After a heated election – in which a president and a vice president running on different tickets were chosen – current Student Government President Mitchell Rosenberg said that he and Vice President-elect Arianna Ngnomire are looking forward to a strong year.
In an interview with The Panther, Rosenberg and Ngnomire talked about how they will work together next year to lead student government.
“We’re two very different people, and I don’t see that as a negative thing at all,” Ngnomire said. “We were able to both reach very different demographics with people who are passionate about different topics.”
After the election, the two used Skype over spring break to discuss their plans for student government and its future – the first of many transitionary conversations.
“(We both have) similar visions in the sense of expanding (student government’s) presence on campus and continuing to ensure that all diverse student groups on campus feel like they’re heard,” Rosenberg said.
Ngnomire said that their goals are related to student government’s accessibility and transparency.
We’re two very different people, and I don’t see that as a negative thing at all.”
Current Vice President Sarah Tabsh is training Ngnomire, who plans to attend the rest of the semester’s student government meetings. The process has provided Ngnomire with a different perspective, she said.
“(The training) has given me a new respect for (student government), as well as a new platform to speak on things that I’ve already been really passionate about,” Ngnomire said. “Being (involved in student government) is a new challenge that I am really looking forward to tackling.”
While Rosenberg and Ngnomire didn’t have opposite election platforms, they did have different policy focuses. Rosenberg and Speaker of Senate Alex Ballard’s – who ran as vice presidential candidate with Rosenberg – campaign emphasized improving Chapman’s institutional academic resources, and improving health, wellness and recreation on campus. Ngnomire and Jackie Palacios – a diversity affairs chair and student organizations senator – ran their campaign with an emphasis on fostering diversity, the arts and campus safety.
Rosenberg said that he and Ngnomire share the same views on diversity.
“It’s really important that (student government focuses on creating) a greater representation in student organizations, (especially) diverse student organizations that don’t see a (student government) face as regularly,” Rosenberg said. “We will work hard to continue increasing (student government’s) presence in whatever way we can.”
Ngnomire and Rosenberg also agree that Chapman should distribute academic resources more equally.
“I’m interested in looking at how we can help with getting more opportunities for other schools that don’t have access (to many academic resources),” Ngnomire said.
Institutional academic resources were a cornerstone of Rosenberg’s campaign, and something he is passionate about, he said. Another one of Rosenberg’s objectives is to focus on students who are not part of larger academic programs at Chapman, such as Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and the Argyros School of Business and Economics.
“I’ve heard from students, several times, that they feel left behind if they’re not in one of those what they would call, ‘bigger schools,”’ he said. “(We’re) working to make sure that no student feels left behind and that every student feels that their college is just as well represented as others.”
As the semester comes to an end, Ngnomire and Rosenberg will work closely together, streamlining their new administration.
What’s next for Ballard and Palacios
The Panther spoke with Speaker of Senate Alex Ballard – Rosenberg’s unofficial running mate – and Diversity Affairs Chair and Student Organizations Senator Jackie Palacios – Ngnomire’s unofficial running mate – to ask about their plans after losing the election.
Student government fall 2018 senate elections will take place April 16-18, and Palacios will run for the same positions she now holds.
“I am looking forward to making more progress, especially in regards to hosting the diversity panels at colleges,” Palacios said. “I am also looking to be considered for speaker of senate.”
Ballard plans to run again for speaker of senate and the upperclassman senate seat.
“There are still a lot more things I want to do, which is why I’m running again,” Ballard said. “Even though I didn’t win the vice presidency, that doesn’t change the nature of the things that I want to accomplish.”