This Year’s SGA Election Most Interesting Yet


Photo by: Emily Wolfrum

Presidential candidates (left to right) Dan Garcia and Ryan Rogalinski address improving the Pace experience during the second debate in Pace Perk.

Emily Wolfrum, Editor-in-Chief

Since my freshman year, I have followed Student Government Association (SGA) elections closely, attending each debate, asking questions, and even campaigning. This year, however, is shaping up to be the most fascinating yet with extremely unpredictable outcomes and the addition of ten new positions.

The presidential race is a complete toss-up with wildcard Ryan Rogalinski running against current Executive Vice President Dan Garcia.

For those, like myself, who are consistently on top of all things SGA, Garcia is an obvious choice. He is incredibly involved, the poster child of Pace (but really, you’ll find him on multiple posters), and, as a current Executive Board member, he knows the ropes.

Rogalinski, by comparison, is admittedly uninvolved on campus. But, the junior entrepreneurship major brings with him outside experience, having created and operated his own businesses, and, more importantly, a larger majority of typically apathetic students.

And this is truly where things will get interesting. If Rogalinski can effectively get inactive students like himself to vote, he’s a shoe-in.

But that’s a huge if.

While Rogalinski outperformed Garcia in both debates, attendance still favored the current Executive VP.

Rogalinski acknowledged this obstacle during Wednesday’s debate in Kessel, identifying his greatest challenge as convincing students of his capability despite his lack of former leadership experience.

It’s still unclear which candidate will rack in the most votes, but students can expect very different outcomes depending upon the winner. SGA currently consists of a highly active minority of students, and Rogalinski could be the fix to expanding this group.

Another point of uncertainty within this year’s election is the looming question mark over the Executive Vice President position. With no formal candidates running, write-ins will determine the fate of Garcia or Rogalinski’s secondhand man or woman.

The addition of school representative elections has also contributed to the expansion of student involvement, adding ten new positions.

These positions, which allot two representatives per college, are aimed at communicating the academic interests of each respective school and its students and faculty.

For students voting in Dyson and the College of Health Professions, the selection process will be simple with two candidates for each school running.

If a mysterious write-in candidate doesn’t swoop into the competition, Dyson students can expect a perfect blend of representation: freshman communications major Andre Arias and sophomore psychology major Lisbeth Parra. Representing the largest Dyson professions, this duo also brings with it a balance of charismatic enthusiasm in Arias and levelheaded organization with Parra.

In the running for College of Health Professions representatives are freshman nursing major Cati Amaral and sophomore nursing major Henry Snyder.

Amaral carried herself well in the second debate, while Snyder was absent for both. This will likely not affect his campaign, however, as Snyder is a familiar face on campus, and Pace students like the easy route of picking what’s right in front of them.

Write-in candidates will fill two Seidenberg positions and at least one School of Education position. But students can be confident in candidate Shaina Weir for School of Education representation.

Weir, a junior education and biology major is a strong and articulate speaker, whose knowledge and communication of the college gave her rousing applause during the second debate.

Perhaps the most exciting campaign, however, will be in the Lubin School of Business, where five candidates are competing for two positions.

Great diversity exists within the Lubin candidates. An obvious choice exists within Lubin Business Association president Karen Reitan, whose grasp of the school and its students has led her to expand the organization during her term.

But the other candidates haven’t made the outcome quite so clear.

Were I a Lubin student, underdog Damon Young would have my vote. The junior, transfer student brings with him years of experience at his former school, where he was extremely active in student government and held a similar position.

As the student representative position is new to Pace, Young will be able to use his prior knowledge to help shape it, and based on his performance in debates, he has the most concrete ideas to do just that.

Young was the only candidate to provide specific plans for the position, which is exactly what a business representative should do.

With the work that the current E-board has done in SGA and the pending revision of their constitution, this year’s election will be largely transitional and formative to the future of student government.

According to Executive Advisor Shawn Livingston, last year’s voter turnout was the highest yet, and the goal this year is to break yet another record: 1000+ votes.

If ever there were a time to vote, that time would undeniably be now. So, find a polling station and choose wisely, Pace lovelies.