By Samantha Smith
Youngstown State University’s Student Government Association allowed students running for president, vice president and representative positions to campaign March 13.
This year, the SGA president and vice president candidates will run uncontested. Alexander Papa, a senior majoring in history and political science, is running for president and said campaigning this year is unique.
“We’re doing it a little bit differently. We’re just trying to sort of show what we want to accomplish. We’re just thinking ahead of time, so the students can see that and sort of make our faces known,” Papa said.
Jordan Pintar, a sophomore majoring in philosophy and anthropology, is running for vice president and said the campaigning process would have been more aggressive if the pair were not the only candidates.
“I know last year, [previous candidates] were painting the rock, they were handing out shirts, they were doing sideboard shots, posting everywhere. Since there is nobody really going against us, we don’t want to shove it in everybody’s face. More than be like, ‘Here’s what we can do to support you as students,’” Pintar said.
For their campaign, the pair is posting the initiatives they want to work on once they become president and vice president. Both Papa and Pintar came up with two main initiatives each.
Pintar said she wants to improve campus life and work on community partnership with the university.
“I’m not sure if a lot of students know, but we get a budget as student government. We want to spend it on resources for the campus. So that is where our first initiative kind of comes in,” Pintar said. “We want to expand and flow. We wanted to expand Penguin Shuttle destinations, get more resources for students on campus, more food options.”
Papa said he wants to work on food insecurity at YSU and community involvement.
“[Food insecurity] has been a big one with this executive team,” Papa said. “I definitely want to make sure we bring [Swipe Out Hunger] back. I want to change it a little bit, and maybe add some components where we actually have the opportunity to take students on like a tour to a food bank or a local facility.”
Papa said making this change in the event would be more impactful for students participating.
“I feel like just seeing that in action is so much more powerful than sitting around and not seeing what these organizations do,” Papa said.
Papa and Pintar will be campaigning until April 5 and the elections will begin April 4. Voting can be done on the Penguin Portal or at certain polling locations in Kilcawley Center.
Nickiforos Mastorides, the current president of SGA, said there will be a town hall meeting from 3 to 4 p.m., March 22 in The Hub of Kilcawley to replace a debate.
“If students are eager to come and ask questions, [SGA] encourages it,” Mastorides said.