OP-ED FEATURE: The Candidates Speak

This week the Newswire reached out to each of the tickets vying for the position of SGA Executive with a simple query: Why should the students of Xavier University vote for you on October 17? Here are their responses.

RRE: Lifting students’ voices

Ticket Photo RileyRitaEvan

RRE originally came together as a platform because we each covered such broad areas of campus. With our combined experiences, we thought we had a pretty good hold of what it looked like to be a Xavier student — whether that included club sports, honors programs, participating in the CFJ or just trying to work and be a full-time student. We sat down and began to weave these experiences together.

The more platform points we wrote and people we reached out to, we realized that even with our broad range of experiences the three of us combined had barely scratched the surface of all that Xavier has to offer each and every student. It would be impossible for us to fully explore each path that is available through our university. Even if we as individuals can’t figure out how to combine being an art major with competing in sports at a division one level, someone, somewhere has.

We also thought about students who haven’t quite found their path yet. Feeling overwhelmed, not knowing where to start or even feeling like there aren’t groups for you are all obstacles that students can face when looking to become part of a community. We are committed to expanding the narrative of Xavier’s campus and then serving as a tool that students can utilize to find the groups, programs and people that make them feel most seen.

Each person on this campus has done their part to make Xavier their home. As Executives, it is not our job to impose new things or demand change. It is our job to start the conversation and then never stop listening. As Executives, we have the power to then project those voices so they are three times as loud as they would be alone.

The more we talked, the more we realized how small tweaks could make all of our experiences much stronger simply by having groups collaborate and expand their influence. RRE is committed not only to amplifying voices, but putting those voices in conversation with each other. At Xavier, we are all Men and Women For and With Others. Time and time again we have seen when we come together to collaborate we come out all the better for it. The expectation for alliances now needs to move from the exception to the norm. We need to learn how to communicate with different groups, to understand our common goals and to work together to achieve our shared successes.

As Executives, we will support more retreats, workshops and community-building practices in general. Xavier has so many passionate, engaged and driven student leaders — the next step is getting them all into a room together so they can get to know each other and collaborate to see expanded outreach and in turn a shift in the campus culture. This also gives us a chance to support groups that have amazing potential and creative ideas, but need help reaching new members or building club infrastructure.

RRE wants to work to reach all students on campus. By expanding our group memberships and working together to implement creative programing, we can reach more students and communities than ever before.

This is why RRE is running for Xavier Executive Office. We see and understand all the good that Xavier has to offer, and we want to be a part of making this school bigger, better and louder. As Executives we will work tirelessly to support you and help you make this university your home.

BDA: Experience and empowerment

Ticket Photo BlairAlfredoDes

Students of Xavier University should vote for us because we are the most qualified and equipped candidates for this position. Collectively, our current leadership positions and involvement cover the most diverse range of students on this campus such as:

Student Government Association (SGA), American Marketing Association (AMA), Black Student Association (BSA), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Ladies with an Emphasis on Achievement and Distinction (LEAD), Gentlemen Organized for Achievement and Leadership (GOAL), Office of Student Involvement (OSI), Center for Faith and Justice (CFJ), Residence Life, the Xavier Newswire, Hispanic Organization for LatinX Awareness (HOLA), Student Activities Council (SAC), Student Veterans of Xavier (SVX), ROTC, Interfaith Community Engagement, Student Nursing Organization and the President’s Diversity Action and Advisory Council

We have the most pragmatic solutions to cater to student needs. We are extremely vocal leaders that have had meaningful impacts in all the areas that we have served in. Xavier University is in need of change, a systematic, fundamental shift that would propel Xavier’s community to become a more equitable place for all. Our ideas and plan of action are feasible and beneficial to every student, faculty and staff member on this campus. We are passionate about empowering students to take ownership of their Xavier experience. Our ticket is making a statement and challenging the way we view leadership here at Xavier. We are committed to producing results and making SGA more visible than it has ever been before. We are creating an atmosphere for all that will foster and push our mission to empower all students to take ownership of their Xavier experience. We want to develop a student body that cultivates our Xavier values of solidarity, generosity and social justice. We want to ensure that Xavier is a home for all and promote initiatives that result in student engagement and equity. This will be a historical precedent here at Xavier and will make Xavier truly ALL FOR ONE and ONE FOR ALL.

CMW: A commitment to service

Ticket Photo ColeMaureenWill

Our names are Cole Stautberg (junior), Maureen Murray (sophomore) and Will Zimbler (junior), known in this election as CMW. We are eager and honored to seize the opportunity to run together as an Executive ticket for the Student Government Association in 2019. We are all involved in many areas of the Xavier community, but something the three of us have in common is that we love Xavier and believe in the promise and potential of our student body. We recognize that Xavier is made up of people of diverse backgrounds, faiths, identities and interests, and together we create a unique community with a solid foundation of Jesuit values.

It is no secret that Xavier is growing, both in terms of student enrollment and campus size. This is an exciting time for our university, but it is also a very critical time. At this moment in time, it is crucial that student voices be heard by faculty, staff and administration, that new and innovative ideas help us move forward as an institution and that students feel welcomed to participate and become involved in a campus they can call home and have fond memories of for a lifetime.

While we are all proud Xavier students, we recognize that there are a lot of issues on campus and within our university. We have problems stretching from lack of housing, to incidents of bias on campus, to a disconnect between our campus and surrounding community and much more.

CMW is dedicated to pushing for change on this campus for the better. Our platform, which has been published in the online issue of the Newswire, consists of our detailed plans to address these issues with administration, with the help of other student groups and through SGA. Among these plans are our ideas that we believe will strengthen the student experience and allow everyone to grow as an individual, being for and with others.

We believe that the student body should vote for us, CMW, as the next SGA Executives because of our experience, dedication and commitment to this university. Cole and Maureen have experience on SGA in both the Executive position and in the Senate, respectively. Beyond this SGA experience, CMW has involvement in many areas of campus. From opportunities in the Office of Student Involvement and the Center for Faith and Justice, to Xavier Athletics, we bring experience that has and continues to cater to a wide array of student life. We believe that our previous involvement has proven that we are ready to make the commitment of both time and energy to the Executive Office of SGA. Servant leadership is at the core of what we believe in. If elected, we vow to be accessible to students and help our campus achieve success and growth as people for and with others.

In order to prepare our platform and create our campaign, we have had conversations with student leaders, staff and administrators to learn and understand what they expect from SGA Executives. These meetings have allowed us to make informed decisions about feasible, realistic ideas of what can be accomplished at our university. As Executives, we are eager to make our platform come to life while continuing to incorporate voices and ideas from all areas of Xavier’s campus and community.

As CMW, we understand that these issues are not just our duty to address and resolve but rather initiate a responsibility to bring our university together as a community. Together, between the work of SGA Senators, student leaders, faculty and staff and the entire Xavier community, we can move forward as a group to create a campus representative of our core values of integrity, justice and generosity.

TKT: Personality alongside policy

Ticket Photo TimKateThomas

While every ticket needs to have good policy points, it is also important that every ticket has good personality characteristics. TKT urges students to take the time to read all of the candidates’ full platforms, and ours can be found in our Instagram bio @tkt4exec.

Tim is a great team builder and very easy to talk to. He’s outgoing and social, while he also thrives professionally. He’s using his inclusive personality to create a project we’re calling “Mosaic.” The name depicts what we hope to draw from the initiative. With it, Tim wants to focus on the students that are struggling to find their place at Xavier.

Mosaic is aimed to be a conversation between identities and leaders on campus. Students will be able to share resources for their mutual benefit. A portion of a fund SGA has access to will be used for students who aren’t directly involved in clubs/organizations that wish to take advantage of events they may not know about otherwise.

Kate’s constant worry about her friends getting home safe at night influences her drive to ensure that every student at Xavier is getting home safe. As a leader finds ways to make things happen, Kate contacted a student from a local university upon reading about their relationship with Uber to find ways that Xavier students can be provided with different online promotions to incentivize them to use the resource and get home safer and cheaper.

Thomas has a lighthearted attitude that tries to keep the stress out of busy situations while still having the discipline to get things done. After being a Manresa leader for the first time this summer, Thomas was able to see first-hand how inaccessible Xavier’s campus really is. After talking with one of his Manresa group members about how she, as a wheelchair user, has been unable to get around on campus, he has made it his goal to make sure that Xavier does not claim accessibility while being majority inaccessible.

The three of us collectively hope to have the opportunity to generate fresh ideas for SGA by raising the voices of our awesome students. We believe that we have the network, the people skills and the intelligence to lead a successful term with the best interest of the students at heart.

The content of this post was provided by SGA Executive Candidates and assembled by Opinion & Editorials Editor Ryan Kambich.