Mällinen, Mello campaign for office of SGA vice president
The vice president position of the Student Government Association (SGA) is contested by two candidates for the 2020-2021 election year.
The first candidate, Max Mällinen, is a junior economics and entrepreneurship double major and current junior class president. The second candidate, Caroline Mello, is a sophomore in the six-year physician’s assistant program and sophomore class president.
The duties of the office include overseeing the Student Advocacy Committee, monitoring the SGA to ensure members are actively working on their initiatives and to assist communication with university administration.
In his experience in the SGA, Mällinen said he has a large understanding of the meaning of leadership and the responsibilities of holding an office. Mällinen started in the SGA as a sophomore class senator and has since been elected as the junior class president.
Mällinen said his goals for the SGA, given that he is elected, include a greater focus on training and retention of SGA members and better communication between the organization and the student body to be more transparent about initiatives while they are in progress so students are aware of how the SGA is working for them.
Unrelated to internal SGA affairs, Mällinen said he hopes to improve the standards and guidelines of online classes so student experiences are more uniform and less varied and focusing on improvements that can be made to the student experience for the current student body.
“(The) five-year plan is great, and a bunch of great stuff is coming,” Mällinen said. “I really want to make sure we’re still focusing on the students of today, not the potential students coming down the line, but making changes that affect students today, rather than in five years.”
Mällinen said that being in contact and communicating with students is key to determining the needs and desires of the student body.
“I think it’s really important to make sure we’re out there talking to students, as well as making sure the SGA suite is a welcoming, inviting place,” Mällinen said.
Mällinen said these goals align with his campaign platform of tenacity, experience and ambition.
“Tenacity, meaning my unwillingness to stop fighting for those concerns of students even when administration isn’t really receptive,” Mällinen said. “I think we need to work to the best of our ability (on student) experience.”
Mello, the second candidate, started her work in the SGA as a freshman senator and moved on to be the sophomore class president.
Mello said her passion and experience are key strengths for her campaign.
“If you ever see me around campus, I’m almost always in the SGA suite,” Mello said. “I know every single person in the (organization), I know what every person is working on. I’m in the most committees in the (organization).”
Mello has been involved in finance, public relations, student advocacy, spirit steering and her own cabinet as sophomore class president.
She said her experience in various facets of the SGA has allowed her to devise diverse goals. If she is elected, Mello said her goals are increasing student involvement on campus and partnering with the Alumni Association to increase tailgates.
Also, she said establishing incentives for Greek life, multicultural and recreational organizations to interact more and implementing a “dead hour” on campus are important goals for her platform.
“For one hour in the middle of the day, there would be no classes scheduled or anything so clubs can meet without making their members return late at night,” Mello said. “This is something that President Olian has talked about, but it’s never really been fought for, and I think it would be really beneficial for (organizations) on campus.”
Within the SGA, Mello said her goals include increasing the expectations of individual members to increase efficiency of the organization, improving the transparency of the organization and continuing outreach to the student community.
“I want to try to reach out to as many people as possible and so there are many people within the student body that feel comfortable coming to me with issues,” Mello said. “We want (the) SGA to be as transparent and open as possible, and we know that’s been an issue in the past. So, I think kind of this method of directly reaching out to the students kind of creates that connection and that open line of communication.”
Students can vote for all offices within the SGA on Tuesday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on DoYouQU.