Jasper State of Mind Announces 2019 Campaign for Student Government

by ALEXA SCHMIDT & SAMANTHA WALLA, Features Editor & Production Editor

The Student Government elections for the executive board are approaching next Thursday, April 4, through Friday, April 5, where students can cast their vote online. Currently, there is only one cohesive party campaigning, called Jasper State of Mind.

The nine members began campaigning Thursday, March 28 after gaining 50 signatures each, followed by Student Engagement approval.

Running for president is Kaylyn Atkins, a junior currently serving on the judicial branch of student government. Atkins decided to run after a positive experience serving the Manhattan College community for the past two years.

“So i kind of just slowly started looking at who our leaders are on campus and who we feel as if would be a good fit and who would mesh well together and also ensuring we get students from all different backgrounds so that we make sure everyone’s interests are met and everyone feels as if they can have a voice through the student gov executive committee.”

The junior political science and international studies double major was approached by junior Ryan Kwiecinski, who has previously served on the executive board for a year, to join the diverse group campaigning, which includes residents, commuters, athletes and engineers.

“I’ve been involved with student government for the past two years, on campus and it’s really helped me grow as a person, and I knew after being on the executive board this year that I really wanted to run again,” Kwiecinski said. He is currently on the executive board as vice president of finance.

The other seven members include juniors Gallager Gregory, Anna Rosario, Luke Malpica, Parveen Rampersaud, Ginamarie Napoli, Megan Dreher and sophomore Nadia Itani.

Jasper State of Mind has four core values that they want to emphasize in their campaign. This includes inclusivity and diversity on campus, Jasper Nation 2.0, campus health, and rejuvenating campus space.

“We want diversity between serving commuters more on campus, and bridging the gap between veterans and students. We want students to have a more Jasper state of mind in school events and getting more people involved with events on campus,” Atkins said.

“We are looking at campus health through a broad perspective, so not just overall health, but mental health,” Kweicinski added. “That’s a really important thing, especially on college campuses across the country and across the world. Really focusing on mental health in ways that students can have access to the information they need and the resources that can help them, and just ensuring that all of our students feel as if they’re in a good place.”

He continued.

“Going along with bridging the gap, we really want to find ways we can use the different campus spaces. So we’re working on furthering that idea of having a community lounge on campus. We want to ensure students that are commuters, if they’re on campus for a long period of time, that they have spaces to hang out and relax in a quiet space,” he said.

Through the use of social media, Jasper State of Mind hopes to reach a wide audience and get as many students engaged as possible.

Jasper State of Mind will run unopposed for student government, which will be voted online Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5. Kaylyn Atkins / COURTESY

“We really just want to encourage students to vote in general. Voter turnout is so important and to get out there and have your voice heard. We really look forward to taking what great on campus and furthering that, but also making sure that we’re looking at areas on campus that can be fixed and making sure we’re giving our attention to that,” Kweicinski said.

The campaign requires months of preparation, especially in identifying student issues and using them to formulate campaign initiatives.

Jaycie Cooper, current president of Manhattan College’s student body, recalls her own campaign process fondly.

“Within that week, I became super close with the e-board and got to meet a lot of new students, learning about the different issues that affected my fellow classmates,” she said. “While it’s a shame that there won’t be the same competitive environment this year, I look forward to seeing how students will run their campaigns.”

Voting will begin on Thursday, April 5 for all freshman, sophomores and juniors. It will close the following day on April 5 with winners announced soon after.

For more coverage, continue following The Quadrangle.

Editor’s Note: Editor-in-Chief of The Quadrangle, Megan Dreher is running with Jasper State of Mind for student government.