SGA debate forum introduces the 2022-2023 candidates


Freshmen Nate Taylor (left) and Joe Pfleger are running for chief-of-staff and president for the current SGA election on Gannon’s campus.

Michael Guido, Managing & Sports Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) held a forum for the president and chief of staff candidates in the Zurn Science Center Thursday.

The forum, the first one held in-person in several years, was an opportunity for the tickets present to make their case for why they should be next in charge to represent the student body.

The event was attended by approximately 30 students and was catered by Jimmy John’s.

The chief of staff candidates were Nate Taylor, a sophomore political science & legal studies major, and Aly MacLefko, a sophomore cybersecurity major.

On the presidential side, Joseph Pfleger, a freshman 3+3 pre-law & finance major, spoke for the majority of the event; the other ticket’s presidential candidate, Logan Wurst, was unable to attend.

After the forum, MacLefko and Wurst both resigned from the ballot, leaving Pfleger and Taylor as the only ones officially left on the ballot.

The Pfleger and Taylor ticket spent time answering questions posed by chief of staff Derrick Gernatt, which focused on such topics as club funding, campus renovations, vision and leadership.

Both Pfleger and Taylor promised to be a voice of the students and discussed that they were open to a variety of ideas on how to better improve the student experience.

Despite representing her ticket by herself, MacLefko maintained a professional posture, answering questions about how the chief of staff interacts with the president, handles the delegation of responsibility and how the position is unique in the student government.

After the forum, Pfleger said that they felt the event had been a success.

“Nate and I feel that through a successful campaign process, we were able to accurately communicate our campaign message and our platform across the Gannon campus,” Pfleger said.

Pfleger said that his ticket’s participation in the forum helped shape the direction of the campaign.

“I know our campaign gained a lot of great ideas from members of the Gannon campus,” Pfleger said. “We even received some input that shaped our platform to better engage Gannon students.”

Throughout the forum, Pfleger said the primary goal was to drive home the main agenda item.

“We want to improve communication and engagement,” Pfleger said. “These are two of the main pillars of our agenda that we as well as the vast majority of the Gannon campus thought we needed improvement on.”

When it comes to what their ticket hopes for as Election Day wraps up, Pfleger said he hoped for two things.

“The first goal is that Nate and I had a successful campaign period that was able to reach the vast majority of the Gannon campus,” Fleger said.

“The second is that, regardless of who the Gannon community is voting for, that they will make their voice heard and express their votes through our election process because our SGA democracy is important to letting the Gannon campus’ voice be heard and real change is met.”

For MacLefko, the decision to remove herself from the ballot was not an easy one, but MacLefko said, her time campaigning was a learning experience.

“I learned how to manage a small campaign and work to get my name out there, but I also was able to meet with many students to hear about their thoughts on SGA and how as a representative, I can also further benefit the student body,” MacLefko said.

MacLefko said the campaign and forum gave her the chance to hear from Gannon students and understand the greater importance of SGA.

“I fully believe that without having the opportunity to go and speak to the students openly about SGA, there is no platform for us to learn about what they want to see.,” MacLefko said.

“When campaigning, I was given this opportunity to bring information back to my current position and future positions I may hold.”

MacLefko said that the end of her campaign would not be the end of her involvement in student affairs.

“Although I will continue to try and fight for all issues I wanted to address if I had been elected, I hope to continue to be a representative of the student body and fight for openness and value,” MacLefko said.

“I hope to continue working with the student body to make them more aware of what SGA is doing. I also want to make it more available for students to talk to SGA representatives to ensure that the voices of all students are being heard rather than just those who support choosing to run as a representative.”

The winner of the race to be the next president and chief of staff for Gannon will be announced after voting closes Wednesday at midnight.


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