From the SGA Candidates – A Better Colgate For All

Javi Diaz

It is always interesting to me when I reflect upon how little time we actually spend at Colgate. I often wonder how I have become so attached to this place, and more importantly the people that comprise it in such a short period of time. I have come to realize that Colgate is more than just an institution; it is an opportunity for every individual who joins it to explore nearly every educational opportunity fathomable.

My work on the Colgate Creed over the past several months has helped me learn what students are capable of accomplishing for the school if there is determination and direction behind it. My work on this project allowed for an enlightening experience to meet with hundreds of individuals — both faculty and students — who are just as hopeful for positive change on this campus as I am.

My running mate, Paul Kasabian, was one of my first friends here on campus, and since the day that I met him, I have known that we both share the same desire to help others. Paul has been an incredibly active and dedicated member of our community, and he has always worked his hardest to make things better for other people, be it through his volunteer work as a firefighter, or through his hard work and dedication in every issue of The Maroon-News.

What Paul and I share the most is a deep passion for making positive contributions to our communities and giving back to those around us. This is the ultimate reason why we have decided to put ourselves into this campaign, and why we will continue fighting for you.

Our decision to pursue the SGA Presidency and Vice Presidency stems primarily from the potential that we see in Student Government to have a positive impact on the lives of students. There are a number of problems ranging in size that have not yet been taken on either in an effective manner or at all by anyone on this campus. We understand that there are limitations to our capabilities and can’t provide everything that the student body desires at the moment. Therefore we are attempting to undertake the most realistic, practical and pertinent changes possible.

Here are some of the ideas we wish to undertake. With regard to the Cruiser, Paul and I are proposing a revamping of the currently flawed schedule, and the placement of schedule signs at each cruiser stop. This will save the school tens of thousands of dollars on the proposed Cruiser GPS system, in a time when we can’t even afford to hire new employees on campus, or provide financial aid to all Colgate applicants who need it. Other ideas that we are proposing are extending the hours at the library cafĂ©, putting more trash and recycle bins around campus, keeping Case Library open 24/7 during the last two weeks of each semester so that students have a good place to study and turning the lights out in many of the academic buildings late at night to save the school money and reduce our carbon footprint.

While we hope to continue the work that the Student Government has been undertaking, such as improving wireless internet on campus, Paul and I primarily hope to take on tasks that have not been approached by the SGA. One of our goals is to provide better resources to victims of sexual assault on campus by training volunteers to work with victims, and by putting prevention tactics in the Campus Safety handbook. We also hope to establish a mentoring program where upperclassmen volunteer to meet with underclassmen students who are looking for ways to adjust to Colgate and are in need. Also, we hope to continue working with the Office of Diversity to find ways to bring different groups of students together. We will help plan Diversity Week in September by working with many groups on campus specifically to find other ways to bring our community together. These are the issues that we feel need the most attention on our campus and ultimately we hope to take them on along with other practical changes.

With regard to our platform, we are not only pursuing some key issues that we have a personal desire to change, but issues that the student body has brought to our attention as well. Our genuine desire is to listen to our fellow students and make the changes that most of us desire, which are both affordable and attainable. For nearly every task on our platform we have already spoken to the necessary administrators and contacts to lay the groundwork to institute them, and several key administrators have been overwhelmingly supportive of our platform. We hope that you share our enthusiasm for really making a difference for this campus, and also take into consideration how much we need these changes for the Colgate that we all love. Thank you.