Manhattan College Holds Freshman Special Election

Students from MC’s class of 2026 gather on the quadrangle during their first days together. GRACE CARDINAL/THE QUADRANGLE

By Anna Carroll,  Contributor

Manhattan College’s freshman class has named one of its two vice presidents in a special election. 

Every fall semester, Manhattan College holds a special election so that the freshmen class can vote for their class vice presidents. Two vice presidents are elected to plan events and represent class needs. 

Originally, there was only one candidate running for freshmen vice president: Elliot Babilonia. He has been named one of two freshman vice presidents by Student Government Association, due to him being the only qualified candidate by the original election date. 

Babilonia, a computer science major, looks forward to building the freshman community and uniting the class. 

“Walking up to someone and talking can be really hard,” Babilonia said, explaining how he wants to utilize and create new events on campus to bring students together. 

They also have a personal interest in speaking up for the commuter community, as they commute from his home in the Bronx. 

“Everything is so convenient for residents, but not commuters,” he said, citing his inability to join a club because it met during a time that was not feasible with his commute. 

Michael Steele, assistant director from the office of Student Engagement, said Babilonia’s lack of competition in the election is an unusual circumstance. 

“We do have great participation from students in our elections. Actually, at the request of Student Government, my office is postponing the election to next week, Thursday and Friday, to accommodate the other students who applied to be part of this election,” Steele stated. 

Freshmen students were able to vote on Sept. 29 and 30 online through the Office of Student Engagement. This time, the race for vice president was on as Naarah Diaz and O’Dell Holland Fincher, Jr. competed for the unfilled vice president position. 

Campaign poster for candidate Naarah Diaz hangs in Hayden Hall.

Diaz is running for vice president so that she can advocate for everyone. Specifically, she cited her experience as a Hispanic Afro-Latina woman. 

“I feel like I bring the perspective of someone who has always been put on the sidelines,” Diaz said. “It makes me more open minded. There are certain things that unless you experience them, you won’t understand.”

Diaz, a political science major, is most passionate about education here at Manhattan College. Through this position, she wants to help develop events to get everyone, especially freshmen, thinking about what their next step after college is. 

“First is making it to college,” she said. “But what comes after that? Staying on top of your work and receiving the help that you need. That’s an issue, especially in the freshman class because we are adjusting and making changes to our lives.”

The other candidate for freshman vice president is O’Dell Holland Fincher, Jr, a business major minoring in real estate and analytics. Holland Fincher is running because he wants to be the person to unite the freshman class. 

“I see a potential for this school having a very strong and united student body where residents and commuters alike take pride in this school, our collective accomplishments, and each other,” Holland Fincher said. 

To accomplish this, Holland Fincher wants to create an incentive to encourage and reward students for actively participating in campus activities.

“I’d create a point system for each resident hall and for commuters that will give a prize to whichever group shows the most school spirit,” he said. 

Beyond working with Student Government, class vice presidents work closely with the Office of Student Engagement. 

“I look forward to seeing their eagerness to get involved.” Steele said.

Calissa McNeely, student body president, shares this sentiment. In the past, McNeely served as freshman vice president as well. 

“We are eager to work with them just as much as they are eager to work with us and I hope that the position for them would be very informative and enlightening,” she said. “Being the freshman vice president helped me to break out of my shell as a person, which is really great to carry as student body president. It was, for me, a really great way to get myself out there.”