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Meet the Candidates

With Student Government Association (SGA) elections beginning on this Friday, now is the perfect time to get to know who's running! The candidates took the time to answer a few questions that will help students become educated voters.

Presidential Candidates:

Christa Bennett, ‘18, Filmmaking, she/her

Photo courtesy of Christa Bennett.

Photo courtesy of Christa Bennett.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I see a lot of problems around campus, and I want to use my voice as student leader to better improve the experiences of students

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I'm outspoken and bold in the way I present myself. I never stop fighting for the topics that I believe in, and I refuse to half-ass anything. And, I'm always willing to listen no matter how hard the situation.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

If elected President, I will continue advocating and working with groups such as the Diversity Ambassadors and the Women’s and Gender Center to continue to boost their campus platforms and continue their progress around campus. I also realize that there are needs within the ITS Division, and I would like to work with these students to have them met, whether it’s to get updated equipment and programs or better labs for students to learn in, I want to see the much-needed change, in order for our students to succeed.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

That there are many places on campus where students can go, hang out and connect with like-minded people.

Who is your biggest role model?

My brother Josh. He's 6 years older than me and has taught that as long as I believe in myself and put the work in, I can do anything.

What's your favorite movie?

Pride and Prejudice (2005).

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Telepathy or Telekinesis.

 

Tyler Nettleton, ‘19, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity, he/him

Photo courtesy of Tyler Nettleton.

Photo courtesy of Tyler Nettleton.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I would love to have the opportunity to make Champlain the best possible college experience for our students. In my mind, that can be achieved through greater involvement and voice from the student body as a whole. I feel that through my previous roles in the education industry, I can be a good representation of our student body to the Champlain Administration.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I have worked for the past five years in multiple jobs revolving around student advocation and choice in their educations. I worked for the Rhode Island Department of Education on a five-year planning board, where my focus was on personalized education and basing the life of a student off of the choices they can make for themselves in their education. I also work with SkillsUSA, which is an organization that works to teach and prepare students for work in trade fields. I strive to improve the experience of students in their education to allow them to take charge of their own path.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

I want to work on communication and the transparency of the SGA. These are both issues that have been worked on before, but I would like to see them make a noticeable difference to the student body. Firstly, making the website more easily accessible as well as updating information often. I would also like to make the SGA a more student-friendly organization. I feel as though students may not feel comfortable talking to their SGA representatives or maybe don't even know who they are. I want Champlain to be a community where everyone feels like they are able to play an equal part and do what they want to do.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

It's a toss-up between the opportunities we have as students here and the beautiful location.

Who is your biggest role model?

Jim Carrey.

What's your favorite movie?

The Social Network.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Teleportation.

Vice Presidential Candidates:

Bianca Roa, ‘18, Marketing with a specialization in Integrated Advertising, she/her

Photo courtesy of Bianca Roa.

Photo courtesy of Bianca Roa.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I'm running for SGA because I want to empower students so that they get the most out of their four years. Champlain has given me more than I could have imagined during my time here, and I want to make sure that next year and in the future students have a positive experience like I've had. They should feel like they are being supported by their SGA, and I plan to be that for the Champlain student body.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

One of my main platforms is increasing and embracing diversity. As an advocate on campus I’ve focused on gender rights through the Stiller Women in Business, but this is just one of the many causes that need SGA support. My platform of course includes the differences of race, gender and sexuality, but I also want to explore the various opinions on campus and make sure that all student needs are being heard. Majority or minority should not matter, because all student voices are valid.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

I want to work on Student Government Association’s accessibility. Though many individuals on campus know a member of SGA, they may not realize it. On top of that, students don't often don’t know where to go with issues or the resources in place to support them. Presence on campus is key, as is clarity with messaging and easily found documentation.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

My favorite thing about Champlain College is how students are more than just a face in a crowd. I appreciate the one-on-one nature of the classroom, and it has allowed me to connect on a deeper level with my professors, advisors and other students.

Who is your biggest role model?

I am very inspired by Michelle Obama! Regardless whether or not you agree with her husband’s political views, she is an undoubtedly an intelligent, well-spoken and all around amazing woman who took on criticism with grace. Michelle also worked on causes I care about such as getting kids active and providing access to education for children worldwide. Not to mention she has a killer wardrobe!

What's your favorite movie?

I'd have to go with Moana. Any of my friends will tell you I'm absolutely obsessed! Animated movies are my favorite, and this one is visually stunning with a killer soundtrack.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Teleportation! Travelling to every single continent is on my bucket list, and that would definitely make it easier!

Christian Perez-Waldo, ‘19, Computer Networking & Cybersecurity, he/him

Photo courtesy of Christian Perez-Waldo.

Photo courtesy of Christian Perez-Waldo.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I’m running for SGA to make Champlain college a better, more inclusive place for students. My goal is to lobby on behalf of the students needs and desires to make a campus that everyone can be excited about.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

Every candidate has their strengths, but I know that if I can accomplish my goals every student will actually understand what SGA does and what we can do for them.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

I want to focus on increasing the transparency and accessibility of communications between students and college administration, making the SGA more receptive to student needs, streamlining the student club budgeting process and putting the decision-making power in the hands of club leaders.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

The school’s Upside-Down Curriculum lets every student dive into their major right away, something unheard of at other institutions around the country.

Who is your biggest role model?

Elon Musk.

What's your favorite movie?

The Matrix.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Super Speed.

Erin Warner, ‘20, Management & Innovation, she/her

Photo courtesy of Erin Warner.

Photo courtesy of Erin Warner.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I am running for VP because my year as first-year senator has inspired me to create change. I was able to learn the ins and outs of SGA through that experience; thus, I have become passionate in giving the student body a voice.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I have prior SGA experience. I am currently a first-year senator. A vice president's role is to facilitate Senate meetings. I believe I would be the most effective candidate for the position because my current job easily translates into the VP role. Attending/Participating to Running/Facilitating.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

Create a better outreach toward students. As vice president, I would have the job to facilitate senate meetings. One of the responsibilities of these meetings is to allocate grant money to clubs and students. To do so an applicant must fill out an appendix G form, located on the SGA page. The people who know about these forms mainly comprise of club leaders and film students. I want a greater outreach to all divisions and mostly individual students who are unaware of our granting process. Those students who don't even know what SGA stands for lose the academic opportunity to better their education through financial aid on projects or attending events. And this is our fault as an association. Everyone should have funding if needed but may be unaware of the opportunity.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

All the activities and events during finals week that either give you food or help you relax.

Who is your biggest role model?

I think Bill Nye the Science Guy. He's entertaining and gets people to want to learn. He's big in political advocacy, and I appreciate how he used his fame to reach a younger generation who can now vote on environmental issues. What a guy.

What's your favorite movie?

Easily Inside Out. Pixar is love.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

To be able to move things with my mind. I really hate getting up to make snacks just to sit back down in my bed again.

Senate Candidates:

CCM:

Hansel Alexander Carter IV, ‘20, Filmmaking, he/him

Photo courtesy of Hansel Alexander Carter IV.

Photo courtesy of Hansel Alexander Carter IV.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I want to bring a voice to people and groups on campus whose opinions and feedback are not heard of or acted upon. I want to create a safe, diverse inclusive environment.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

My experiences from living overseas have given me the opportunity to learn about other cultures first-hand. I have an understanding of accepting other people’s needs and wishes and how to create an environment where everyone feels accepted, much like my previous schools.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

Diverse people having an equal say, as right now there is a population that does not. Event attendance with different social groups.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

The Upside-Down Curriculum is my favorite thing about Champlain because you are getting right into making those relationships with the people who plan to be in your chosen field of study from the start.

Who is your biggest role model?

Abed Nadir on Community.

What's your favorite movie?

Wall-E.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Layla's growing powers from Sky High.

EHS:

Gabe Ingman, ‘19, Environmental Policy, he/him

Photo courtesy of Gabe Ingman.

Photo courtesy of Gabe Ingman.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I am running for SGA in order to give the EHS majors and Environmental Policy program a voice. I want to get more of my division aware of and involved in the SGA. Not many others wanted to run so I felt it was my obligation to step forward and lead.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

What makes me unique is that I don't view what I'm running for as an individual position as much as a collective seat at the table for all EHS majors.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

The number one issue I am looking to fix by running for this position is to increase the transparency of the senator's position, let the EHS majors know how they can make a difference in the organization and get more students involved with the SGA in general.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

My favorite thing about Champlain is the sense of community you get your first year. As soon as the first week had passed, I knew I was at home here.

Who is your biggest role model?

My biggest role model is my dad.

What's your favorite movie?

My Neighbor Totoro.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

The ability to shapeshift into a bear.

ITS:

Aaron Leonard, ‘19, Computer & Digital Forensics

Why are you running for the SGA?

I'm running for re-election to the SGA to continue to ensure that students get the resources they need for clubs, activities and special events, as well as making communication from the SGA more accessible and open to all students.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I have several years of leadership, and I'm the kind of person that will push to make sure things that need to get done are getting done.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

I plan to work on the outward communication of the SGA and work towards getting more student requests implemented at a higher level than the SGA in an attempt to get more funding and providing larger resources to student requests and initiatives.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

My computer forensics classes.

Who is your biggest role model?

My parents.

What's your favorite movie?

Hacksaw Ridge.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Flying.

 

Dustin Yost, ‘19, Game Programming, he/him

Photo courtesy of Dustin Yost.

Photo courtesy of Dustin Yost.

Why are you running for the SGA?

I am running to serve in the SGA because I want to continue to be a proponent for change, transparency and engagement with the student body beyond the connections in my personal life.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I have been serving for two years and and speak to the history of the SGA. I also am very organized and efficient and have ideas for ways we can be a more transparent and beneficial organization.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

As always, improving communications between the SGA and the students/collegiate employees can always be improved. I also want to see more events which bring the majors of academic divisions together as well as bring the divisions themselves together.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

On my of favorite things about the Champlain community is our tenacity to rebound and get back on track when we realize we could be doing things better or in a different way.

What's your favorite movie?

Right now, Arrival.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

Very well developed telekinesis.

SSB:

Brett Schwartz, ‘20, Game Production Management, he/him

Photo by Quinn Kanner

Photo by Quinn Kanner

Why are you running for the SGA?

I want to make sure everyone gets a chance to be heard, to be a bridge not just for the student to teachers, but to student to students.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

My shining personality and determination to make sure everyone has a voice in the community.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

The lack of equality among students in the business programs, such as the poor treatment of women in the program.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

The accepting community and fact that it’s at most an hour from a handful of mountains.

Who is your biggest role model?

David Carlos, because he continues to beat the ever stacking odds that are against him.

What's your favorite movie?

I'm a huge fan of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the sole reason it lines up perfectly with Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

The ability to retain information while sleeping so that I could sleep during class and not fail.

Diversity:

Abi Sesay, ‘20, Law, she/her

Photo by Quinn Kanner

Photo by Quinn Kanner

Why are you running for the SGA?

I am running for SGA because I believe that I could be a great help in making Champlain a more inclusive and aware place both in the classroom and in the student body.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I think I'm different from other candidates in that I bring a lot of unique perspectives to the table due to my advocacy work and my own upbringing/experiences. Although I am in no way a perfect ally, I am always ready to listen and address concerns from underrepresented groups, they are why I do what I do.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

I would like to find ways to foster more diversity in Core classes by encouraging professors to teach students about cultures different from their own. I would also like to make sure that different cultures are being taught and discussed in a respectful and informative way. In addition to classroom diversity I would like to also like to make programs that aid in diversity much more accessible to students who need them such as the alternate name project.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

My favorite thing about Champlain is the willingness students have to learn about things different from them. It makes us such a great school to learn and succeed at.

Who is your biggest role model?

It's a tie between Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Both authors have written novels that had a big impact on my life as a child, so I try to channel their wisdom a lot.

What's your favorite movie?

Ratatouille!! I could watch the movie all day.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

I would love to be able to teleport because then I could go anywhere.

Bekemeh Airewele, ‘19, Marketing, she/her

Photo courtesy of Bekehmeh Airewele

Photo courtesy of Bekehmeh Airewele

Why are you running for the SGA?

I believe that Champlain College is a great place and that it can be a lot better; I really want to have a chance to help with that change.

What makes you different from the other candidates?

I believe that my openness and general knowledge about diversity makes me different. I'm also formally trained in different aspects of diversity.

What are the major issues you'll work to fix if elected?

I will work towards making sure that from day one in class students feel included. Through proper pronouns and pronunciations of names and the right/preferred names.

What's your favorite thing about Champlain?

I really enjoy the connections I've made with students.

Who is your biggest role model?

I have two role models. I want to be as smart as Angela Davis in life I believe that she is brilliant, but Naruto is one of my biggest inspirations. He came from nothing and rose to be Hokage through hard work and determination.

What's your favorite movie?

My favorite movies are Beast of the Southern Wild and Annie—all versions.

If you could have any superpower, what would you want?

I would want my imaginary friends to become real.

 

Voting starts Friday, March 24 at noon. Ballots will be sent to your mymail account, but you can also vote in Fireside lounge and get free maple cotton candy.

Jeremy MacKenzie's Hidden Blueprints

Jeremy MacKenzie's Hidden Blueprints