The Student Government Executive Board hopefuls have begun their campaigns and are spreading the word about their platforms, running partners and skills to persuade the student body to vote for their respective tickets.
This year, three candidates have filed for the position of SG president: Denis Brown, Mike Levine and Annette Ponnock.
Levine and Ponnock are both veterans of SG, having served in some capacity for multiple years. Most recently, Levine acted as a senator and Ponnock was the Supreme Court chief justice.
Brown is the only candidate who does not have previous experience in SG.
“I’ve never been into the government per se, but I’ve always had a strong interest in the events,” Brown said in an interview with The Hurricane Sunday. “We want to bring some fresh ideas.”
Each presidential candidate is running with the support of a ticket.
Levine is running alongside Mariana Rego, VP candidate, and Michelle James, treasurer candidate.
“Our ideas can still be put forth without the title,” Rego said. “I think that is something that applies for the three of us.”
Ponnock endorses Kingshook De for vice president and Michael Beninati for treasurer.
“I feel confident with everyone on my ticket,” Ponnock said. “We made sure to have someone that represents every person on campus.”
Brown’s ticket consists of Luis DeMendoza as vice president and Paradai Adisayathepkul as treasurer.
Brown’s unconventional approach to the elections also includes not having a platform of ideas. Instead, he hopes to take suggestions from the student body and work on those ideas.
“We want to do something different. I’ll have a suggestion box or email and you tell me what you want done,” Brown, a Hurricane sports writer, said. “I’m not sure what can and can’t be done. I want to take everyone’s suggestion seriously.”
Brown is running as a non-Greek hoping to beat the other two candidates and their tickets that are made up of predominantly Greek individuals.
Some of Brown’s other suggestions include improving Chartwells food selections, improving the C-Store and improving nighttime security measures.
“Putting You First,” the campaign run by Ponnock, De and Beninati, plans to work on the academic advising program, extend fall break by at least one day, add an Ibis Ride to South Beach, and extend dining hall and food court hours.
Ponnock also wants to work on a plan that would allow student to spend up to the amount of a meal in the dining hall in the food court and have it count as a meal rather than dining dollars.
Other platform ideas include extending library hours, creating a color printing option, and introducing a low cost laundry service.
Levine’s campaign, “Make Life Easier,” has more than 10 platform goals. These also include improving advising and extending Fall Break. Levine also plans to extend Wellness Center hours and dining hall hours, provide a 24-hour study space for commuters, implement a shuttle to Monty’s on Fridays, and providing free metro passes to the Miller School of Medicine.
Also, “Make Life Easier” wants to work on initiating an online buyback price program that would allow students to see how much their book would be worth at the University Bookstore.
Levine said he would also like to increase honors course offerings and promote Asian, Middle Eastern, and African studies programs.
After Ponnock and Levine made their first public appearance as SG presidential candidates, the candidates realized that their platforms had some similarities.
“While listening to Annette’s platform, we were surprised to see that we have many overlapping platform ideas,” Levine’s ticket said in an e-mail to The Hurricane. “We have many more ideas that we intend to work on without having them as platform promises.”
The ticket’s additional ideas range from online syllabi to increased dining dollars.
Ponnock and Levine, who are seniors, said that whether or not they win, they still plan to stay at UM for a fifth year to continue their studies and to remain active in Student Government.
Voting will take place Monday through Wednesday in the UC Breezeway from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Results will be announced at the Rat on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Stacey Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.