoming school year, Rose Hill Society, and participation in Leadership Weekend.
- Formation of a liaison system between the Operations Committee members and club executive boards mirroring the system in place for the Budget Committee
- This will be a great benefit for club leaders in regards to any of their questions concerning constitutional amendments, election issues, Ops Packet, etc. instead of having every club reach out directly to the VP of Operations.
- To work hand in hand with the Budget Committee on changes to the Referendum status for clubs.
- The issue of Referendum Club status has always been of concern to the USG. I believe the Operations Committee should work with the Budget Committee to reevaluate qualifications and oversight for current and prospective Referendum Clubs. I would like to work with the future VP of Finance to help develop, present, and finalize these changes concerning the oversight of the Student Activities Fee to Referendum Clubs.
Doug Spring (FCRH ’17)
- To ensure that Fordham has a strong and diverse collection of student organizations that students can participate in for years to come!
- To review the applications for the Operations Committee diligently to ensure multiple classes and schools are represented on my committee, for unbiased opinion on club proposals and issues.
- To provide clubs with an appropriate space to air grievances and have them resolved with the club able to move forward as a stronger unit.
- To provide students an opportunity to create new organizations that can diversify the club offerings and provide even more options for student involvement on Fordham’s campus!
- To plan to act closely with the other members of the USG Executive Board in order to further their initiatives via club involvement.
- To actively participate with the initiatives of that Vice President.
- The visibility of USG on Fordham’s campus can always be improved, and progress can only be made with the availability of the USG representatives. With that, I plan to be an active member in the community that can be approached at any time.
VP of Health & Security Candidates
Responsibilities of the VP of Health and Security include representing students’ concerns with any safety issue on campus or within the community, being the voice that promotes the well-being of students, and being the medium between students and the head of security, John Carroll.
Catherine Maccaro (FCRH ’17)
- Provide Optional Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to Incoming Freshman During New Students Orientation
- This program would increase awareness about the important of CPR. Twenty-four states in the United States do not require high school students to be trained in CPR and public AED use. Performing effective bystander CPR increases the chance of survival after a cardiac incident by up to 3 times.
- Call Attention to and Increase Support Groups From Counseling and Psychological Services During Midterms and Finals
- Midterms and Finals are a very stressful time for all students. Creating and informing students about stress management would be beneficial for the wellbeing of students. Group counseling is beneficial for students to understand that they are not alone. Many people can feel isolated with any issue.
- Create and Provide Anonymous Mental Health Screening
- Anonymous self-screen of the most prevalent mental health issues on campus, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and alcohol use disorder.
- Increase Transparency of Public Safety
- I would like to create an environment where the Fordham community is informed and safe
- Inform Students About Fordham University’s Medical Amnesty Policy
- In my experience, many students are not aware of the Medical Amnesty Policy. I hope to create an initiative where students are informed about the policy during Residential Life floor meetings and campus bulletins
- Continue Working on Providing a Pet Therapy Campus Wide Event for Students
- Make Collins Auditorium Safe and Handicapped Accessible
- Discuss Concerns about Security Prejudice
- Increase Public AED Access
- Provide Tobacco Cessation Services at the Office of Substance Abuse and Prevention
- Inform Students about Getting Enough Sleep (Drowsy Driving / Drowsy Walking)
- Provide Students with Flu Shot Access From The Health Center
- Call Attention to and Inform Disability Policies to Fordham Students and Faculty
Kathryn Susko (FCRH ’17)
I am involved with USG now as a senator, and I am part of the Navy ROTC program here at Fordham. I have had several leadership positions in ROTC including squad leader, assistant admin, and platoon commander. All of these positions stem from the trust that I am responsible and take an interest in my peers. Also, I do enjoy leadership opportunities, and I am always looking for ways to become more involved with student life.
To me, the one thing that should always be provided and maintained for students is safety on and off campus. Students should feel safe and comfortable enough to walk around campus without thinking about it. I believe I can help and stand up for students to ensure that their safety is a top priority through initiatives that raise student awareness about policies in place and what they can do in a dangerous situation. From my training in Navy ROTC, I have had a lot of experience in safety protocols and maintaining a safe environment. Most students do not have to consider safety in their day to day lives, but because of my training it is something that is always on my mind.
- More lights on campus especially around McGinley
- Facilitate and execute an active shooter drill
- Have a speaker on being safe in an active shooter situation from FBI, SWAT, or NYPD personnel
- Improve accessibility for students with disabilities in the areas of housing, facilities, and academic support even if it is small; through survey from students who accept any help from the disabilities center to improve their time here at Fordham
- Raise student awareness about the students on campus who participate in clubs or organizations that have aspects of safety involved such Navy, Army, and Air Force ROTC; FUEMS; possibly get a CPR training course sponsored for students to take
- Raise student awareness in all aspects of health; including how to be safe during a time of crisis like an active shooter or a natural disaster, practicing healthy lifestyles, teaming up with FUEMS in an event to make a bigger impact, and possibly getting to know the staff on security through profiles or an article to understand the people who are actually keeping us safe
Wednesday April 13, 2016 (tonight)
McGinley 237, 6-8 PM
to learn more, and hear these candidates go head to head