by ANTHONY CAPOTE, Editor, & JACK MELANSON, Assistant Editor
As the 2016 Student government elections go under way, Dorian Persaud is challenging the incumbent Nich Weyland for student body president.
Both candidates sat with The Quadrangle this week for this week’s Quadcast.
Among many other plans for the coming year, Weyland said that he wants to continue his work expanding student government’s social media presence with the completion and release of a smart phone app for Moodle, the online student software.
“One of the platforms I ran on last year was this idea of getting clubs to interact with each other better, and better communication, sponsoring each other, all that jazz,” he said. “It is going to be on Moodle, which students are already using…so now students can access these clubs wherever they are.”
Weyland’s party is named The Quad Squad while Persaud’s party is named Quadline Bling.
Persaud, who has never been involved with student government, said that his experience as a resident assistant and club activist have informed and inspired his bid for student body president.
“My main stance is for diversity on campus,” he said. “There’s a lot of, not only minorities on campus but even the majority here, they don’t get to celebrate diversity on campus.”
Persuad, who used to be a commuter before becoming a resident and then and RA, noted that many of Manhattan College Black and Latino students are commuters and that special steps must be taken to make them feel welcome.
“I initially wanted to transfer out of Manhattan, for that reason, I felt out of place and it wasn’t until I became a residential student that I felt more accepted by the community,” he said. “A big idea that I had was giving a meal plan to commuters.”
Persaud cited a U.S. News and World Report study that said that 45 percent of Manhattan college students are commuters although according to the college’s website, 24 percent of freshmen are commuters.
Weyland and Persaud have different perspectives when it comes to student government’s relationship with the student population.
Persaud on numerous occasions proposed ideas to improve this relationship, most of which Weyland argued are already implemented by student government.
“We need to actually interact with the students,” said Persaud. “Not only with office hours, but directly going out of our way to interact with students.”
Weyland, running for his second term, argued that they are already going out of their way to interact with students. One of the ways they have done so was at a luncheon that was recently hosted by student government.
“We already do it, actually, in the student government,” said Weyland. “We were out talking to every student [that attended the luncheon], we had lines, we had surveys. We got a lot of feedback, we had 298… 299 survey results.”
The two continue to disagree when discussing the relationship between Manhattan College students and the surrounding community of Riverdale.
Persaud reflected on his experience performing at a open mic at An Beal Bocht Cafe earlier last week.
“You can see pretty much a schism between the older residents there and the students.” said Persaud, who added that student government needs to do more to fix that relationship.
Weyland denied a poor relationship.
“People are proud to be in the community of Manhattan College,” said Weyland. “You can have a great conversation with them about being a Jasper.”
To listen to the full interview go online to mcquad.org for weekly updates on the student government elections on the Quadcast.