SGA elections approaching

Student Government Association elections are set for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two presidential candidates offer a clear choice between the SGA insiders and the outsiders for student voters at Youngstown State University.

The insiders are Cory Okular and Justen Vrabel, running for president and executive vice president, respectively. Okular has been a member of the SGA for two years and is the organization’s vice president for financial affairs. Vrabel, chief of staff, has also served for two years.

Okular and Vrabel have each served on SGA’s executive committee for one year.

Okular’s platform — anchored by SWAG, which stands for Students With A Goal — consists of three separate categories: student success, accountability and sustainability, and engagement.

Each category contains a list of specific actions that can be taken to improve each area.

Okular’s proposal focuses on improving campus life by following specific plans rather than broad philosophies.

He plans to continue the push for a first-year experience program for all incoming freshmen, increase the bulk tuition rate to 13-18 credit hours to hasten graduation and save students money, and encourage more students to study abroad.

The outsiders, two brothers of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, have no prior SGA experience. Robert Park is running for president, and Patrick Bascom for vice president.

Park and Bascom said they see their inexperience as an advantage in their quest to change things on campus.

“Experience is not everything; it’s about the quality of a candidate’s ideas and a willingness to embark where others haven’t tried before,” the candidates’ campaign states. “We want to bring new and fresh perspectives outside of the system and take YSU to new heights.”

Park’s platform centers on three philosophies: student potential, student integration or first-year retention, and the creation of a foundation for future success. These philosophies set broad goals to change YSU.

The team’s more specific goals include greater transparency and availability to students in SGA, increasing first-year retention rates and using listservs to allow students to choose which emails they receive.

Park said his main goal is to “make SGA more transparent, more accessible to students and more user friendly.”

He added that he doesn’t see that being done with the current SGA officers.

Students are able to cast their votes at a booth on the first floor of Kilcawley Center.