Editorial | The Panther endorses Rosenberg, Ngnomire for president, vice president

endorse

Illustrated by Gaby Fantone

After much deliberation, The Panther endorses Mitchell Rosenberg for student government president and Arianna Ngnomire for vice president.

Although candidates run unofficially together – Rosenberg is running alongside Speaker of Senate Alex Ballard, and Ngnomire is running with Jackie Palacios, a student organizations senator and diversity affairs chair – there is no official ticket. Students can vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates separately, and we think they should.

During the debate March 8, which The Panther moderated, Rosenberg and Ballard talked a lot about the “wildly transformative year” that student government has had, and we agree. In the past, student government has been plagued with resignations – last academic year, 14 people resigned from student government. Last spring, the senate held a closed meeting and even kicked out a Panther reporter to present a list of complaints about then-president Annabell Liao. A year before that, president-elect Austin Kernan resigned after admitting that he embezzled money from his fraternity.

But this year is different, and it’s undeniable that Rosenberg has played a huge part in that as president. Rosenberg has proven that he is professional, efficient and knows how to get things done. We appreciate the way he has handled the review of the the controversial anti-Semitism bill, which he vetoed last May and has spent the last year working to revise.

Rosenberg has made significant progress, and if he is re-elected, there wouldn’t have to be any training process. He’d be able to pick up right where he left off, with initiatives like his improvement to Chapman’s mental health resources.

During the debate, Ngnomire accused Rosenberg of using a gun safety presentation to his campaign’s advantage  when he sent a school-wide email notifying students of an active shooter situation presentation at the beginning of election season . While we don’t believe that Rosenberg took advantage of the event for his campaign’s sake, we hope that, if re-elected, he will use his platform to take more of a stance and be a voice for the community when tragedies happen – including being available to students as a resource.

Ngnomire is a strong voice on campus and has experience working with Chapman’s administration and students from different groups. She is the president of the Black Student Union, the lead program assistant at the Cross-Cultural Center, an office assistant in Residence Life and has previously worked with the University Program Board.

Her platform of advocating for increased diversity on Chapman’s campus is strong. Ngnomire funded 3,000 meals for the Houston Food Bank after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last semester, she said during the debate. She did this with help from Greek and other student organizations, showing her ability to work hands-on with the Chapman community.

The Panther hopes that Ngnomire can carry on the goals of her running mate Palacios, including increased sustainability efforts, chartering a historic black sorority or fraternity on campus, and providing free testing for sexually transmitted infections and diseases once a semester, if she can find student support and funding.

Although they consider themselves opponents, we believe that electing Rosenberg as president and Ngnomire as vice president would be the most beneficial to Chapman. Rosenberg already knows the system, but Ngnomire brings the student perspective. With her input, Rosenberg would be encouraged to take things in a new direction.

We believe a good leader should be surrounded by people who will challenge and push them to see all aspects of an issue. Disagreeing with colleagues can breed new ways of approaching and tackling problems – as long as it remains civil and productive.

Palacios and Ballard are both strong candidates and would work well with their respective running partners, but The Panther believes that Ngnomire and Rosenberg are the best possible candidates for president and vice president. Whether or not you agree with us, we encourage you to vote beginning March 12 on chapmanvotes.com.

4 Comments

  • Arianna does not have any SGA experience, and this could likely hurt her in the polls. I personally would prefer someone familiar with representing all students and their beliefs.

    • Personally, I don’t feel like SGA as a whole has ever represented me nor my beliefs. I’ve never really seen SGA go out of their way to ask me about my concerns in my club meetings or anything (aside from Jackie and Ian). I’ve never seen Mitchell or Alex at my political orgs (despite them being polysci majors), I’ve never seen them at my diversity/cultural orgs, I’ve never seen them at my CDP meetings, I’ve never seen them in Roosevelt Hall (the Wilkinson College where their majors are housed), I’ve never seen them involved with anything personally. I’ve seen Jackie at all of these. I’ve seen Arianna willing to learn when she couldn’t come (she’s busy running BSU and making a damn strong and empowering club environment). So don’t tell me that Mitchell and Alex have experience representing the student body. Vote Jackie and Arianna, I’m so over Mitchell and Alex and what they stand for. “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, I think SGA is broken and this is my first chance to fix it.

    • Hey! Feel free to check out my opinion article. I think this could answer any of your concerns you may have. Also feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram!

  • Hey!

    Just wanted to voice my own opinion as someone who has never been part of Sga, but has appeared before them several times to ask for funding for diversity/cultural orgs. In all of the meetings I’ve attended to ask for funding, Student Org Senator and Diversity Affairs Chair Jackie Palacios and COPA Senator Ian Policarpio have been the most vocal advocates for the need of big events from API Celebration (one of Chapman’s biggest and most attended events hosted by the Asian Pacific Student Association) to the Queer Trans Youth Holiday Giving Party (hosted by the Queer Trans People of Color Collective, which attempts to build community with the outer Chapman community’s queer and trans youth, with our own queer and trans students). I remember hearing from these very orgs how in the past these kinds of events had to sometimes come out of the students pockets, at the same time that SGA was in talks to fund stolls for themselves. Do forgive my lack of trust in SGA and this “administration” that current president Mitchell Rosenberg is supposed to stand for.

    I do believe he has done beneficial stuff for the student body like his contributions to Student Psych Services (although, I think it would be a disservice to the previous administration and other members of SGA to say that it was only his doing). Do not get me wrong, I think he has done great work and I have definitely benefited from having a good therapist (the new hire as of three semesters ago), but I don’t feel like this “administrative” component of SGA has represented me.

    In my years here, I’ve been wary of both SGA and the Panther (my opinion has since changed towards the Panther, and slightly for SGA). Activists on this campus haven’t been fond of either platforms, and the non-activist students I’m friends with (there are many) have not been very keen or fond of this “administrative experience” either. So do forgive my reluctance to wholeheartedly support Mitchell when Jackie is much more determined to represent the students.

    I would also like to point out that SGA is an incredibly young organization, and decades younger than BSU, APSA, and MEChA, so I do not understand this stray from the student body that I’ve heard and been somewhat familiar with. The fact that there is any disenfranchisement is a concern for an organization tasked with “representing the student body.” And seeing as how this change is a focus of Senator and Diversity Affairs Chair and MEChA Social Outreach and Chapman Feminist VP and Cross the Line president Palacios, and BSU President’s Ngnomire, I believe more in their intentions than President Rosenberg’s. I recognize that standing SGA presidents and Vice Presidents are not allowed to be on the exec boards of student orgs, but I have not seen President Rosenberg at any diversity/cultural club meetings (nor the one civic org that I’m in) to even ask for support. To me, that does not show an investment to the student body, or the orgs I’m in. To me, that does not show a dedication to Diversity/Inclusion.

    Again, I don’t want to say that I hate Mitchell, I just think Jackie is a better option to represent the student body. I also think she would be the better candidate to see a change in the structure of SGA. And on that note, I think it necessary to point out that Annabell called SGA out on this during her presidency and they complained and demanded a close-door session as a result. That’s not an administration I’d like to see again if I have the choice.

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