Student Government Association Hosts “Meet the Candidates Event” in Preparation for Elections

6 min read

Faith Monahan ’24

Staff Writer

This Sunday, SGA held its “Meet the Candidates” event for the upcoming academic year. The presidential candidates include Jack Stone ’22 and Jederick Estrella ’22. Leah Herbin ’22 and Maddy White ’22 are running for Vice President. Liz Foster ’22 and Clare Donohoe ’22 are running jointly for VP of Communications and will split their term. Renita Washington ’22 is running for re-election as VP of the Multicultural Affairs Council. Jason Farrell ’23 is running to be President of the Class of ’23, and Brianna Andrade ’24 is running to be president of the Class of ’24. The elections will take place from Wednesday, Apr. 21 to Thursday, Apr. 22.

Stone is currently serving as Vice President of SGA and has served in SGA for the past 3 years. In his opening statement, Stone said, “we can tackle really big issues that this campus faces in really innovative and creative ways.” As a long-standing member on the Academic Affairs Committee, Stone focused on the importance of mental health and his previous work on the issue, “making sure that coming out of a pandemic when students are suffering from mental health that they have the support they need at Trinity… Last spring, I was very insistent on students being able to pass/fail any classes they wanted… and to be exempted from required withdrawal and academic probation.”

On policies for improving diversity and inclusion on campus, Stone hopes to work with Admissions and to remove the perimeter fence around Trinity’s campus, “it’s ugly, it’s ineffective, and it only serves as a symbol of separation and segregation between Trinity and the greater Hartford community.” Noting Trinity’s success with its COVID-19 response, Stone said in the event that “there’s no reason that Trinity College cannot lead on issues of campus climate… We were able to keep students on campus because we had a really aggressive approach to [COVID-19].”

Estrella currently serves on SGA as a Senator for the Class of ’22. In his opening statement, Estrella spoke on the need for a more connected campus, “We’re a small community, and in smallness we should be overcommunicating… It requires someone in multiple spaces to facilitate that communication and facilitate that trust.” In order to accomplish this, he hopes to have monthly meetings with student leaders from all parts of campus to reinstitute student power, “My whole purpose is to reimagine campus culture… I want to connect us, and realistically put us all in a room together…We can remove a gate, but realistically the divide is still on campus.” His work has included facilitating the incorporation of diversity in Trinity’s curriculums as a new member of the Curriculum Committee.

As a contributor to the Umoja Coalition, he hopes to continue his work and to create a program that will allow students to acclimate “to this climate in August a month before other students to facilitate a culture and a cohort system for students to successfully complete college together,” to prevent promising students, especially those from lower income brackets that had less resources in high school, from struggling while at Trinity. On the note of making Trinity a better campus for its students, “There are so many capabilities with being on this campus… we just need to make space.”

Herbin is the current ’22 Class President and is running for Vice President of SGA. She is the social chair of the Umoja Coalition and a member of the Ivy Society. She hopes to utilize her involvements on campus with Greek Life to help create, “The momentum we need… I really hope we can bring everything together and have the conversations we need to have.”

White has been a member of SGA for the past three years, and she was the Vice President of Communications in the fall. She hopes to reinstitute the practice of preparing minutes in SGA meetings to help inform students and to facilitate more organization in the completion of SGA projects.

Foster and Donohoe are running jointly for the positions of Vice President of Communications. Both currently serve as Senators for their class. They will split the term evenly. Foster hopes to up Trinity College’s social media game, something she has worked on this year by starting the SGA twitter account, improve relations between the Tripod and SGA, and create transparency between SGA and students. Donohoe has experience running Peter B’s espresso Instagram, and she hopes to “highlight the hidden gems of the Hartford community.”

Washington is running for re-election for her current position as MAC Vice President. During the event, she spoke on her leadership goals for Trinity both as a current student and as a future alum, “Trinity has to accept its history and accept its past and take accountability to for it [sic]… The work doesn’t stop, we need commitment… Once I graduate from Trinity, I’m not going to stop committing myself to the work that I’ve done. As MAC VP, Washington hopes to continue, “calling on alumni and the board of trustees to help factor in this work and do this work.”

This is Nayantara Ghosh’s ’22 first term on SGA as Senator of the Class of ’22, and she hopes to continue her leadership as senior Class president. Shawn Olstein ’22, who served as a senator of the class last fall, is running for this position as well. The two spoke about how they have worked together in the past year. Ghosh stated some of her goals, including solving “issues of equity with job applications and grad school applications.” Olstein commented that “we’re just looking forward toward making sure that this transition years for seniors… is as smooth as possible.”

Jason Farrell ’23 is running for re-election as the ’23 class president. In his opinion, one of the main issues on campus is standards and accessibility: “we need to figure out how to create a campus culture where all students feel safe and all students feel like they can push themselves… we came here to get degrees, not figure out how to have a healthy campus culture. This stuff should be closer to figured out than it is,” Farrell continued, “That goes hand in hand with accessibility… students have to look a little too hard for these opportunities and resources on campus.”

Brianna Andrade is running for Class of ’24 President, and she currently serves as a Senator for the Class of ’24. She said during the event, “Going into my sophomore year I want to band together with my senators, if elected of course, especially for students of color on campus.”

bclark

Brendan W. Clark '21 is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Tripod, Trinity College's student newspaper.

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