Bishop, Nilaj Jump into Race for Student Body President

by Jack Melanson and Stephen Zubrycky

Editor and Editor in Chief 

The student government campaign began Friday, with two major parties entering the race for seven spots on the executive committee and six seats in the assembly.

The two parties, Jasper Pack and The Campus That Never Sleeps, are led by presidential candidates Micaela Bishop and LisaMarie Nilaj, respectively. Bishop is running with Phillip Mourikes as her executive vice president, while Nilaj has selected Alexander Constantine.

The two parties discussed their goals for the upcoming year if they are elected.

“Student Government is only in place to be the liaison for students, and to hear from the students is the most important thing,” said Bishop. “One of my goals for Student Government next year, if I were to be elected president, would be making sure that we hear back from as much of the student body as possible, including club leaders, residents, and commuters.”

On the other hand, Nilaj from The Campus That Never Sleeps, has a different priority.

“My goal is just to use the management, social, communication, leadership skills that I’ve attained to just, my initiative is just to improve the student issues or the complaints that we may have,” Nilaj said.

Nilaj has previously served as School of Engineering Vice President, while Bishop is currently the Vice President for Commuter Affairs.

As the candidate atop The Campus that Never Sleeps, Nilaj is prioritizing information technology as an issue.

“The computers on campus, for whatever the case may be, seem to have slowed over time, instead of improving, they’ve gotten slower,” Nilaj said. “Many of them aren’t even connecting to a printing source at all.”

The Jasper Pack and Bishop however remain focused on the communication from student to elected official.

“The Jasper Pack is really willing and wants to work with the student body in order to figure out what kind of initiatives we want to take forward,” said Bishop.

Bishop also emphasizes Jasper pride and inclusion as an important part of her teams campaign.

“Our platform really focuses on school spirit. There are many ways to promote school spirit which include athletics, student life, residents and including commuters on campus,” said Bishop. “All of these things will increase school spirit, and with school spirit comes Lasallian values and Jasper pride.”

Nilaj is also stressing the importance of increasing the space available to students in O’Malley Library and in Kelly Commons. The Campus That Never Sleeps is prescribing layout changes to the library and to Kelly to increase the amount of space available to students for group work and studying.

“There’s students that are just walking around looking for a place to sit, particularly during midterms and finals week,” Nilaj said about space in the library. “The first floor subfloor is beautiful and we don’t really use it at all. It’s just kind of empty space.”

Bishop’s final thought was on continuing the connection between student government and Public Safety to ensure the safety of students.

“We’ve made a lot of progress with Public Safety this year and I want to make sure that this moves forward,” said Bishop. “This is campus and community-wide work that students really care about.”

Outgoing President Dorian Persaud is confident that student government will be left in good hands next year when he leaves the position.

“Micaela’s with me on my executive board and LisaMarie is one of my assembly member, she’s also the School of Engineering representative. I’ve seen great work on both of their behalves,” Persaud said. “I was very happy to take part in paving the way for the next executive board.”

Former Manhattan College Student Body President and graduating senior, Nicholas Weyland offered advice to the candidates during the campaign process.

“Congrats to the people who are running. The decision to run is huge, you’re putting your opinions and views out there, that’s never easy and congrats to what they’re doing,” said Weyland. “The biggest piece of advice that I have is to stay true to yourself, no matter what. [They] both have done wonderful things, so stay passionate about your platform and make sure to continue that vision because thats why you got elected.”

Weyland, grateful for his stint as the student body president from 2015 to 2016, also discussed the honor of the position.

“Campaigning is tough, you’re battling against something else, but it’s an honor to even run,” said Weyland. “Being president is an honor, but the honor comes with a lot of responsibility. It is a great responsibility to have, but there are decisions and things that you must do. At the end of the day just know that we’re all in this together, we are all one community.”

Please follow the Quadrangle for continued coverage on the election.