As election time nears to decide the next president of Gannon University’s Student Government Association (SGA), students gathered Tuesday evening to hear the candidates speak and to offer their vision for Gannon.
Presidential candidate Beth Kropf, a sophomore psychology major, and chief of staff candidate Cassie McKernan, a sophomore physical therapy major, were the only ticket to speak.
The ticket of David Long for president and Matt Schlessman for chief of staff was ineligible due to submitting petitions past the given deadline, featured in Article V of SGA’s constitution.
Kropf is currently the vice president of internal affairs for SGA.
McKernan is currently the chief of staff for SGA.
During the forum, questions were directed at the candidates ranging from leadership capabilities, passion for Gannon and unique qualities offered by the ticket.
Perhaps the biggest idea pushed by the ticket was a three-point plan.
This plan is centered around student experience, academic well-being and a customizable journey.
The candidates also touted their combined experience with SGA, their vision for continued cooperation with school officials and SGA being their No. 1 focus on campus.
Time was included at the end for students to ask questions and have them answered by the candidates.
One such question was to be answered in three words: how would they describe their ticket?
Kropf described it as, “Dedicated, passionate, all about teamwork.”
McKernan said, “Learning, growing and change.”
Students in attendance thought it was a productive event.
Adrianna Lasky, a sophomore occupational therapy major, felt she learned a lot about the vision and ideas of the candidates.
“I felt they presented themselves as very strong candidates with the experience necessary for these positions,” Lasky said.
Melissa Bronder, a sophomore psychology major and the SGA vice president of academic affairs, said she hopes that this election will bring growth to Gannon.
“I believe that they will bring new ideas into the Student Government Association and lead to a fantastic next chapter for this organization,” Bronder said.
Kropf said that she felt the event went well.
“Good questions were asked, and we even learned things from students we hadn’t previously considered,” Kropf said.
McKernan agreed with Kropf.
“It was a productive event with good questions asked that taught us stuff we didn’t know about,” she said.
As for how they both feel going into the two-day election period, Kropf has mixed feelings.
“I’m both anxious but excited because my birthday falls on Monday, so this could end up being a great birthday present,” Kropf said.
McKernan said, “I’m confident our vision and experience will bring us through.”
Elections will be held on Monday and Tuesday. Voting will take place on EngageU and will be open to all undergraduate students.
Executive board campaigning will start Monday and run through March 19, with elections occuring March 18 and 19.
The class representatives information sessions will be 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Campaigning for class representatives will occur from March 21 until March 28, with elections occuring March 27 and 28.