News Student Government Association

Meet the candidates: 24 students run for 4 senate seats

Twenty-four students are campaigning for four positions in the student government fall senate election. The voting period to fill one underclassman senate seat and three student organization seats will be open from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. To vote, students can log in with their username and Chapman ID number at http://www.chapmanvotes.com/.

Candidates Bryce Kauffman, Gabriel Galef, Arianna Ngnomire, Caitlin Guiao and Jacob Susina could not be reached for an interview with The Panther.

Student organization seat

Erin Mason

Name: Erin Mason

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Undeclared

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I wanted to be involved at Chapman. I think that student government is very involved, so I just wanted to be a part of the involvement.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I was thinking about having an ice machine in the dorms, because in order to get ice you have to go to the cafeteria and get ice there or buy an ice tray. If we have an ice machine next to the water fountains we already have, I think that would be a great idea. Not a lot of people go to the sports events because some people aren’t aware of it. It’s not as visible and easy to recognize as all the other events that are here, so I want to bring more attention to sports events so we can support our school more.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I plan on asking students if they would like certain things, or if it would be a good idea to have.

 

Colette Noghreian

Name: Colette Noghreian

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Strategic and corporate communications

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I want to create an ongoing community at Chapman. I feel like I can make an impact on the Chapman community in the best way possible.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I’m hoping to create more communication between the students and the government. I feel like there’s this divide where students aren’t able to communicate what they want to get done, so I hope to make that change going forward.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I plan on communicating and making sure that their voices are heard.

 

Jack Belisle

Name: Jack Belisle

Seat: Student organization

Year: Junior

Major: Film production

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I’ve noticed that a lot of the leaders of clubs don’t realize that there’s a higher organization that they can go to to make sure that they are heard and get their needs met throughout campus. When I found out about student government, I found that student government has gotten a much more visible presence on campus over the past few years and I felt that, for the good of all student organizations on campus, not necessarily just ones that I’m involved in, I wanted to run for student organization senator so I could help clubs that may not know they have a voice.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I’m not necessarily focused on changes to student government or clubs throughout the campus, but I’m more focused on just getting clubs who have not been represented in the past.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

If elected, my first thing to do would be to reach out to any organizations and clubs that I am responsible for as senator and let them know that I am here as an elected representative of student government for the purpose of getting their needs met in whatever capacity I can.

 

Maytal Sarafian

Name: Maytal Sarafian

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

Throughout high school, I held various leadership positions. Once I had the opportunity to create relationships with administrators and staff members, I was able to directly represent the student body and what we, as students, wanted to see happen. If elected as student organization senator, I will utilize the skills I have established from my leadership positions to give students a voice in what goes on in their school.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

As a new student at Chapman, I found myself having conversations with other Chapman students about their frustrations with our school for a lack of response to their input. The students I have spoken to have expressed disappointment and discouragement in voicing their opinions because they don’t seem to see any positive outcomes. I promise to be a direct voice for students to express their concerns.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I plan on personally talking to students and hosting an easily-accessible online forum in which students could ask questions and make comments or suggestions.

 

Sam Mazo

Name: Sam Mazo

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I think it really comes down to that I want to represent student organizations. I’ve always had an admiration for student government, so it would be awesome if I had the opportunity to represent people through something that I might enjoy.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

Whatever my constituency wants. My platform is that I’m your open door and I’ll be there for you. That’s basically my slogan. I personally don’t want any change to happen, I want to know what the student body wants to happen and if it’s within reasonable means I can perhaps work with other senators to help accomplish those goals.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I’m a very open person, so I want to talk to as many people as possible, get to know them, what they want to happen, what would be positive for them so that I can help implement it and talk to other senators to see how I can help implement that and what works best.

 

Kyler Asato

Name: Kyler Asato

Seat: Student organization

Year: Junior

Major: Sociology

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I want to do this because it’s irritating and disheartening when clubs don’t get the funds that they need for events for random reasons, so I want to be able to find out more of the rationale for those reasons. Another reason I want to be a senator is because of the power and network access that it holds. As a student organization senator, I understand that it is my job to represent the needs of the student body, which often but not always, is impacted by the organizations.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

A huge one is the implementation of more gender neutral bathrooms on campus, because as a trans and genderqueer person, I believe that being able to use the toilet should not be an experience where someone should feel guarded, uncomfortable, literally pushed out or a quest, since many gender neutral bathrooms are scattered across campus. Another interest I have is in filing teacher complaints. I think it would be helpful to be able to file more discreet complaints to teachers so that either the teacher, department, or other relevant people can hear these complaints so that there is a stronger sense of wrongdoings and actual concerns in class.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I plan to follow through with the gender-inclusive bathrooms through possible collaborations with the Cross-Cultural Center in the way of education on why it’s important, holding discussions about why people oppose them and sharing my findings (or as much as I am allowed to) with everyone else who is interested in the campaign via Facebook group or email. I would also reach out to the Queer Trans People of Color Collective, Queer Student Alliance, LGBTQ Studies minor, and the Chapman Diversity Project LGBTQ Advisory Group for their input and support.

 

Christie Kika

Name: Christie Kika

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Political science

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I started participating in student government last year in high school and I found a passion in helping the community and helping the school and developing myself as a leader and my leadership skills. I really want to do that here at Chapman.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I want to make the relationship between the students and the organizations and the government stronger.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I feel like the involvement fairs are huge, and I feel like if we have more of those, that will make a big impact. I would also like to give the organizations more time on campus.

 

Devon Cohen

Name: Devon Cohen

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I’ve always been a leader at my high school and within Youth and Government,where I was an elected officer there for California-wide. I definitely want to try to help out the community, which is letting me grow as a person.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I want to try to make pragmatic and tangible change, stuff that can actually be achieved, because a lot of people they make their false promises and go way beyond their reach. I want to go and talk to all the different student organizations, try to see what they want, what can truly be achieved and try to make Chapman a more diverse and unified school.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

Honestly, just communication: being able to talk to all of the student organizations on a ready basis, possibly allocating some time to go and talk to them, just being very approachable. The key to leadership is delegation, so being able to go and talk to all of the students organizations and being able to follow up with them. I’m very excited to run.

 

Dylan Derakhshanian

Name: Dylan Derakhshanian

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Political science

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

One of the reasons was I was going to run for Saba (Amid’s) position, but I didn’t want to run against her because we’re friends. It’s still competitive with a lot of other people, but I just thought I would fit better in this position.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I would want to help build the school larger, have some more facilities. Personally, for me, I would like to make the gym bigger, because it’s always cramped.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I think I would focus on allocating funds, so then we could focus on making the gym bigger, adding more monuments to the campus, just building the school more.

 

Thomas Tsai

Name: Thomas Tsai

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I’m running for this senate position because I’m a very diverse person: I’m part of the Black Student Union, I joined InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I’m just very involved in different organizations on campus.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I’m a very approachable person, so I hope people can talk to me about any problems they wish to solve on campus. Maybe put bins in the laundry rooms so people can take people’s clothes out. (I really want to advocate for) for the different student organizations.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I could go up to people and ask if they want any specific changes.

 

Tyler Brooks

Name: Tyler Brooks

Seat: Student organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I’m running for this position because in high school, I had a positive impact on my leadership program. I felt like I benefited not just the students, but the faculty. I have a very good skill with public speaking, as well as organizational skills. I feel like I will be able to advocate for a lot of different changes on campus.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I really want to create a better environment for new clubs and organizations. I want to help start them off much easier, I also want to find an easier process for funding for different organizations, and a different medium for different organizations to help each other out of they have similar goals.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

First and foremost, meeting with the different organizations and clubs on campus: building a relationship, learning about what their goals are, what they’d like to achieve during the year and how I can help with that. Also, building relationships with the students and faculty.

 

Wyatt Lemoine

Name: Wyatt Lemoine

Seat: Student Organization

Year: Freshman

Major: Screenwriting

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I’m running for this position because I understand the importance of different clubs and different activities at this school, and I want to make sure that their importance is shown to the student body and able to allow for a better connection with the whole school.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I want to be able to allow more information available to the student body so that more people know about a lot of amazing clubs that aren’t really seen or known — especially freshmen. I just want to allow equal access for all students to get involved.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I would like to get to know all the leaders of each club, and I would like to know them all personally so I don’t seem like just a foreign idea. That way, we can make that connection and be able to work together and help each other.

Underclassman seat

Maddie Milla

Name: Maddie Milla

Seat: Underclassman

Year: Freshman

Major: Environmental science and policy

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I am running for this position to represent and support underclassmen. I want to advocate for the needs of underclassmen and represent their ideas in student government.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

In the few weeks of being here, I have noticed that in Henley Basement, the old location of Twelve, is now vacant. I have several ideas of what to do with the location such as making it a student engagement area with a dance floor or another food location. It has also come to my attention that at the few on-campus food locations, the wait times are intensified during peak hours. If students have classes back to back and they only have 10-15 minutes until their next class and the wait times are too long, they will opt out of eating.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I would reach out to the underclassmen and get their ideas and opinions on how they would like to approach and resolve these issues. I want to be the bridge between the underclassmen student body and the student government association.

 

Saba Amid

Name: Saba Amid

Seat: Underclassman

Year: Freshman

Major: Political science

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I did student government all throughout high school. So I thought when I went to college I want to do the same thing I did in high school and continue making beneficial change and helping the campus become as amazing as it can be.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I want to implement more of those water bottle filling stations in the dorms, because I know we have a really big problem with students not being able to get water. My friends walk to the dining hall to go get water every time. One other thing that I really want to work on is accessibility to the senate.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I think one thing that’s important is receiving input from the students. I personally will go to whatever extents necessary to get things done. If having more water bottle filling stations implemented means talking to every maintenance person on campus, I will do it. I will do whatever is necessary to get the students what they’re wishing for and what they want.

Candace Johnston

Name: Candace Johnston

Seat: Underclassaen

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration and marketing

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I believe that I’m the best candidate. I’m very determined, I work very hard, and I am very excited to represent the lowerclassmen. I think that I have a very active voice and I’m not scared to step up and represent the students and their opinions.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I wanted to start off with bringing more light fixtures to the basketball courts and volleyball courts over at the dorms. As more ideas come in, I hope to get as much done as possible and accomplish as much as I can.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I am hoping to get as much input from the lowerclassmen as possible by sitting down with as many as I can and hearing them out, and then coming up with the best ideas to follow through with each issue.

 

Danielle Axten

Name: Danielle Axten

Seat: Underclassman

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I chose this position because back in high school, when I came in as a freshman, I wished there were more spots open for underclassmen to be represented, so in college, I definitely want to make sure that people coming in when they’re new will have someone who will represent them, help them out, make sure that they’re not just drowning in a massive school. I want them to have someone that will help get their ideas to the upperclassmen and to the senate.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I don’t have specific changes that I want to make, because Chapman is pretty good as it is, but I definitely want to make sure that if people do have new ideas that those are being heard. Definitely one of the things that I want to implement is with the cafeteria. The cafeteria is actually pretty good compared to other cafeterias, but one thing that I found — because I have a bunch of food allergies — is that it’s kind of hard to navigate (the cafeteria). They have a vegan station and a gluten free station, but I’m gluten free and vegan. I want to put in a suggestion box in the cafeteria.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I’m a very perseverant person, I have a lot of determination, and so I will find ways to get things done. I feel like I’m a very good people person and I love talking to people. I think I would do great in the underclassmen senate position because I would be able to talk to people and be personable with people and make sure that they feel comfortable and that they are glad that I represent them.

 

Surabhi Kulkarni

Name: Surabhi Kulkarni

Seat: Underclassman

Year: Freshman

Major: Computer science

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

When I was a junior and senior in high school, I worked for my school news show. The students wanted a certain type of content to be created, and we wanted to create that kind of content for them, but the problem was we were heavily censored by the administration. Basically, from that what I took was that I want to be a senator because I want everybody’s voice to be heard.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

One of the things that I noticed when I went to the Tutoring, Learning and Testing Center was that the tutors that work there would find it really helpful if there were textbooks accessible. If I become a senator, that’s probably one of the first things that I’m going to propose.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I’m going to propose whatever idea I have and I’m going to rally support from the student body and from other senators, so we can work to make changes on this campus. I want to make sure that the underclassmen aren’t underrepresented.

 

Galen Rokosz

Name: Galen Rokosz

Seat: Underclassman

Year: Freshman

Major: Screenwriting

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I think I can make a positive change in this school and really make our experience better.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

I hope to increase transparency with the administration and really make sure that all of our students know information that’s relevant to their lives. For example, making sure everybody knows when the cafeteria is serving hot food, making sure everyone knows when the shuttle times are, where the shuttles go and making sure everyone knows where athletic events are and when they are.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

Working with the University Program Board, communicating with them, making sure that they’re releasing information to a place where everyone can contribute, spreading awareness for places on campus and Facebook pages that are relevant to students’ lives and working with administration to make sure all of that information is easily available.

 

Name: Jackie Zhao

Seat: Underclassman

Year: Freshman

Major: Business administration

Q: Why are you running for this senate position?

I’m running for this position just because I was in student government in high school and I really enjoyed it, it was a positive experience and I saw how I could effectively use my position to help bring the school together. I want to continue that in college and try to contribute as much as I can.

Q: What changes do you hope to make as a senator?

A big change that I would try to make is, I went to one of the football games and I think the spirit at our school is lacking a bit. I feel like that’s a part of our school and it shows how we can come together, we just need a better agent to bring it all together.

Q: How do you plan on following through with these changes?

I would like to have student opinions more than anything, because this just my opinion and it could be different from any other student. I would definitely make it interactive. From that point, I would try to spread these changes in a realistic way.

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