Henry Gamber and Allison Harris
With a vote that could raise your student fees by over $40 and a budget of $500,000 of student money on the line, the stakes for the SGA executive election are higher than ever.
Students will vote from March 16 to March 18 to elect a president, vice president, internal affairs director and comptroller to the SGA Executive Council.
Three parties and two independent candidates have announced their intent to run for the four executive positions.
The first party that announced is the Roos for Reform ticket, which includes: junior Brandon Henderson running for president, sophomore Mahreen Ansari for vice president, senior Victor Michimani for internal affairs director and junior Kole Keeney for comptroller.
The second ticket announced was the Progress Party, which includes incumbent SGA president and senior Justice Horn. The ticket also includes senior Mary Petropoulos running for vice president, junior Dylan Groves for director of internal affairs and junior Alex Derrickson for comptroller.
The last ticket to announce was the Roo Strong party, which includes junior Daphne Posadas running for president and junior Hope Romero running for vice president.
Two candidates are also running as independents. Sophomore De’Ja McGee is running for internal affairs director and junior Patrick Brown is running for comptroller.
Each of the tickets have distinct campaign platforms.
“We wanted our message to be that we want to change the way that SGA functions right now,” Roos for Reform candidate Brandon Henderson said. “We want to establish a better sense of priorities for SGA.”
The Roos for Reform platform has focused on bringing more accountability and transparency to SGA.
The Progress Party, which is the only party to include an incumbent candidate, plans to continue efforts of the current administration.
“Our ticket has five main policies that we are incredibly passionate about,” Progress Party candidate Mary Petropoulos said, “including parking reform, new food with new hours on campus, more diverse safe spaces for students, climate action and counseling services.”
Roo Strong has taken a different focus than the other parties. Their campaign is focused on fostering a stronger community, particularly for transfer students, increasing support services and giving students a way to voice concerns.
“From our work in the Office of Admissions, we have learned that building a foundation is difficult yet vital to establishing empowered leaders,” said Roo Strong candidates Daphne Posadas and Hope Romero.
The tickets have launched slick social media campaigns to boost their chances at the polls. Each party has an Instagram page with posts of endorsements, campaign platforms and members of the ticket.
The parties have printed flyers and buttons to promote awareness of their campaigns as well.
Despite the campaigns efforts to advertise their campaigns, students’ knowledge of the election and of the Student Government Association in general seems to be mixed.
“I know a little about the Roos for Reform and the Progress Party,” said sophomore Arianna Bailey. “I’m not quite sure where I stand as far as voting, haven’t heard anything from the campus about voting for SGA, and have never voted for student government at UMKC before.”