It’s that time of year again, Student Government elections. We have two tickets running this year, Unite the U and Amplify U. This article will provide you with background information on the candidates as well as the differences in platforms so that you are able to make an informed decision while voting this week.
Unite the U
Alessandria San Roman – President
Major: Political Science
Minors: Business Law and Geography
Home town: Coral Gables, FL
Favorite place on campus: Her favorite place on campus is the SAC steps by the lake because growing up, she used to sit on the previously existing steps and reflect. Since the SAC’s completion, she feels it’s a blissful place to enjoy the beauty of campus, and it is a reminder of past and present memories she has of this campus.
On campus Involvements: Ms. San Roman is the current president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. She is also involved with the Butler Center, FEC, Get Out the Vote/ Turbo Vote, and is the co-chair of the ACC Leadership Symposium
Prior SG Experience: She has been a part of Student Government since freshman year when she joined cabinet. Sophomore year she was the executive secretary. Currently she is the executive-at-large internal. As internal, she has been able to learn the details of how student government functions and the role it plays in campus life.
Reason for running: “I decided to run for Student Government president because I wanted to be able to take current student concerns, find possible solutions, and implement changes on campus that would leave a lasting impact for future ‘Canes.”
Top Three Platforms:
- Parking Scholarships. This intuitive would seeks to help alleviate the extra costs associated with college fees, enabling them to allocate that money to other necessities.
- U Outreach: SG Gives Back. U Outreach is an initiative that involves student government would regularly attend meets of various organizations and other on campus events to hear students concerns. They would also work to support more philanthropic events on campus.
- Sebastian’s Closet. This is designed to be a business attire lending program where students are able to check out clothing from Toppel for interviews and other events.
One thing that Ms. San Roman would like you to know before you vote: “Our student body needs a ticket that has the experience and drive necessary to bring our campus together as one united U. The Unite the U ticket possesses these qualities and will strive to work with campus administrators and students to bring solutions to our campus.”
William Herrera – Vice President
Majors: Accounting and Finance
Hometown: Cutler Bay, Florida
Favorite Place on Campus: His favorite place on campus is the top floor of the Pavia parking garage. He enjoys going up there with friends and taking advantage of the views.
On Campus Involvements: Mr. Herrera is the Student Government speaker of the senate. He is also on the Homecoming Executive Committee, serves as a P100, and is an orientation leader.
Prior SG Experience: Mr. Herrera has been in Student Government since his freshman year. He has served as both chair and vice chair of the Policy and Finance Committee. He was also the Speaker Pro Tempore before becoming speaker of the senate. His time in Student Government has helped him learn how to conduct himself in everything that he does. Additionally, it solidified the realization that he is a part of Student Government in order to represent the student body; this is something that he looks forward to doing as your vice president.
Reason for running: “The University of Miami has always been my dream school. I’ve wanted to be here since the third grade. Some of my fondest memories as a little guy were coming home to watch the ‘Canes on TV or going to Mark Light with my dad and grandfather. The passion, pride and love I have for this U have always been a part of me. I am running for Vice President because I want to ignite that same passion, pride, and love in everyone we work with, and everyone we work for. Through my experiences as part of the Homecoming Executive Committee, Cat 5, and Orientation, I have learned that we can work to bring students together, and ignite the passion, pride and love for the U that makes us a ‘Canes family. With those experiences and everything I have learned in Student Government, I believe that we can accomplish the things students want us to accomplish. You elect us to represent you and that’s what I am looking forward to most, while simultaneously uniting the student body. Unite the U is a total team effort; Unite the U is all about you!”
Top Three Platforms:
- Tuition Lock In. Tuition is expensive and continues to rise; this initiative will allow all incoming freshmen to sign a contract that will lock in the tuition rate from their first year for all four years. He believes that this will improve UM’s retention rate and keep students a part of the ‘Cane family because fewer of them will need to transfer due to finances.
- Test Prep Courses for Credit. This allows students to take graduate school and professional exam prep courses on campus and for credit. Doing this will save students money because these courses would no longer need to be taken from private companies.
- Renew the rivalry: This initiative seeks to renew the rivalry between UM and the Florida Gators in order to make it an annual matchup. As part of this, they would want to bring back the tradition of the Seminole war canoe.
One thing Mr. Herrera wants you to know before voting. “This is a big decision. We just want you to look at both sides, and we want you to come talk to us. Our initiatives were chosen with you in mind and we can’t wait to represent and work for you. We have the experience, dedication, and commitment to get it done for you, and we can’t Unite the U without you!”
Dariel Fagundo – Treasurer
Hometown: West Miami, Florida
Favorite Place on Campus: His favorite place on campus is Mark Light Field. He has played baseball since he was younger and has been attending baseball games at UM since he was 13 and has always had a great experience.
On Campus Involvement: Mr. Fagundo is currently the vice president of finance for Sigma Phi Epsilon. Formerly he has served as an orientation leader, orientation fellow, Great Start Program chair-Community Committee, Cat 5 Football chair, Cat 5 Olympic Sports chair, and Sound Mind coordinator for Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Prior SG Experience: His experience with Cat 5 allowed him to be able to interact with a large volume of people, from students to university administration. This allowed him to see the importance and benefit of getting freshman involved on campus as early as possible to help them establish connections and gain experiences that will last throughout their entire college career and beyond.
Reason for Running; “Having been close friends with Willy and Alessandria since freshman year, there really aren’t any two other people with which I’d be doing this. The experiences we’ve had together since freshman year and the relationship we’ve all developed not only as friends and student leaders but also as family members, has far exceeded anything I could have ever expected. When Willy and Alessandria approached me about running, I was a bit hesitant- the thought of running Student Government had never truly crossed my mind, but when they told me they were running and wanted me to join, my interest was certainly piqued. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I realized that I would probably never get another opportunity in life to go through such an incredible experience with two of my closest friends. Through the ups and downs we have always been there for one another and that’s how it has been through this entire process. Yes we are running for Student Government as the Unite the U ticket, but what we never fail to forget is our team motto: friends first.”
Top Three Platforms
- Sebastian’s Closet. As stated above this program will allow students to check out business wear. This will alleviate the financial burden of finding business attire if the student cannot afford it, or if they left their professional clothing at home.
- Enhanced UV Food Options. The only dining options after 9pm apart from the courtside eatery at the wellness center is their C-Store, and he feels that students need a dinning option that can provide them with an actual meal during the later hours of the night, allowing them to eat healthy while not spending a lot of money,
- Stacks and Dining Hall Capacity Trackers. The purpose of these would be to alert students to available study spaces in the stacks so that they do not waste time aimlessly wondering. They will also be able to see how long the wait at the dining halls are in order to save time.
One Thing Mr. Fagundo Would Like You To Know Before Voting: “As a freshman and sophomore student I was involved in a variety of organizations around campus, but when it came down to Student Government elections I wasn’t as informed as I would have liked to be. My one piece of advice to all students is to get informed. Whether it is asking us a question on Facebook or simply stopping for a second to talk with us, we love answering any and all questions students may have. At the end of the day, we’re students just like everyone else on this campus and we want to see this university continue to grow for many years after we graduate. The only way to do that is if we hear your, concerns, your questions, and any pressing issues on your mind so we can work together and Unite the U. ”
Seth Furman – President
Major: Business Management and Marketing
Minor: Urban Studies
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Favorite Place on Campus: His favorite place on campus is the backside of the running loop near the IM fields and Hecht because that is where he spends a lot of time thinking and reflecting as he runs, thinking back to his freshman year and looking forward to his senior year.
On Campus Involvement: Mr. Furman is a brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi and served as their rush chair for the fall of 2013. He is also an advisory board member of Presidents 100, co-chair of 2014 Orange Festival, IMPACT leadership retreat facilitator, and is the UBike co-founder and vice-chair.
Prior Student Government Experience: During his freshman year, Mr. Furman was a member of the Dining Services Advisory Board and his sophomore year he was the vice chair of the Campus Relations Advisory Board. Those two years taught him how to effectively connect with administrators from all areas of campus in order to accomplish a goal or task.
Reason for Running: “I decided to run for Student Government President when I came to discover that I had a vision of what student government should be, which differed greatly on the reality of the organization currently. Open door policies, challenging on ideas and decisions, transparency and our students feeling connected to their representative body was my vision on how a university’s SG can be. Thankfully Skip and Jaldhi both saw that same vision and goals that I was trying to accomplish.”
Top Three Platforms: Mr. Furman’s top three platforms are completing the campus loop, tax free textbooks and creating a graphic designer pool. He feels that all three of them have an impact on the majority of our student body in some manner. He feels that some the platforms are smaller in scale and easy to accomplish while others are more along the lines of long term achievements.
One Thing Mr. Furman Would Like You to Know Before Voting: “Your Student Government should be exactly that, your government. You should feel connected to your representative body and know that those that you elect into office have your backs in every region of campus life.”
Skip McClinton – Vice President
Majors: Marine Affairs, Economics, and International Studies
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Favorite place on campus: His favorite place on campus is the large bayon tree next to Hecht because it reminds him that in a busy city like Miami, a different kind of pace that can yield great results.
On Campus Involvement: Mr. McClinton is the head of the Model United Nations team. He is also the program coordinator for the department of orientation.
Prior SG Experience: He has served on the Supreme Court of Student Government and this has afforded him a unique look at the inner workings of SG. He is knowledgeable about the statues and the constitution of SG with regards to their implementation and their needed changes.
Reason for running: “What I see now is a club, a group of students who happen to make up the student government. I want to make a true student’s government, with all the changes meaningful for future interactions between students and their representatives.”
Top Three Platforms: In the long run, he hopes to accomplish making textbook sales tax free. In a medium time frame, Mr. McClinton wants to create a graphic designer pool, and in the short term he would like to see basic on campus improvements to help students as they go forward.
One thing Mr. McClinton would like you to know before voting: “I would ask them (the students) what they think of their SG now, and how it can be changed for the better, and how Amplify U has that same outsider perspective with the experience to implement what is clearly needed.”
Jaldhi Patel – Treasurer
Major: Microbiology and Immunology, Art History
Hometown: Lakeland, Florida
Favorite Place on Campus: Her favorite place on campus is the SAC because it not only provides students a place to relax and enjoy the view, but acts as a melting pot bringing together all types of students.
On Campus Involvement: Ms. Patel is a member of the Student Activity Association Fee Allocation Committee (SAFAC). She is also a part of Gandhi Day and the Indian Students Association.
Prior Student Government Experience: Previously, Ms. Patel served as the College of Arts and Sciences Senator. She feels that that experience showed her the true foundation and process of getting bills and appeals passed. Having observed this, she feels that the Amplify U ticket was able to create many platform ideas centered around the foundation of the University of Miami.
Reason for Running: “When I first joined Senate, I was in the vicinity of many great student leaders. I saw their true passion and motivation for this University. Through my time in working with SAFAC, I realized I had the same drive to run as Student Body Treasurer. I believe that through my immense experience in working with all the different organizations on campus and their budgets, I have the ability to help create a change alongside my fellow running mates, Seth and Skip.”
Top Three Platforms:
- Passport to Miami. This would connect students back to Miami, allowing students to get to know the city. It would allow students to see the various cultural and urban events that take place in Miami.
- Tax Free Textbooks. Ms. Patel feels that students should be able to buy textbooks sans tax.
- PR/ Graphic Design Pool. This allows different students the opportunity to create their own portfolio and for clubs to access their work. This allows clubs to have an increased selection of graphic designers.
One Thing Ms. Patel Would Like You to Know Before Voting: “Amplify U has the ability and motivation to help create a cultural change on this campus. By enriching, engaging and empowering each and every student on this campus, this ticket can help Amplify the student body, by creating this spark, each voice can be heard louder and stronger. This ticket has the experience, passion and love for our university and we are committed to making a widespread change on this campus.”
Now that you know who they are and what they stand for, get out and vote! Voting will take place from Monday the 17th through Wednesday the 19th in the breezeway from 10-4pm. Additionally, you can vote for SG using orgsync from your own computer.
words_taylor duckett. photos_raquel zaldivar and courtesy of Amplify U.