Rojas and Collins: New VPs for Student Government

by ALEXA SCHMIDT, Asst. A&E Editor

Every fall, Student Government holds an election to fill the vice president positions of the freshmen class. The class of 2022 has elected Kevin Rojas and Sydney Collins. Although the freshmen have just started adjusting to college life, they had the opportunity to try their hand at politics and run for the spots.

For the election this year, three candidates were required to get 50 signatures to get on the ballot and start their campaign. This included advocating for themselves, creating connections on campus, and getting their name out there to as many people as they could to secure votes. The results came in on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Rojas and Collins are both political science majors who are excited to be working together and serve as the voice of the freshman class. They participated in student council in high school, and thought that would translate well over to Manhattan College.

“Being a political science major, ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to do something with politics or even just law in general, something in that field,” Rojas said. “I thought that because I did it in my high school and I did well in it, I wanted to just gain more experience basically. Just reap all the benefits I can and also just be able to help other people is something I really want to do. And so in the little ways I can, I know I’ll be able to help.”

“I saw the flyers for it and was like, ‘Oh, I totally want to do that’ and I just put up campaign flyers. It just kind of happened. I talked to my friends and by the end of it I was seriously into it. It started off as a thing I was interested in, but by the end of it I was like I really want to do this,” Collins said.

Although it is a low-key election, not on the level as the executive board elections held in the spring semester, both of them went out of their comfort zone when it came to their campaign.

“I live in Jasper Hall, floor five, and it’s very community orientated because it’s all boys, and the doors are always open. And so I kind of just had people rally behind me, which is really funny because when you think about it you only know these people for a few weeks. They got really behind it. I had people go door-to-door, go to each hall and help me out, and then of course I went out,” Rojas said.

“I talked to people that I normally wouldn’t talk to, just branching out. It was a good process. Some stuff didn’t go too well. I had to order stuff to hand out and it still never arrived. So it was kind of a hassle. But from start to finish, it was a pretty easy process and it was nice to get everyone votes,” he added.

Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 2.38.58 PM
Sydney Collins (left) and Kevin Rojas (right), both political science majors, were announced as co-vice presidents of the freshman class on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The two will represent the class of 2022 for this academic school year. SYDNEY COLLINS & KEVIN ROJAS / COURTESY

In addition to flyers, Collins used social media and personal contact to meet as many people as she could. Although the campaign was stressful, Collins said that she enjoyed the process and wants to continue to do student government throughout college.

“I sent out a snap message from before orientation where it’s all the freshmen and I was like, it’s Sydney. I’m running for class VP. And then after that I kind of just started talking to more people in Arches and Horan. I tried to meet a lot more freshmen which helped me snag way more people than I know. And they also helped by voting for me,” she said.

As the class vice presidents, Rojas and Collins serve as the liaison between their class and the administration. They are the contact freshmen can go to if they have issues or concerns. They also handle events specifically for the freshmen and are currently brainstorming ideas for future events.

“Basically we’re the voice for the freshmen class. We can kind of think of social events that we’d want to do for the freshmen. Because it is our first year, even though we’ve only been here for a month it feels like way longer, but it’ll help us get to know the school, kind of get integrated with different clubs and different age groups,” Collins said.

“My view on everything is that I want to hear what people have to say, and see what they have to say is the biggest issue because again, we’ve only been here a few weeks so it’s not like we’ve experienced a lot of the things upperclassmen do. It’s a case-to-case basis, and I just want to make sure everything is functioning well,” Rojas added.   

He continued.

“I’m pretty excited for it. It think it’s going to be a big year. I talked to Sydney already, and we just talked about all the responsibilities and stuff like that. I just met her, and I didn’t know what to expect, but she is great to talk to and I think everything is going to go really well,” Rojas said.