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Eight open senate seats, nine candidates

by Alyssa Daley
Tue, Apr 3rd 2018 10:00 pm

On Friday, March 30, five of the nine senators currently running for office gathered in the Seymour College Union Main Lounge at 8 p.m. to have their first official appearances as senate candidates. Although there are nine candidates, only eight seats remain open on the Brockport Student Government (BSG) Senate. The purpose of this congregation was to provide each the opportunity to share their respective platforms with the students in the audience. Candidates who were not able to attend were required to submit notices prior to the event to the BSG election commissioners. As it was 8 p.m. on the Friday of a holiday weekend, it was more likely than not that not all nine would be present. 

The candidates names in alphabetical order (with respective current class distinctions as provided by the myBrockport voting page) are: Adrianna Thrasher-Scutt, junior Deborah Olaguju, freshman Dhara Patel, senior Junior Auguste, junior Josiah Seaburg, sophomore Katelynn Demskie, sophomore Malcolm Misere, Sarah Thulhammer-Morrissey and freshman Alexander “Zander” Knowles.

Demskie, Auguste, Knowles, Patel and Seaburg were the candidates available to give speeches on Friday and did so in that order. Each attempted to successfully communicate the essences of their respective platforms to those present, even with the natural trepidation most feel prior and while speaking formally to a group of impressionable people. 

The order in which the candidates spoke was completely voluntary and Demskie was an ideal introductory candidate, as she was able to put the audience and her fellow potential senators at ease with her easy-going manner and with her experience of currently sitting on the BSG Student Court. During the question and answer portion of her speech, Demskie expanded upon one of the initiatives she would like to pursue next year.

“Since it’s going to be time for the midterm election, I want to work with Community Development a little bit and work on our democratic engagement and I think that can help the organization (BSG) as well because the more people who vote in our (BSG’s) elections, the better, but also, the more people who vote in [government elections the better],” Demskie said. “I think that is really important and something we don’t focus on that often, but still something that … really needs to be emphasized.”

After Demskie, Auguste took the stage, and as a “super” senior who has been around the block a few times with extensive on campus and community involvement, he was able to eloquently communicate his platform and perspective to those in the audience. 

“The reason I want to be a senator is so I am able to help out the transfer students and get their feedback,” Auguste said. “I want to make sure they have information available to them, because it’s one thing when you’re in the residential halls and your able to learn your information based on what they provide, it’s one thing to be able to walk around and meet people between classes, but it’s entirely different when you are a transfer.”

Knowles spoke next and used repetition and consistency to get his message across. The line, “I want to make you happy,” is his campaign slogan.

“Here at Brockport we, as students, are not always happy. We’re unhappy with facilities or homework or the grade I happened to get on my quiz this week,” Knowles said. “There are certainly issues around campus because nothing is perfect and I can’t promise that I’m going to make Brockport perfect, but I’ll do whatever I can to make it better … I am running for senate because I want to make you happy.”

Patel, one of two freshmen in the race, the other being Knowles, spoke next. Although she admitted to being a little nervous, she was able to keep her composure and successfully expanded upon her platform during the Q&A portion. 

“There have been a couple issues that have been brought to my attention and I want to bring forth those concerns to the administration and everyone involved in the matter,” Patel said of her motivation to run for a seat on the senate. “I would like to raise more funds for clubs such as Circle K and Women in Business … it would be an honor to help improve The College at Brockport.”

The last to speak on Friday was Seaburg, who had a difficult time getting his platform’s foundation across due to a spout of stage anxiety. However, like previous candidates, the Q&A allowed him to share his reasoning behind running for BSG senator.

“I want to represent the students,” Seaburg said. “I am very passionate about that. I’m [focused on] the issues of commuters and transfers.”

These senators have a slight advantage over those who were not able to present their platforms on Friday. Ideally, this will not impact who is awarded the eight open senate seats. The winners of the election will be announced by the end of the day on Wednesday, April 4.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
Staff Photographer

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