Originally posted March 22, 2016
With Student Government Association (SGA) elections beginning on Friday, now is the perfect time to get to know the Vice Presidential candidates that are running! The candidates took the time to answer a few questions that will help students become educated voters.
MAGGIE BEAN, ‘18, Management of Creative Media w/Publishing Specialization
Favorite thing about Champlain: “I think Champlain has a very unique community. It’s a really great combination of different students with the underlying theme of passion for what they’re doing.”
“I bring a new perspective to student government. I’m really invested in student government being inclusive of all students and feel that all students should have a voice in the school,” Maggie said.
Over this past year, Maggie has gained a lot of experience with the SGA as co-founder of Champlayers, Champlain’s drama club. She feels that her experience with SGA from the clubs perspective gives her a different perspective of SGA and how to improve it.
Maggie believes that SGA is an important liaison between students and the administration and wants to empower students to take advantage of that.
“I really want that if a student has a problem for SGA to be one of the main resources on campus that all students feel they can go to,” she said. “That opportunity is the main reason that I’m running for Vice President.”
To accomplish that goal, she wants to implement more “systematic outreach” from SGA, like events and group sessions for each major to communicate with their senators and give feedback.
“SGA does a lot of ‘come to us, come to us,’ but I feel like it can be a little intimidating for a student to just walk into Hearthstone if they don’t know anybody and be like ‘I have this idea,’” Maggie said.
Jared Knepper, ‘19, Management & Innovation
Favorite thing about Champlain: “I really like the way Champlain structures things… having a lot of opportunities to engage with smaller groups and having a setup where you’re living in that and being educated in that, I think that’s really special.
“I’m really invested in engaging in the student body. I’m invested in being a part of whatever groups I can, so that I can listen for their concerns and gauge their interests so I know what can benefit them most in what we do in SGA,” Jared said.
Jared is a current First Year Senator all-around people person. He really enjoyed his first year in SGA getting to engage with different groups of the student body across campus, and thinks his experience has prepared him to become the vice president.
“Having been in SGA this year and having learned the function of how SGA works best and having familiarity with all the documents that we have that guide all of our procedures, I think it is really important to have somebody in the position of Vice President that was aware of how all that works,” Jared said.
He feels SGA’s job is addressing the interests of the student body, and if elected he’ll work to make the SGA the voice of the student body. He wants SGA to become more present and more aware of what’s happening with its constituents so it can be “very attentive to what those students are saying, even if they aren’t coming directly to us.”
Zhomart Dairov, ‘17, Business Administration
Favorite thing about Champlain: “The opportunity to get the real-life experience right off the bat from our incredibly passionate and well-experienced professors.”
“‘Let us dare’ the motto of Champlain College is one by which I live because it inspires me to strive for excellence every day. If not for that attitude I might not have transferred from Kazakhstan let alone run for SGA. With my innovative thinking and my passion for business administration I am certain that I will be able to excel as Champlain College’s next Vice President,” Zhomart said.
If elected, Zhomart plans to expand upon student representation and discussion in all issues, and improve the decision making process. Zhomart has a lot of international experience that he wants to use to “help nurture global citizenship” at Champlain.
He feels that active listening, integrity and honesty are important skills for the Vice Presidency, but on top of those, he values flexibility.
“You always have to be sure that you’re trying to be adaptable and that you’re trying to find the common ground between you and the person you’re talking to,” Zhomart said.