The 2022-23 Student Association e-board elections are currently underway and will run until Friday at 4 p.m.
Following last year’s lightly-contested and partyless election, this year’s ballot boasts nine candidates from four parties vying for president, vice president and treasurer positions. The winners will each collect annual stipends of $15,750 and control SA’s $4.5 million budget, which is funded by UB’s mandatory student activity fee.
Undergraduate students can cast their votes via UB Linked or by following the link in SA’s Instagram bio (@ub_sa).
The Spectrum has compiled the platforms and qualifications of each candidate on the ballot. Here’s everything to know about the SA e-board hopefuls:
Amplify UB says it is running on a platform focused on taking the student experience and amplifying it, party leader A.J. Franklin said in an interview with The Spectrum.
Franklin, a junior psychology major and Spectrum contributing writer, is running for president alongside vice presidential candidate and junior psychology major Alexandra Cuatlayo, and treasurer candidate and junior studio art major Alana Lesczynski.
The party’s agenda includes promoting student wellness, amplifying student voices, advocating for the environment, revitalizing event programming, improving club services, boosting student engagement and creating career development opportunities.
Community outreach plays a big role throughout the platform, which features projects such as increasing student awareness of SA services and events via an individualized SA event calendar, increased community outreach across the greater Buffalo area and financial literacy and professional development workshops.
“Amplify, think about amplifying people’s voices,” Lesczynski said. “That’s very important to me.”
Running mates Becky Paul-Odionhin and Sammi Pang say they plan to reform SA by centering its values around student interests and by focusing on “three pillars”: student wellness, sustainability and community.
“We do want to place a greater focus on initiatives that SA can develop or improve to make the day-to-day life of a student better,” Paul&Pang said in a party statement. “We want to focus on mental health and develop more programs to help students understand how to manage stress, use their insurance and more.”
The party, consisting of presidential candidate and sophomore industrial and systems engineering major Paul-Odionhin, and vice presidential candidate and sophomore business administration major Pang, says it will also look to improve relations between the SA and its clubs. The party plans to implement an anonymous form that would allow club e-board members and non-e-board members to communicate directly with the SA e-board.
“Clubs are incredibly important to all of our college experiences and we want to make
sure their e-boards have access to the resources that SA provides so that they have the tools to
successfully run and grow their clubs,” the party said.
It also plans on revisiting the SA’s sustainability pledge to reform operations in compliance with UB’s plan to become climate neutral by 2030, which was put on hold upon the emergence of the pandemic.
The 1 Man Party
SA presidential candidate Nathen Cottom initially registered as an independent, but will now appear on the ballot under “The 1 Man Party” banner.
The senior exercise science major’s platform is built around strengthening relations between students and the university, educating clubs on SA resources, increasing student support and improving SA operations so the organization can stay afloat.
“The reason I’m running is I saw SA [at] its lowest, especially during COVID-19 — when we were all, arguably, at our lowest,” Cottom said in an interview with The Spectrum. “I think next year definitely is our chance to get off the ground running and be put in a position where hopefully we can leave SA in a better spot than it was pre-COVID-19. In doing so I hope that all clubs who had troubles these past couple of semesters find it easier to do stuff and we can go back to doing what it is people want out of the student government.”
UB Blue Strength
Consisting of members of the current SA e-board, the UB Blue Strength party says it plans on focusing on strengthening and continuing to rebuild core elements of the SA in the wake of the pandemic.
“This e-board brought back monthly council meetings to keep in contact [with the student body], hosted events to help clubs get exposure and fought to maintain club storage space in the [Student] Union after club rooms were revoked by the university,” the party said in a statement. “As members of this e-board, Austin and Montana would like to come back and work with Tyler to improve SA by Strengthening SA Knowledge, SA’s Advocacy Structures and SA Clubs.”
Current SA treasurer Austin Wolfgang, a junior criminology and political science major, and current SA vice president Montana Desabio, a sophomore history and social studies education major, are joined by freshman economics and political science major Tyler Herman on the ticket, as they run for president, vice president and treasurer, respectively.
Specific projects the party has in the works include informational orientation programming, adding two new assistant directors in the student affairs department and plans to create an SA policy and club resource library.
Kyle Nguyen is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Nguyen is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum.