The Fairfield University Student Association Presidential election is fast approaching and students are beginning to express their interest in running for the position in order to provide a voice for the student community and effectively make a difference.
The election itself will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27. However, there was a preliminary information session regarding the position of both president and vice president on Feb. 7, which outlined what the respective positions entail.
Senior Anthony Szymonik, the acting election commissioner for this FUSA election, stated that in regards to voting, “students will be able to visit OrgSync on Tuesday, Feb. 27 and vote through the FUSA portal. There will also be election booths available near the old info desk in the Barone Campus Center.”
He added that in regards to the importance of the office, “it is a great opportunity to demonstrate how students can lead their peers.”
According to Szymonik, “As the FUSA Constitution states, the president serves as the official spokesperson for FUSA and must act as a liaison between the student body, the Board of Trustees and the community. It holds many responsibilities and expectations.”
This position, he added, is a great way for students to show leadership among their peers, but one must keep in mind the importance of this role.
In terms of what the next FUSA president should do, Brendan McMahon ‘20, felt that, “I think the next FUSA president should try taking more student ideas for parties and events so that they can get a better idea of what events the student body would actually attend.”
One pair that has declared their intention to run for the respective offices of FUSA president and vice president are the current Director of the Programming Board Danielle Rice ‘19 and Chief Justice of the FUSA court Matthew Marshall ‘19.
Marshall commented that, “if elected, we are looking to continue the tradition of FUSA president and vice president, serving as an advocate and voice for all of the undergraduate student body.”
As for their goals if elected, Marshall added, “We can only hope that conversations are started, prompting action and change for not only the year to come, but leaving forth a legacy both of us are proud of.”
When asked about the election, Aidan Danaher ‘20 said that, “I feel as though they should be advertising these elections to the general student body more effectively. Moving forward, I would like to see some effective change being made on campus.”
Marshall noted that the main strive for office, if elected, would be that, “We want to make sure all students’ opinions are being heard. Over the course of the election process, we are trying to meet with as many students as we can from first-year transfer students, second semester seniors and everyone else in between.”
In terms of why the pair decided to announce their intention for running, Marshall stated that their love for Fairfield University and their dedication for FUSA over the years were both the main drives as to why they chose to seek office.
Another pair that intends to run for the presidency and vice presidency are current FUSA class of 2019 senators Nicholas Lanni ‘19 and Katherine Santo ‘19. In terms of what they aim to accomplish if elected, Santo stated, “One of our main goals is to increase school spirit on campus. We find that many times students are not interested in staying on campus during the weekends, but instead plan on going to the beach.”
Santo added that they are in correspondence with the Senior Associate Athletics Director Zach Dayton with the intention of getting more student attendance at athletic games on campus and encouraging the hosting of more student tailgating events.
First-year student Mateen Khawaja stated that, “I think the new FUSA president should try to get students more involved with the community by putting on better events that appeal to more people.”
Another student, Yann Konan ‘20 noted that, “I think they should definitely include students that don’t come out as much because they’re shy, or those from different cultures.”
In terms of why Santo believes she is qualified to run for the presidency, she noted that, “Being on the Executive Board, I have become familiar with the day-to-day operations of each board and branch of FUSA, which I believe is crucial knowledge to have when serving in the role of FUSA President. I believe my past experience and personal passion for making Fairfield University the best school it can be is what has prepared me to take on the role of FUSA President.”
In regards to why it is important to vote, Santo added that, “I believe it is important to voice your opinion, in a respectful manner, and show support for your classmates while doing it. Attending events such as the Meet the Candidates night will help students gain a better insight of the tickets who are running and hopefully spark some interest to encourage them to vote.”
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