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.