Established in 2017

Meet your student-body presidential candidates

By: Madison Ruffo

Nick Graham

Image by Brigid Gorman

Major: Finance with a minor in philosophy

Year: Junior

Hometown: Syracuse, N.Y.

Clubs/organizations: NUSGA Freshman and Sophomore class president, NUSGA student-body vice president (currently), and a work study with NU’s women’s basketball team.

Why do you want to be student-body president?

I am a firm believer that many of us are putting a self-imposed ceiling on what we think we are able to do and what we are capable of as young adults and students. I want to simultaneously challenge and push the student body to seek more of what they can do to better for themselves and their overall experience at Niagara. I want to emulate a true culture of opportunity and fulfillment. Something that troubles me is when people have concerns or complaints, but do nothing about themt. I want to guide people in the right direction of resolution and will gladly initiate any necessary conversations that need to take place in order to improve a student’s well-being.

What makes you qualified to be student-body president?

My past participation in NUSGA in key roles makes me knowledgeable of the capabilities of the organization and would make for an easy transition into next school year. I feel that I have formed many relationships over several different groups of people on campus making me decently well-known. It is important for someone in this position to have a familiar face people can trust and count on, I truly feel like I can be that individual.

What is your main goal that you’d hope to achieve if you take office?

My main goal I hope to achieve is to leave NUSGA and Niagara University in a better state than what I started with. Simple as that.

What do you like about NU?

I always find myself discussing how beneficial our smaller class sizes have been for me personally. I feel that the familiarity between students and professors goes a long way come the end of the term. Both the professors and administration truly care about their students’ performance and overall experience. This is something you don’t find at every college or university and I am glad to say I enrolled into a place where this is held in high regard. Many departments around campus are all extremely responsive when anything is brought to their attention. In order for anyone to do their job to the best of their abilities, they need to hear the responses from those they are providing for. This is why I want to be the voice for those that are more reluctant to speak on their own terms.

What are some areas of improvement you plan to focus on?

I hope to persuade clubs to hold themselves to a higher standard and work together amongst one another. Whether it be co-sponsoring events, joint fundraising and community service, or even helping out in the area they specialize. One example could be Camp Courage reaching out to NUMA to help advertise the Dance Marathon or the upcoming Courage Bowl. I will also promote discussion amongst NUSGA itself to raise our standards and seek new, unexplored ventures we can put together for respective classes and the entire student body.

Are there any changes you plan to implement as student-body president?

A potential change I wish to take forward is an alteration to the class delegation structure. As of now a class delegation consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and then 5 senators. The change would consist of eliminating two senator positions and adjusting the other three to more specific roles. Those roles being marketing, programing, and advocacy. I am extremely hopeful that this change would make elections more competitive and also result in a rise of productivity among delegations. To this point, the senator positions duties are vague and aligning them to a direct cause can enable further strides to be made for the betterment of all students.

How do you plan to encourage prospective students to attend NU?  

I am confident that the culture that can be created here will be able to, for the most part, speak for itself. The more a place or organization has to talk about how well their culture is, the less creditable that culture is in my opinion. Culture is felt and understood, visibly evident no matter where you look. A plan I have is to promote a typical walk around campus where you see 15 familiar faces on your walk from your dorm to the dining hall. Walking past smiling faces that KNOW YOUR NAME. A video can easily capture all of this without even being staged giving prospective students a feel of the vibe on campus and what it looks like from the eyes of a student.

What steps, if any, do you plan to take to help NU lead the initiative toward a more sustainability campus and region?

As a member of the University Planning and Recourse Council (UPRC) I am actually apart of the sustainability committee within that. I have had discussions with Jason on getting recycling dumpsters outside of Seton, O’Shea, and the west side of campus. Furthermore, I am looking into what needs to be done to replace current, poorly functioning recycling bin options all over campus. This is our home and we should all treat and respect it as such.

How do you plan to tackle housing complaints such as rodents, low residential student numbers and out-dated on-campus apartments?

Conversations are taking place to address and fix these concerns. Many of these concerns above were brought to the last Town Hall meeting and then reported back to cabinet and the Outreach & Advancement committee. From there, assignments were delegated to get to the bottom of all this. In terms of the rodent problem, I know the exterminator inspection had to be withheld until the weather turned which we are now finally seeing. The concerns within the apartments were brought to ResLife and committee members will be having conversation with then in the coming week.

How do you plan to improve student life?

I fully intend to keep the Diversity and Inclusion chair position, and hope to solidify its spot on cabinet. More engagement needs to take place from domestic and international students. I feel that many of them come to America not just for the education but just as much for the experience. It is unarguably easier for a student like me to adjust to college than those from another country, maybe even speaking a different language. Allow us to be the ones to help facilitate their transition into this lifestyle and build particularly unique relationships with each other.

Jake Bachner

Image by Brigid Gorman

Major: Accounting with a minor in fraud

Year: Junior

Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.

Clubs/organizations: NUSGA class of 2020 treasurer since 2016, Special Olympics coach, and a former Accounting Society member

Why do you want to be student-body president?

Niagara University has given me so many opportunities to grow. I would like to help NU continue to provide opportunities to students for advancement while also getting a greater number of students involved in campus events. I know I can improve the lives of the students here at NU. I have a passion for this school and I would like to give back. In addition, I want to give the students options for chances to have their voices heard and those ideas they present acted upon. I would not let students feel like their voices mean nothing.  

What makes you qualified to be student-body president?

Upon coming to NU I began to grow using the many resources that were available to me.  Resources like NUSGA and career services have shaped me to be the person I am today. I would like to use those things I have learned to help better the school that has taught me so much. I have been in NUSGA for three years as treasurer of the class of 2020, and with that experience I understand what it takes to lead and serve. I understand how the internal mechanisms of the politics at NU work, what should be fixed, and what is already working effectively and efficiently for the benefit of the student body. I am a strong problem solver and I will use those skills to change the school for the better.  

What is your main goal that you’d hope to achieve if you take office?

My main goal is to advocate for the students. I want to improve facilities and quality of life on campus. I would have every class delegate have an advocacy goal they are passionate about so that this school can see some change. They would plan, help price, and work with faculty members to make improvement come to student life faster.

What do you like about NU?

NU is spectacular at providing a wide array of opportunities to its students. It offers resources that help shape students to be the best professional, well-educated, diverse, and experienced individuals possible. NU cares for its students and I would like to bring that to the forefront.

What are some areas of improvement you plan to focus on?

I would like to improve the quality of life for all students, both commuters and residents. Many commuters have very little activities to do when they are waiting for a class or an event. I would like to create better places to go and activities to do in their free time. I want the residents to feel more at home and have nicer amenities. Also, I want to improve the student body’s perception of NUSGA by showing them more of what they do as an organization. I want to have NUSGA be seen as a supporter of clubs, not as a police force.   

Are there any changes you plan to implement as student-body president?

I plan to add meetings for club officers to help advise them mid semester for their fundraising goals and volunteer hours. This way, NUSGA is not seen as officers but as people there to help support the clubs. In addition, I want to continue the diversity and inclusion chair. I would like to add to it and make more clear cut its objectives, such as supporting and advocating for all forms of diversity.

How do you plan to encourage prospective students to attend NU?  

Projects that would be run by the classes would appeal to people from all walks of life, drawing in interest from potential future students. Also, improving facilities and adding more events to campus life will help draw in recruits as well.

What steps, if any, do you plan to take to help NU lead the initiative toward a more sustainability campus and region?

I would love to see some of the aforementioned class and club projects advocate towards helping to make our campus more green. I know there are students that are passionate and have ideas that we can implement in our school so that we can not only better ourselves as stewards of this planet, but also improve the environment around us. 

How do you plan to tackle housing complaints such as rodents, low residential student numbers and out-dated on-campus apartments?

Issues like these are the main goals for why I choose to run for student body President. Students see these issues and complain, but often it is a long process to see any results or see the problem fixed. I want students to know that we are not ignoring them, and I will do everything in my power to speed up the process of fixing student issues.

How do you plan to improve student life?

I would keep the diversity and inclusion chair while also giving it more defined objectives. I think diversity is important to our school and I would ensure diversity stays in the mind of students.  

To learn more about your candidates for student-body president, check out the Wire’s coverage of last week’s debate. General elections will be open on MyNU on March 28 and 29.

 

Image by Brigid Gorman

2 Responses to “Meet your student-body presidential candidates”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: