Vice President of Student Engagement


Nikhil Ananth
Physician assistant major, psychology and Spanish minor

Why are you running for this position?
I particularly chose this position because it’s important to realize we all have a connecting factor, and we all have something in common as students who are pursuing the same goal at Gannon University. And who work together as one university united under the same cause. So it’s important to be that person who defines the link that brings us all together.

What are your goals if elected as Vice President of Student Engagement?
As VP of Student Engagement, my platform is predicated on the fact that a lot of students in a lot of different groups on campus have advocated “Hey, we want to be heard this way.” Or let’s say for example, the International Student Association, “We want international students to get out there and be part of student government and enjoy what Gannon has to offer.”
We do have one or two international students [on SGA]. The director of the ISO once came up to us during a Saudi Arabian food interaction gathering and said that “Hey, you know SGA’s a great way to propagate leadership on campus.”
A lot of international students are graduate students, and it’s important to realize “Can they become aware of SGA? Can we somehow allow them to be more involved on campus?”
Gannon is a very inclusive campus, and it’s my responsibility to provide that engagement and provide that go-go attitude for anyone that is interested. And international students do provide that verve and that excitement to join.
The previous VP of Student Engagement, Josiah [Leach] started the Spotlight Series where students are basically asked to come and present a TED Talk regarding issues such as trying to get through tough times, trying to be the leader in yourself, [and] faith leadership.
Also, if you consider when you were a freshman, there were different videos you were presented to see what types of organizations on campus Gannon has to offer. Different Campus Ministry events, Greek life, Panhellenic Council — different things you can look into to involve yourself as a freshman on your first day you get here on campus.
That is spearheaded by the VP of Student of Engagement, and I wish to pursue that as well.
One thing that really defines Gannon is the fact that there is already a huge list of what you can do here on campus. So, how do we promote, engage and allow students to continue on their passion and their verve for being part of Gannon’s campus?

Why should students vote for you?
It’s one thing to be someone who is running on a ballot and another thing to actually have students look up to you. Personally, [during] my time as a freshman coming from an entirely different state, Gannon was very new to me. Originally, I had the pressure of all these different [organizations], all these different activities I could join — but what fits me the most?
And I’m not the only one who actually dealt with that situation. Almost the entire freshman body dealt with that – even those from the region itself still had to deal with that pressure.
One of my reasons why students should vote for me is because I would like to reciprocate the same way that I felt in the different accommodations and the different organizations that did reach out to me.
I’m someone who allows you to connect to other students. I’m someone who allows you to bring out your voice in TED talks.
I’m someone who allows you to find out what Gannon has to offer, and students always ask “Well, what are you going to do?” What they want to see occur is what I want to see occur. Their plan is my plan, and I will certainly take that into consideration. They are the ones who are going to be the building blocks to build Gannon as a culmination of excitement and passion.

Is there anything else you want students to know about you?
Just get out there and vote when the time comes. Waldron and EngageU. Make your own decision. It is a time of election, and it is a very pivotal moment during the spring semester, so try to be the best informed you can and see what happens.

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