Students listen in on SGA presidential debate 

Left to right: Faith Marscio and Gianna Battaglia, Alexa Kurimski and Jeremy DeMarco, Niko Mastorides and Maguire Franko. Candidates get ready to discuss their initiatives if elected as SGA president and executive vice president for 2022. Photo by Jessica Stamp / The Jambar

By Jessica Stamp

Students had an opportunity to hear Student Government Association presidential and executive vice president candidates discuss their plans of administration and initiatives for Youngstown State University. 

The event took place March 24 in the Schwebel Lounge located in Kilcawley Center. SGA held a presidential debate for candidates: Gianna Battaglia and Faith Marscio; Niko Mastorides and Maguire Franko; and Jeremy DeMarco and Alexa Kurimski. The pairs of candidates took turns debating how they hope to impact students and YSU’s campus. 

Battaglia and Marscio joined together largely due to the friendship they’ve formed over the years. 

“We’ve worked together and had a great progress throughout the last few years, so I think it was natural,” Marscio said. 

Battaglia and Marscio’s campaign is based on their experiences in SGA and being able to accomplish tasks at hand in their current SGA positions as executive vice president and vice president for public relations. 

Marscio said they already have established relationships — with administrators and the student body — that help them accomplish their goals. 

Battaglia and Marscio hope to accomplish a better connection with First Year Student Services to encourage and get more student involvement in organizations. 

“One of the things that we’d like to do with that is get our representatives closer with first year services, so that when students are coming to YSU, they already have an understanding of not only what student government is, but other organizations as well,” Battaglia said.

Mastorides and Franko’s campaign surrounds their motto “Make it Happen,” which gives the student body an opportunity to be directly involved with their platform. 

“We would probably describe our platform as giving students a voice. We have a ‘Make it Happen’ initiative that directly implements the student voice into our campaign and that’s really our main focus,” Franko said. 

Mastorides and Franko partnered together because of their passion and similar views when it comes to wanting a change for YSU.

“I personally felt like I could incite beneficial change on campus through my initiatives that I had developed and I wanted to find someone who was just as passionate about these initiatives as I was,” Mastorides said. “Maguire definitely stepped up to the plate. … He showed a lot of ambition.”

Mastorides and Franko aim to bring transparency with their administration and put the student voice at the forefront of everything they do.

DeMarco and Kurimski decided to start working on their initiatives at the beginning of the school year before campaigning officially began March 14. 

“I believe that a big cause of student apathy on campus is students making their voices heard and seeing these transparency programs and seeing things go downhill anyways,” DeMarco said. “That’s something we want to change and not just talk about.”

DeMarco and Kurimski teamed up because of their friendship and shared vision.

“I thought, ‘Who was going to best align with my ideals and what I want to achieve?’ and [Kurimski] was the obvious choice,” DeMarco said. “I’ve been friends with her for over a year, and there’s nobody I’d rather [have] sitting next to me.”

Initiatives DeMarco and Kurimski plan to focus on include partnering with Intel Corporation to open a satellite facility and outreach program on campus while also teaming up with Tampax and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at YSU to bring more cost friendly dispensers and menstrual products. 

SGA election polls open at 8 a.m. April 5 and close April 6 at 8 p.m.

Visit the candidates’ platforms for more information: