Exec. board candidates debate future University improvements

By Rachel Stengel

Campaigning season for the Student Government Association (SGA) executive board is in full swing as Rider’s Tuesday election looms near. Sophomore and current SGA vice president Lorelei Colbert is running unopposed for the top spot as SGA president.

Vying for the vice presidental title are sophomores Eric Cottrell, Matt Hillman, current SGA secretary Adam Grossman and junior Rachel Guida. Juniors Justin Baldwin and Louis Chebetar seek the role of treasurer. The candidates for secretary Joe Forte and Isadore Wisse were not present.

The seven candidates discussed their platforms during the senate meeting in Sweigart auditorium Tuesday.

Reuben Martinez, SGA elections and recruitment chair, was the moderator of the event. The questions posed to the candidates concerned budgeting and finances, personal characteristics and improvements for SGA and the Senate.

Student Government Association candidates for president, vice president and treasurer address Tuesday’s Senate. Caption

Clubs and Budgeting

Both Baldwin and Chebetar identified a need for clubs and organizations to use their budgets and spontaneous funding to create universally appealing events for the campus.

Baldwin stressed the idea of budgeting wisely as well as creating events.

“[Spontaneous] funding is not infinite,” Baldwin said. “We need from the student leaders of those clubs to organize budgets and also to use the spontaneous funding for campus-wide events that will benefit everyone.”

Chebetar proposed the idea of similarly organized clubs working together to better utilize their budgets.

“If [clubs] have the same budget line and the same charity, they can work together with full resources, spend less money and actually get more man-power to each event,” he said.

Experience, passion and personality were the leading traits that the vice presidential candidates possessed.

Grossman said his experience as a current SGA executive board member was his greatest strength.

Passion and love for Rider is what drives Guida’s campaign for vice president.

“I have a lot of visions and goals because I’m so passionate about things that I think I can achieve within the next year,” Guida said.

Hillman referred to himself as a people-person who takes the ideas of others seriously.

“I’m a very approachable person, so if anyone were to voice an opinion or a stance on something to me, I will listen to what they have to say and take what they have to say to me into consideration,” he said.

Cottrell said his outgoing nature and love of programming events are his strong suits, which will assist him if he is to become vice president.

“I’m able to pull [those qualities] into my SGA vice presidency and really help and improve the student body experience here on campus,” he said.

Improvements for 2012-2013

Colbert listed cross-campus solidarity and better communication between SGA and organizations as modifications “to create that impact that our campus can have” next year.          She also suggested the creation of a SGA Facebook page and utilizing Blackboard for clubs and organizations.

Engaging attendance at Senate

Cottrell focused on following up with organizations.

“Making sure every club and organization that comes through [Senate] and feels like they have a spot through here is really going to encourage them to come back,” he said.

Grossman agreed with Cottrell, but added a need for a welcoming, fun atmosphere as well.

“If you can have fun and also get results, when you leave this room you see on campus what’s actually happening as a result of our meeting,” Grossman said.

A “student-friendly” Senate that discusses timely issues was Hillman’s solution for enticing students to attend.

Guida said a parliamentary system could be instituted in addition to reaching out to those in charge of Senators to encourage participation.

Communication with the Finance Board, SGA and the Senate

Chebetar said clarity in financial documents was essential in facilitating communication between the Finance Board and the student body.

Baldwin suggested using Blackboard to inform clubs and organizations of their budgets. He said transparent communication between the treasurer and clubs about their finances is critical.

Voting begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the SRC.

For more information on the candidates see “Meet the Lawrenceville SGA Executive Board candidates” on page 6.

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