(Photo credit: Fourth Estate Archives)
On Oct. 6 and 7, Student Government elections were held for Student Senate. Out of 18 candidates running, 10 were elected, and 766 votes were cast. The results were announced Oct. 8 on the Student Government website.
The students elected to office are Kye Farrow, Danni Gonyo, Javon Guerrier, Gary Hooker, Brandon Khuu, Rachel Ranyoung Kim, Kenya Moore, Benjamin Olsen, Alicia M. Cedeño Salgado and Nickolas Webb.
Within student government, Student Senate is the largest branch, with a total of 40 senators. Every April, 30 senators are elected, and every fall an election is held to accommodate freshmen and transfer students, with 10 spaces available. The Senate is also responsible for passing legislation that comes before them, “including resolutions that give statements on the opinions of the student body, and bills that provide funding for Student Government events and activities,” according to the Student Government website.
Nickolas Webb, a freshman majoring in global affairs, brings experience from serving on a student government in high school, as do many other newly elected members.
“I knew Mason SG [Student Government] would be a step up from high school SG and I was excited for this change,” Webb said. During his time on the Senate, he hopes to increase WiFi speeds and would also like to place more organic/non-GMO and vegetarian options in the dining halls.
Freshman Danni Gonyo, a public administration major, said she decided to run because she wanted to make a positive change in the Mason community and fix problems that students face every day.
“I really want to find a way to make printing free on campus. It ended up becoming the most popular part of the platform I ran on, which makes sense because it affects every single student,” Gonyo said.
Gary Hooker, a freshman majoring in psychology with a concentration in child development, was motivated to run for Student Senate because of the size of the university.
“I feel there are many voices that go unheard here at Mason, because we are such a large University. I was motivated to join Student Government, to be a listening ear to those who need it, and a voice for those who can’t voice their opinions to move toward change,” Hooker said.
Kenya Moore is a freshman double majoring in conflict analysis and resolution and global affairs with a double minor in Chinese and business.
“What motivated me to run for student government was my drive to be involved in what will essentially be my home for the next four years and the initiative to actually leave an impact in any way that I can,” Moore said.
Moore said that in her time at Mason, she wants to change the way people see community.
“I want everyone to feel as if we are an inclusive family at Mason who understands that at the base of a community is a family that welcomes everyone with open arms,” Moore said.
Benjamin Olsen, a freshman majoring in government and international politics, said he is eager to begin his first term as a student senator.
“What I hope to accomplish as a senator is being able to satisfy the needs and wants of the student body and to be able to contribute to Mason’s growing success. I am looking forward to this year as I hope to grow as a person and a learner,” Olsen said.
The Senate meets every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in different rooms across campus and encourages students to attend these meetings. On the Student Government website, a calendar lists the meeting locations.