Candidates prepare differently for SGA Executive Elections this year

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Nathalie Moreno

FSC Student Government Association Executive elections will still take place March 23-25 via Engage, amid students being sent home for the remainder of the semester due to the impact of COVID-19. SGA is holding elections for five positions on the executive board: Student Body President, Executive VP, Administrative VP, VP of Finance, and VP of Communications.

There are three to four candidates for each position, each of them with different backgrounds and promises to bring to the table. And among all the candidates, excitement and nerves are running wild. In this article, each position will be labeled with with background and information about each candidate.

Voting goes live at 12:00 a.m. on March 23 on Engage. If you are unable to login, try to use the “Network Login Reset” on FSC Portal. If you are not enrolled, call Rinker Technology Center at 863-616-6426.

Student Body President

The current Student Body President is Arjeet Tipirneni, but who will proceed him is to be determined, with Max Giard, Allen Shorey, Madelyn Walsh and Lucas Blackwell all running.

Giard, SGA’s current Executive VP, has missed the power that comes with talking to people in person during campaigning, but nonetheless has big plans if he wins this election. His main promise is one of full transparency and making sure the students know that the whole exec board is there to listen to their problems. He wants to be sure that students’ concerns will not only be heard, but acted upon as well.

“It seems that in the past once a decision is made, there is no going back, but we need to make sure that the students are okay with the decisions being made,” Giard said.

Shorey is another candidate running for the position of Student Body President. Using his broad background and experience in Greek Life as well as a Resident Advisor and more, Shorey feels that he can truly honor his slogan of “Putting the Student in Student Government.” If elected, he will put his efforts into banding the community together and executing the ideas of the excellent student body, student leaders, faculty and administration.

“[I hope] to align my vision with the vision of our community and create real, positive, lasting change for Florida Southern,” Shorey said.

Candidate Madelyn Walsh, the current Administrative VP, believes she can lead the student body using her experience and involvement. In her announcement video located on her Instagram page voters can catch a little of what she plans to do if elected.

“Three things that are so important to me are authenticity, consistency, and transparency,” Walsh says. “Act now and vote Madelyn Walsh for Student Body President.”

Though he has not been able to use face to face interaction to campaign, Lucas Blackwell is not letting that put him down. He feels he can use previous leadership experience in other parts of the FSC community to make him a reliable president. Similar to many of the other candidates in this whole election, Blackwell wants to be a powerful voice for the student body, making sure they are not left out of the decision making process that affects their lives at FSC.

“Overall, my presidency will encompass a collaboration between all departments on campus in order to serve every student at FSC proactively and efficiently,” Blackwell said.

Executive Vice President

Executive Vice President, currently held by Max Giard, is another among positions being elected. Bella Suarez, Lexi Potter, and Nicholas Andriani, are all students who hope to be the new Executive VP come Monday.

Suarez feels excited about the next exec board no matter who gets elected, but if she were to be selected as the next Executive VP, she plans to be a bridge between administration and students, continuing the transparency between the two and increasing overall student satisfaction.

“I want to be the external person that is able to voice those ideas to both [administration and the student body],” Suarez said.

Lexi Potter, who is a current SGA senator this semester and very involved elsewhere on campus, is very excited about the possibility of being elected. She believes that if elected, students and organizations would be comfortable coming to her with their issues and concerns and that she can provide fast and helpful responses.

“I believe the student body will be able to see [my] dedication and know that they made the right choice placing passion in SGA,” Potter said.

Junior Nicholas Andriani, VP of Recruitment of the Interfraternity Council, has used this new online campaigning platform to explore his creative side. The most important thing he wants to let students know is that if he is elected, he will always be available to every student, never letting them feel ignored or neglected. He feels that this is an important step to changing things for the better.

“I want to help implement the changes that the student body wants,” Andriani said. “I’ll work with each organization’s President to get their feedback and make the positive impact around campus that we want to see.”

Administrative Vice President

Nolan Smith, Capt. Luke Broems, Manny Vacarez, and Abbey Hoffman, are all the candidates running for the position of Administrative VP, currently held by Madelyn Walsh.

Smith is eager to bring his new ideas to the table, and mix in elements from other organizations he takes part in. He is also excited to hear everyone else’s ideas, as well.

“I feel like I do a really good job with helping other people refine their ideas,” Smith said. “So I’d be excited to work with the rest of the board too!”

Vacarez is taking note of the uniqueness of this election, it being the first online, as well as noticing the qualifications of all the other candidates. What he promises to offer if elected, are his new initiatives and morals, as well as helping to bridge the gap between senators and their constituents.

“I believe in honesty, integrity, and transparency which would allow me to succeed in the Administrative VP role,” Vacarez said.

Hoffman ran for a position in SGA three times prior to this election. Abbey hopes that her resilience and dedication has shown through her refusal to give up. She plans to improve senator-constituent relationships, along with working on the tracking of Senator Service hours, and being as transparent as possible with the rest of the student body.

“SGA is an organization whose mission is to serve our fellow Mocs,” Hoffman said. “And as the Administrative VP, I plan to educate, advocate, and empower them to the best of my abilities.”

Captain Luke Broems, founder and President of Florida Southern Sailing and German clubs, wants to become the true voice of the student body and make sure students have the best possible experience at FSC.

“I am running for SGA because I wish to see the body to further become a true voice of the student body of FSC,” Broems said, “making it a more efficient and effective organization, and make significant advancements on issues so that students have the best experience possible on campus in both academics and extracurriculars.”

Vice President of Finance

The position of VP of Finance, currently held by junior John Jack Lewis, is also up for grabs. Kevin Medina, Macey Tipton, Anselmis Columna, and Katte Vargas, are all running to be the new VP of Finance.

Medina is happy to see so many candidates wanting to step in and help FSC improve. If elected, he wishes to bring more knowledge and dedication to SGA and the rest of the students at FSC. To prepare, he even trained alongside Lewis for two semesters, studying and learning what it means and takes to hold this position.

“I’m certain I can continue to do so for the following school year while finding faster and more efficient ways of handling the finance of SGA.” Medina said.

Accounting major Macey Tipton hopes to be elected in order to bring a fresh, informed perspective to the position and board. She believes she can bring the knowledge she gains from studying accounting and apply it to the position as well. 

“I really want to be a voice for the people,” Tipton said. “ And I feel that my involvement in other organizations will help me do that!”

Columna is nervous, but maintains his excitement despite the lack of face to face campaigning and communicating. If elected, he promises to bring determination and total commitment that he feels the student body deserves. He wishes to communicate budgeting and organization within the executive board.

“When I make decisions, I try to take every option and opinion into consideration to make the best choices,” Columna said. “I’m a good listener, a hard worker, and I will definitely prove my worth as a VPF.”

Vargas is the current Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and she is ecstatic to have the chance to be a part of SGA Executive Board again. Her hope is to continue working on initiatives that the student body wants to see, as well as helping students understand how to apply for grants and scholarships.

“[I hope] to better educate the organizations on campus on how to apply for grants,” Vargas said.

Vice President of Communications

Running for Vice President of Communications Emily Fiorillo, Nicole Flynn, and Blake Loughrey. The position is currently held by Piper Garick, and each of the students running for this position have plans to fill her shoes, and make marks of their own.

Fiorillo is very excited about the upcoming elections. If she wins, she promises to increase SGA’s outreach and make sure that everyone is always kept in the loop.

“Personally, I experienced a lack of communication and difficulty knowing about various events,” Fiorillo said. “I want to make sure no student gets left behind!”

Running-mate Nicole Flynn feels much the same about the election, but she has felt both the good and bad of the current situation and the differences in campaigning online now that campus is closed. However, she has not let that stray her from her mission to increase transparency between SGA and the students, much like Emily, along with other initiatives if she were to be elected.

“All in all, I promise to fulfill my duties with transparency, responsibility, and cooperation.” Flynn said.

Loughrey is using the changes in this election to his advantage in thinking that the online campaigning this year will be the first test of his communication skills.

He believes his unique friendships and having all the veteran senators as mentors will work in his favor if he is elected into office, because of all the things he has been able to learn from them so early in his time at FSC.

“Because I will only be a second year student,” Loughrey said, “I believe I can make a difference on campus for many years to come and positively impact those currently enrolled at FSC as well as those who will be enrolling in the future.


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