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Meet The Candidates: Elisha and Joshua

Fri, Mar 31st 2017 02:00 pm
Emma Misiaszek/ PHOT EDITOR

Joshua (left) and Eli (right) will be running for Vice President and President, respectively, in the upcoming BSG election.
Emma Misiaszek/ PHOT EDITOR Joshua (left) and Eli (right) will be running for Vice President and President, respectively, in the upcoming BSG election.


 Although Elisha Madison and Joshua Matthews are The College at Brockport's new Brockport Student Government president and vice president after running unopposed, they never lacked the ideas or the experience to lead their campaign up to the Monday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 4 elections. 

Building off of the initiatives current President Devin Bonner and Vice President Danielle Fenley have been working on, and taking with them their knowledge of the BSG functions into their positions, Madison and Matthews are ready to take on the challenge. 

Hoping for some competition initially, Madison and Matthews acknowledge the advantages to running unopposed; the pair can hit the ground running. 

The two feel the disadvantage of the situation as well, saying in an interview that they weren't ultimately "picked" by the students. 

The Stylus and Talon Television caught up with the two before the elections to catch up on what they're all about and how they are planning on helping students get their voices heard in the coming year. 

To catch more of the political conversation, check out the full video interview on brockportstylus.org.

Q: What is your campaign platform? 

Eli: "So one thing that I really want to stress and it's something that is stressed every year is transparency. It's a common theme but if I'm not currently in a meeting I want my door to be open. I really want people to come in and be like 'hey, I have questions and problems about x, y, z.' I don't want it to just be the office assistants who are answering these questions. I want to be able to interact and if I can't help I can go get someone who will be able to, as well as the organization itself." 

Josh: So if you guys haven't been able to catch the debate, Eli and I have three main points to our platform. Like he said it's inclusivity, and we want to try to program for all people on campus not just your traditional on-campus students and then thirdly we want to be inclusive. There's the traditional sense of the word where it means getting different cultural groups involved and stuff like that but it's also more than that. So, when it comes to BSG, for us to be effective we have to get the entire campus involved. So, that doesn't mean your 250 student leaders that go to all events. It means the 8,600 students whether it be the metrocenter, the grad students ... everybody. We want them to be able to get involved in the decision making because as this is a "student government" it's a democracy and it's not good for a student government to assume what the students want. We want the students to say: 'Hey, this is what we want. What can you do to help us with this?'

Eli: That's a challenge in and of itself. You can understand why it's been that way because you have your constituency of however the third of the student body right on campus and generally your programming is around campus. So, we can understand how it's been that way but what sort of steps could we take to get more commuters or people who just come to class and then go home. How can we sort of pull them in to use their student activity fee to the fullest?

Q: How will you give students a voice? 

Eli:Well we were working on it this year in the debates I mentioned this, our online petition system. So, if you look on RIT's website they have this system called "Pawprints" in which someone can submit a petition and if it gets a certain amount of up votes essentially then it's sent to the student government and they have to do something about it. Like they have to meet with whatever administration or at least give a response back to be like 'If we couldn't do anything here's why' and 'If we can only do a little bit here's why' we've been working a lot with that this year we've had meeting with the IT department. We were given a timetable of like maybe, April, this April but then they were understaffed, projects piled up and then they gave us a new estimate of two years from now. So, we've been working with the RIT student government to see if we can get the code for the system and implement it ourselves. Not within the Brockport web page itself but on a separate domain so we can get the culture built with that petitioning system and after two years it can get integrated into Brockport's website. 

Josh: I'm all about getting people involved. So, I try going to the different committees we have on campus, the four different councils we have within BSG which are academic, the fine arts, the service and the cultural council. I'll go to those council meetings and say 'oh hey, these clubs are here' and then I'll try to fit this club's meeting time into my schedule. I do that a lot to sort of find out who's out there and get my face out there so people are more comfortable coming up to me and saying 'hey, this is my problem'. That's the biggest thing and I mentioned it, we can't do much if students don't get involved. There's strength in numbers. We can take the students' voice and put it in a certain format and give it to the administration and say 'yeah, this our game plan.' 



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