Click here to read Pipe Dream’s Student Association Candidate Endorsements
To be elected SA President and represent the entire student body’s best interest while working to improve Binghamton University’s campus. Also, to develop and improve Student Association business practices ensuring that we are maximizing our efficiency. As SA President I plan to have an active role in the many events SA organization’s provide for our student body. I have been active in my role as Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and I plan to remain involved with our campus community.
Main Points of Improvement/Concern:
- OCCT: Implementing text alerts to send students updates on route changes or delay; New and improved OCCT website; Proper contract negotiation using prior experience.
- Off Campus Safety: Expanding Safe-Ride services to downtown Binghamton; Working with the University to have Text-Alerts sent to students regarding crime.
- Mental Health: Continue working with the UCC on diversity initiatives relating to staff hiring; Bringing conversations surrounding mental health to the forefront.
- Services for Students with Disabilities: Working to bridge the gap between SSD and Administrators; Working to upgrade our campus to meet ADA standards.
- Student Representation: Student Representation on all university committees is essential; Striving to meet the needs and request of students and organizations.
- Sexual Assault Awareness: Expanding the “It’s On Us” campaign & developing workshops for students; Collaborating with organizations to spread awareness across campus.
- Collaboration: Fostering more collaboration between student orgs and University offices/departments
Hello! My name is Michael Wuest and I would like to be your next SA President. Government has been a passion of mine since early education. I served as a three term Youth Senator in the state of West Virginia, and the 58th Youth Secretary of State. I am a current member of Student Congress and Head Representative for Hinman College. I sit on the Student Life and Academics Committee and have passed legislation on the correction of parking services on campus. I fight for you even now at the Attorney General’s Office where I work.
I stand for the green spaces on campus by advocating for a no trace policy in the preserve, utilizing mental health assistance like High Hopes Helpline further, auditing the university diversity credit to see everyone represented equally in our studies, and providing our renowned services such as OCCT and Harpur’s Ferry with required resources for further success.
As President, I will be the voice of our campus to the Greater Binghamton Area. Embodying the reality that our elected positions matter to the locality, and that we are worth integrating with no matter our brevity here. Together, we will welcome the community to partake in hosted events, concerts, and student activities. Growing united.
I see a bright future. One where everyone in this community cooperates to build and create. However, crafting that vison will require work: today. Let me work with you, for you.
Executive Vice President
With all the great work already done in regards to student groups, I want to continue wherever Raaga leaves off, but also provide greater mentoring for groups next year. An issue I frequently hear is that turnover for E-Boards makes it hard for clubs in the first few months of the school year as leadership is still learning their roles and how to properly function as an E-Board. Some clubs are definitely less affected by this than others, but I believe that with guidance from the EVP’s office, we can help maintain a consistent level of quality leadership right from the start, across all of our student groups.
One of my biggest focuses next year, though, will be revitalizing the SA businesses, and to expand the services that we can offer to students. A project that I’m currently looking into is bringing credit card readers back to the SA, allowing students to pay for our services without always requiring cash, or BUC$. Should we see success from this, there is also a possibility in the future for student groups to start utilizing some of these credit card readers as well for events or fundraisers.
As always, however, I’m willing to learn from our students about what they want, so please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have for next year. Thank you, and I look forward to serving you next year.
Vice President for Finance
My experience as an Information Systems major along with my connections, will enable us to:
Treasurers spend too much time filling out paperwork. With encryption and password protection technology, there is no longer a necessity for hardcopies. Having students constantly print and deliver forms is not only inefficient, but also makes record keeping and automation difficult. The Treasurer’s Exam should be automatically graded so student groups can access their budgets immediately, and all forms should be completed online.
2. Idea Pool
Currently, a lot of larger organizations have massive amounts of rollover money that goes unused. These organizations have done such incredible jobs fundraising that despite putting on events every week, they cannot spend all of their money. At the same time, smaller organizations are constantly tight for cash.
I will create an Idea Pool. Smaller organizations will be able to post a request for funding of a specific project. Larger organizations could go through this list and sponsor projects of their choice. For example, club volleyball could list “3 Volleyballs: $39” and Partners in Health would be able to sponsor the organization directly.
3. Financial Advisors
Rather than punish student groups when they make a mistake, groups should be assigned a Financial Advisor. Groups that are having trouble managing their finances could consult with an advisor about voucher submissions, budget hearings or any other financial matter. In addition, simple budget guides will be made available for new organizations, so they are given the tools to succeed financially.
Vice President for Finance
The Vice President for Finance of the Student Association is an administrative role that exists as a financial resource for SA-chartered student organizations. As VPF, upholding the financial and legal integrity of the office is my main priority. My experience with managing large finances and maintaining professional relationships with administrative staff will allow me to assume the VPF’s additional role as the Chief Financial Officer of OCCT.
My most current experiences include training under this year’s VPF and working with the SA’s Financial Director as the Treasurer of the History Club. I will grow the professional relationships I’ve established as the Chair of the Disabilities (ADA) Committee. I was the Vice Chair of the SA’s Financial Committee as a returning, voting Student Congress Representative (Hinman). I have seen the financial and legal workings of the SA as a member of FinCo, Internal Affairs, the author of legislation, and as the Treasurer of my organization throughout the chartering process.
- Restore financial agency to community governments, allowing them to choose their voting style for discretionary allocations
- Hire contractors to fix the SA’s website and make forms interactive and consistent
- Hire office assistants familiar with the Financial Policies and Procedures and budgeting process
- A digitalized, time-efficient voucher process, creating a convenient, online record of submissions
- Monthly meetings with all treasurers and extra account guidance for newly-chartered organizations, ensuring financial stability through proactive budgeting
- Revise the FPP to contain a comprehensive guide to fundraising and establish contract-based ticket fundraisers
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dear students thank you for believing in me and trusting that I would represent you in a passionate and honest way. As the Vice President for Academic Affairs I can make a significant impact on the resources provided to students, as well as the quality of education. Having a successful academic experience at Binghamton depends on more than just credit hours, it entails research opportunities, internships and overall support. I believe that a holistic approach to learning that focuses on balancing academics and wellness is an essential part of a successful and healthy academic involvement. It is my goal to use the office as a platform for student advocacy and a sound board for resources.
a) Skills Based Courses – Advocate for an increase in skills based courses offered to Harpur and CCPA. I believe that it is important to prepare students for engaging in a technological environment with skills such as coding, social media marketing, photoshop, grant writing, and Excel.
b) Increase access and marketing around research, internship and enrichment opportunities already offered from various parts of the university.
c) Case Competition – Host a case competition where undergraduate students from all the schools in Binghamton University can compete for a scholarship. The topic will be on an academic or university issue significant to Binghamton University
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs
My name is Joshua Gonzalez, I am a Junior and an accelerated student pursuing a Masters in Urban Planning and a Bachelors in GIS and Africana Studies, and I am running for the Vice President for Multicultural Affairs. I am a student representative of congress, an off-campus representative for OC3, the Vice Chair of FinCo, the Historian of the Men of Color Scholastic Society, the President of Gamma Sigma Zeta Fraternity, Inc.
As the VPMA, I will strive to ensure a positive and healthy atmosphere. Students should feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions, achieve their goals, and be provided with a space where they can achieve success. As VPMA, I will work to strengthen the bond between our cultural organizations and diverse student body to promote unity and collaboration as well as relationships with the Binghamton University administration.
I plan to reach out to members of all Binghamton University communities. These communities include the international student community, LGBTQIAP community, students with disabilities, the religious student community, survivors of interpersonal violence and the multicultural community. I have many initiatives, two key ones are a positivity Campaign and Expansion of Mental Health Resources, a #LetsTalkAboutIt campaign that encourages unique programming between different organizations; while continuing projects such as Multicultural Extravaganza, and International Festival. Thank you and I hope you consider me as your choice for the VPMA of the 2017-2018 academic year.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs
At a time when anti-semitism, anti-blackness, and other treats of bigotry and racism continues to threaten our multicultural community, this is a pivotal moment in our country’s history, and an opportunity for us to unite our multicultural community here at Binghamton University. We do not see strong relationships or connections between the Jewish, Black, Asian, Latino, and other multicultural communities and it will be my priority to build the bridges within these strong and diverse multicultural communities. I will utilize the three tier approach of building bridges via intra-community, inter-community, and community advancement, which is used by the Multicultural Affairs office at Columbia University. I will work with our 150 multicultural groups on campus to support them and provide them resources and collaborative opportunities with faculty and help our multicultural clubs design innovative and creative events that will encourage our multicultural clubs to have deep conservations about the issues that affect us. I will work with our multicultural groups to send our students to leadership conferences like the Black Student Leadership Conferences and etc. I will also begin the process of building a black umbrella organization via a Black Alliance Drafting Committee to foster stronger and more unified ties in our multicultural community. I will work on creating a multicultural career fair that will connect our multicultural community to job opportunities and diversity initiatives at top firms. My platform is based on mosaic multiculturalism that will mirror the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988. In sodality, we shall overcome!
Vice President for Programming
I. Enhance SAPB Accessibility
If elected, it will be my duty to make students aware of SAPB’s role as a coordinating organization of major programming events on campus and to act as an advisor to any student organization that has questions regarding programming. Through increasing SAPB presence at informational events, I hope to enhance the accessibility of our organization in order to improve the quality of events and representation of our student body.
II. Increase Committee Involvement
My goal, if elected, will be to make our SAPB committees more approachable, enjoyable, and inclusive. Through increasing meeting frequency for these committees, I hope to change the atmosphere of committee meetings from strictly event planning to explorative, creative, and fun. This change will encourage membership retention and allow for innovation in the acts that are brought to our campus.
III. Continue Detailed Record Keeping and Organization of SAPB Finances
I will continue the current VPP’s initiatives of increasing record keeping of all expenses. Contracts and other records will be held for several years in order to increase organization and fluidity throughout transitions between semesters and to ensure that our expenses can be tracked over time as we strive to remain within our budgetary limits. All expenses will be accounted for and our money will be used in the most efficient ways possible.
If elected as VPP, it will be my priority to bring the best possible concerts, festivals, variety shows, and speakers to our campus while remaining financially responsible.