Originally a debate for Monroe Park SGA president and vice president on was to be held Monday night. But the candidates are running unopposed, so the event turned into a chance for student to ask questions of their future representatives.
The two unopposed candidates are sophomores Suraj Telhan and MaryBeth DeMarco. Telhan, currently the Deputy Chief Justice in SGA, is a Information Systems major and is running for SGA president. DeMarco, the Co-Chair of the External Affairs Committee, is an exercise science major running for the position of SGA vice president.
The first few questions were asked by Reuban Rodriguez, the associate vice provost of student affairs.
The first question candidates were asked was what they consider the biggest issue currently in SGA. Both Telhan and DeMarco agreed on an insufficient amount of transparency between the SGA and the student body.
“(SGA) is a great liaison between students and faculty,” Telhan said, “A lot of students don’t know about it.”
He expressed ideas on how to keep students more informed such as updating the webpage and holding more forums.
An increased transparency could be beneficial towards clearing up confusion between the student body and the SGA; especially in regards to the recent budgeting issue that was a trending topic of concern at the debate.
A number of organizations have complained recently about the SGA running out of funds. Telhan and DeMarco suggested ideas on how the two plan on creating a more efficient system of budgeting.
“I do like that the current structure (is based on) when your event is because it gives the appropriations committee more time to handle all those proposals,” Telhan said.
He argued that changing to a system of ‘first-come first-served’ would create chaos within the Appropriations and Finance Committees. According to Telhan, this type of system would cause a flood of requests that would pile up too early, which would be too much for the committees to handle.
Though Telhan believes the current structure, which requires organizations to create proposals based on their event date is sufficient, he offers an alternative solution to the issue.
“We really wanna split the budget by semester so that there is still room for funding for those events later in the year,” Telhan said.
The hope is that by splitting the budget by semester, there would still an adequate amount of money left for events held later in the year.
When asked how the two will uphold members to go through with their duties, DeMarco noted that the issue lies with the lack of cohesiveness within the government.
“By motivating people internally to be more tight knit I feel like it would increase the amount of work people are doing,” DeMarco said.
The SGA information session was attended by less than twenty student, many of them fellow SGA members. The majority of the questions were asked by other SGA members: “What’s your favorite bathroom?” MCALC, DeMarco responded. “If you could be any Avenger, which one would you be?” Spiderman, Telhan responded.
Telhan and DeMarco plan on lowering the amount of senate seats in an effort to ensure more participation and fulfillment of duties.
President and Vice Presidential elections will take place next week starting March 24 and ending March 26. Students can vote online or in the Student Commons or Shafer from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.