Kristi Slocum ‘15
On April 16th, students and faculty gathered in the MPR to hear the candidates for the SGA election speak before voting time. Mackenzie Goebel, Lauren Folino, Anthony Preston, and Brenna McDonald on behalf of Kate Mermelstein and Shane Pacheco, all took the stage to share with students what they promise to improve as president. Each candidate gave excellent speeches and proved in their own way why they would be great as president, making it harder for students to make their final decisions on who to vote for!
Anthony was up first, and inspired students with how we can work together to seize opportunities that he promises to happen if he is president. During his speech, Anthony stated, “I aspire to create greater appreciation for this campus for the students and by the students…we can work together to improve the quality of our Merrimack experience, and rise beyond the limits we thought weren’t possible, we can make these visions a reality if we have the right conditions.” Anthony knows he will make positive changes on this campus by being president, because he “has a vision of opportunity, and a vision of a fresh start.” Anthony hopes to create more opportunities for students on campus, and improve the quality of food at our dining halls.
Next up, Brenna McDonald took the stage on behalf of Shane Pacheco who is currently abroad. Shane was very focused on changing the campus for the better, in ways such as broadening the choices for coffee on campus and expanding food variety. Shane believes that his “leadership qualities and past experiences at Merrimack will help to realize our full potential with our support. I have seen our school grow since 2012, and I will continue to push our community forward as SGA president this upcoming school year.” Shane is willing to give students more options for a variety of things such as food, coffee, activities, and so much more to make the students happy. Shane hopes to “meet large needs like a university, create more of a variation of options for students across campus, and encourage students to get the most out of their degrees.”
Lauren Folino took a different approach, and decided to share with the audience her journey from first joining SGA to now running for president. As a freshman at Merrimack, Lauren was struggling to meet new people and wanted to branch out. Lauren first decided to get involved in SGA to not only make friends, but also make an impact on campus. Since joining SGA, Lauren states that it has been one of the best decisions she has made here at Merrimack. As the years went on, Lauren continued to raise her voice and make positive impacts in SGA, such as becoming a Member At Large. With this honorable title, Lauren has been able to make big changes on campus already, and is very experienced with dedicating her time to improve the campus. She is confident that through her experience in the past that she will make students “as happy as they can be.”
While Kate Mermelstein is in London studying abroad, Brenna McDonald took the stage once again to share Kate’s promises as president. Although Kate saw being abroad during this time as a disadvantage, she has learned a lot in London that she will transfer over to Merrimack and make her a better candidate for president. She promises to work hard to make students happy by fixing common complaints such as Dunkin Donuts messing up coffee orders, and Sparky’s unsatisfying meals. She is willing to make the changes that students want, and hear your ideas to make them into a reality. Her focuses as president will be to “make the housing process less stressful, improve the dining options, help with any academic problems, and create a happy campus throughout the whole year, and not just on certain occasions like spring weekend.”
Last but not least, Mackenzie Goebel started her speech with an interactive question on how the audience would describe Merrimack. Mackenzie then stated that she would sum up Merrimack in two words, “dedication, and pride.” Mackenzie promises to focus all of her energy on students and their needs, and communicate with them on a personal level. She hopes to motivate students to speak with her and to not be scared to ask questions about changes they want to see. She promises to be a voice for students, and a leader that is loyal to them. As president, Mackenzie strives to “improve student life, create more stations at Sparky’s including healthier options, increase elective options in course catalog, and improve the parking pass situation.”
Students have until the 23rd to submit their ballots, so be sure to vote! The competition is very close this year, as you can see all candidates have great reasons on why they would make great presidents for Merrimack.