SGA executive board candidates share campaign platforms

Katie Langley, News Editor

Quinnipiac University’s Student Government Association executive board candidates launched their campaigns for the 2022-23 academic year.

Though all the candidates are running unopposed, Quinnipiac students will have a chance to vote on the e-board April 19, on DoYouQU. 

Here is an overview of the candidates for each position: 

Owenea Roberts — Presidential Candidate

SGA presidential candidate Owenea Roberts, a junior accounting major, said that students tend to talk about issues they have within their own friends, but not with the organization. She said that she wants to make students feel comfortable saying, “That’s our president, I’m going to talk to her.”

Owenea Roberts is the candidate for SGA president. (Photo contributed by Owenea Roberts)

Roberts said she plans on working with students through biweekly town halls and encouraging them to treat the SGA suite as an open space. 

“I also want to fix the little problems students have,” Roberts said. “I remember one student telling me about the commuter meal plan only being 200 points is a huge disadvantage. And I believe only 200 points per meal plan is quite absurd, even if they’re a commuter, things like that.” 

When it comes to student complaints, Roberts said that she will be investing time in fixing issues like parking and dining. 

“I’m actually looking forward to meeting with the administrators so we can actually get some of these problems fixed,” Roberts said. 

Kay Owolabi — Vice Presidential Candidate

Amid issues of parking and transportation, Kay Owolabi, SGA vice presidential candidate, said that she wants to work on improving the relationship and communication between administration and students. Owolabi, a sophomore political science and law in society double major, said that SGA will accomplish this through being “the middle guy” and facilitating conversations. 

“I feel like this year, students felt like their voices weren’t being heard,” Owolabi said. 

In addition, Owolabi she also wants to build bridges between students and SGA. 

“I feel that our main job is advocating for the students, and we’re representatives, but I feel like students don’t feel comfortable coming to us with their concerns, with their feedback and whatever it is,” Owolabi said. “I feel like we have the SGA suite, but people don’t feel comfortable going in there.” 

In order to make students more comfortable bringing their concerns to SGA, Owolabi said that she will encourage elected members to go into the community and ask students about what they want to see done. In addition, Owolabi said that working with student organizations on co-sponsorships will help students feel heard. 

Within SGA, Owolabi said that change has to be made. The Chronicle reported in February that 10 SGA representatives stepped down from their positions since the end of the fall 2021 semester. Owolabi said that retention is a paramount issue because SGA needs to properly represent the students.  

“It’s not just that students don’t want to run, there’s something that really clearly needs to be fixed,” Owolabi said. 

Owolabi motivated students to come to the SGA suite and her office when elected and talk about concerns and possible initiatives. 

“I want (students) to know that my campaign is very simple,” Owolabi said. “It’s about you, the students.” 

Kay Owolabi, the candidate for vice president, said that change needs to be made within SGA so more students run for positions. (Photo contributed by Kay Owolabi)

Jake Cedor — Candidate for Vice President for Operations

As SGA elections continue uncontested and retention rates within the organization drop, Jake Cedor, the candidate for vice president for operations and a first-year international business major, said he plans on combating these issues.  

“One of my biggest things that I noticed this year, we had a lot of trouble with retention,” Cedor said. “So in training, I want to try and fix some of those problems and bring the group together more and make them feel more connected. Because I feel like if they are more connected, they’ll be less likely to leave, they’ll feel more dedicated to each other.”

When it comes to getting students to run for posts, Cedor said that “at least two” people should run for every position within SGA. 

“The candidate pool has been very small and I feel like there should never be any position that goes uncontested, and that is the main thing that’s been happening,” Cedor said. 

Jake Cedor, the candidate for vice president for operations, said he plans on improving member training and retention. (Photo contributed by Jake Cedor)

Cedor will be the first to run for the new position of vice president for operations. Budgeting and finance responsibilities were formerly given to the vice president for finance, but the position has since been changed. 

“(The position) takes in some of the finance stuff from last year,” Cedor said. ”It also takes in elections for SGA and training for us.” 

Cedor said that he will approach the new position by working directly with students on organization budgets. 

“I want (students) to feel comfortable coming to me with questions,” Cedor said. “I don’t want them to feel like they have to go to an administrator or something. And I also want to build an environment with students where they can bring the questions and not feel like they’re being judged.” 

Jamie Setzler — Candidate for Vice President for Inclusion

The candidate for vice president for inclusion is Jamie Setzler, a first-year political science major. She said she wants to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the university by working with the Multicultural Student Leadership Council. 

“There’s a lot of identities that I can’t represent personally, and (the MSLC) know their identity much better than I ever will, so I want to hear directly from them,” Setzler said. 

In addition, Setzler said she plans on working with the rest of SGA to “run effective events” such as Ask Away and Talks On The Rocks

Setzler said that one of her first priorities in the position will be ensuring that professors respect their students’ identities. 

Jamie Setzler said she wants to work with the Multicultural Student Leadership Council as vice president for inclusion. (Photo contributed by Jamie Setzler)

“One of the things I’m interested in is making sure when teachers ask for introductions in the beginning of class, they say, ‘say your name,’ and they ask that pronouns are said but don’t necessarily enforce it in case kids aren’t comfortable stating their pronouns,” Setzler said. “So just offer it up so that kids who do want to say their pronouns don’t feel singled out.” 

When it comes to running for SGA as a first-year, Setzler expressed confidence in her capabilities. 

“I understand that I’m not the most experienced person to go up for this role, but I hope the fact that I am going for it speaks to my dedication and the fact that I really want to work hard at this,” Setzler said. 

Jackie Babyak — Candidate for Vice President for Public Relations

Sophomore health science major Jackie Babyak said that one of her goals as vice president for public relations, the position she is running for, is to continue traditions that bring the community together like “bobcat Fridays” and SGA’s “sweet treats” events.  

In addition, Babyak said she wants to frequently update students on SGA initiatives. 

“Social media is a huge outlet for (communicating with students),” Babyak said. “So a lot of people, or a lot of times students are commenting on the (SGA) Instagram or DMing, or things like that. So I can communicate with them through that.” 

Babyak joined the other candidates in motivating students to approach SGA with any comments or questions they may have. 

“I’m just passionate about SGA and helping others and that if people want to see change happen, definitely come to us, come to me, I want to amplify your voices, not shut them down,” Babyak said. “And I’m a student too, so I want the same things you do.”

Jackie Babyak is running for SGA vice president for public relations. (Photo contributed by Jackie Babyak)