Meet the candidates: 18 run for senate

Alex Ballard

Upperclassman seat

Name: Alex Ballard

Seat: Upperclassman

Year: Sophomore

Major: Double major in political science and economics

Platform: Student input, academic resources and career goals

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: I want to see a much larger upperclassman presence and voice in all campus decisions, including Commencement. I want to push for more study space, starting with restricting the use of the library to only Chapman students. I want to collaborate with different colleges and work to develop their resources for students from different backgrounds and career goals.

Q: Why do you believe you are best fit for this position?

A: Given my experience within the past two years, I have an innate knowledge of all the different academic problems and, knowing the Chapman community, I will be greatly effective in handling these problems. A lot of the things I am passionate about, like career opportunities, pertain to upperclassmen. This is the best seat for me to accomplish those goals and this community will be positively affected by those goals.

Steven Santoro

Name: Steven Santoro

Seat: Upperclassman

Year: Sophomore

Major: Double major in political science and psychology

Platform: Reconnecting student government to the student body, improving relations between students living off campus and the city council

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: I’ve noticed a very inactive student government (with) the same people maintaining the same positions of responsibility. I want to improve relations (between) all students living off campus and the city council. I believe redirecting Greek life to work with the (surrounding) community can go a long way in fixing our problems. I want to improve the abilities of student psychological services for our number of students. As a resident advisor, I’ve seen the number of students put on waitlists. I want to speed up the initiative to extend Panther Bucks to outside vendors. I want to support Vice President-elect Arianna Ngnomire and help to bring in multicultural Greek chapters and free (sexually transmitted diseases and infections) testing.

Q: Why do you believe you are best fit for this position?

A: First, I want to say Alex Ballard is a great guy. I ran because it seemed like he was running for speaker of senate as a resume stepping stone, so I did question his intentions. I believe this campaign proves that I care more about our constituency. I have been holding many face-to-face meetings, talking to student organizations and having conversations about my initiatives with students on Facebook.

Student organization seat

Jackie Palacios

Name: Jackie Palacios

Seat: Student organizations

Year: Junior

Major: Double major in screen acting and peace studies

Platform: Transparency, accessibility and community

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: I want to require student organization senators to attend presidents’ meetings, as well as offer more workshops with student organization senators and the organizations. I want to work toward a more efficient notification process for funding requests. I will continue to discuss the importance of diversity and diverse events on campus, as well as do my best to foster the arts and performances on campus.

Q: Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?

A: I have lots of experience and I am involved in student organizations, such as Chapman Feminists, Alternatives in Democracy, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MeChA), Chapman Democrats and Cross the Line. I am also involved with Black Student Union and Queer and Trans Persons of Color Collective, Queer-Student Alliance and the Student Alliance for Prison Reform. I have helped a majority of individuals apply for (student organization) funding. I’m a familiar face and people know they can come to me for help.

Jace Jenican

Name: Jace Jenican

Seat: Student organizations

Year: Junior

Major: Double major in economics and political science 

Platform: Physical and mental health reform

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: I want to improve the health infrastructure (at Chapman). I think, compared to other universities, our fitness center is lacking, especially for a growing school. Mental health and the physical health center also need attention as well. Both are understaffed, and a lot of people I know believe these centers do not have adequate resources. My biggest push would be to improve the support that students get from university, especially for the non-Argyros School of Business and Economics and Dodge College of Film and Media Arts students.

Q: Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?

A: I’m really involved on campus, I’m vice president  of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and as philanthropy chair, I helped to produce Delta Queen, which raised $22,000 on campus. I’m also involved with The Snow Club. I interned with U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, and I spent a semester in Washington, D.C., where I worked on the House Committee on Ways and Means, both of which were very interesting learning experiences.

Tanya Leon

Name: Tanya Leon

Seat: Student organizations

Year: Junior

Major: Double major in political science and peace studies

Platform: Transparency, community building and sustainable change

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: I want to look into how student government’s finances are allocated and, as the head of a student organization (MEChA), I’ve seen how organizations struggle to get funding. I want to make the funding process easier and to have student government be more direct about how those funds are used.

Q: Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?

A: I understand the difficulties of running the organization. I have helped my friends organize and set up their own student organizations, and overall, I feel that I am very connected to the student body. I work at the Cross-Cultural Center and I see how different organizations use the space. I feel there are not enough lines of communication between organizations, so I feel that events, such as diversity panels, can be better promoted by student government.

Dodge College of Film and Media Arts seat

Lindsey Ellis

Name: Lindsey Ellis

Seat: Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Year: Freshman

Major: Film production

Platform: Professional development and collaboration with other colleges

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: Hosting workshops is key. We can increase our collaboration within our college, between our majors, as well as with the other art schools, (by) hosting more professional development and increasing collaboration between Dodge and other colleges.

Q: Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?

A: I’m passionate and driven with everything that I do. My dad was a politician, so I know the campaign journey. I was a youth counselor at church and I’m still young enough to be impartial towards some of the problems at Dodge.

Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences seat

Carolyn Mai

Name: Carolyn Mai

Seat: Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences

Year: Sophomore

Major: Psychology and business administration major

Platform: Increase visibility of Crean majors on campus

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: On campus, much more focus goes to business administration and finance majors. I want to broadly increase resources for Crean majors. Even though we have our own college and our own building, I also want to increase resources and opportunities on main campus, such as more career advisement.

Q: Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?

A: I have dabbled in all the sciences, because I was a biology major, so I know all the sciences Crean majors have to take. I am also a psychology major, so I believe I have (more of a) a full realm of the aspects of Crean than my running mates.

Tim Le

Name: Tim Le

Seat: Crean Senator

Year: Sophomore

Major: Health sciences

 

Platform: Better parking, involvement in clubs and organizations, building safety and fighting discrimination

Q: What changes do you want to see made as a senator?

A: I want to improve the medical insurance provided by the school for low-income students. I used to lead a junior high school Bible study group at my church, and from that I learned what it means to take initiative and affect positive change and reinforcement. It was really rewarding to guide those kids, and I hope I can get a similar experience with student government.  

Q: Why do you believe you are the best fit for this position?

A: I believe my personality fits this role pretty well, I’m a go-getter in terms of change. If there’s something I want to do, I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll talk to whoever I need to talk to ensure my goal is accomplished. I’m a social person, I know how to read people’s concerns. I can understand their emotions. I know a lot of Crean students need to get volunteer and research opportunities and I want to help them, not just as a senator, but as a mentor.

Not all candidates for contested seats could be reached by press time. To view a full list of this year’s senate candidates, click here. Voting closes April 18 at 11:59 p.m. To vote, visit chapmanvotes.com.