Student Government

Ahead of Student Government Presidential Debates, Here’s Who’s Running

Carly Behm | The PhoenixThe Student Government Office on the second floor of the Damen Student Center.

Campaign season for the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) has kicked off with presidential and vice presidential tickets announced this week. The first of three debates is tonight, March 13, at 8:15 p.m. when the presidential candidates will square off on the second floor of Damen Student Center in the Multipurpose Room South.

A vice presidential debate is scheduled for March 18 at 7 p.m. in the Damen Den and a second presidential debate March 20 at 7 p.m. in the Damen Cinema. A candidate meet-and-greet will follow the second debate at 7:30 p.m. in Ireland’s Pub 10 catered with Felice’s pizza.

All debates will also be streamed live on SGLC’s Facebook page.

Voting will take place from March 21-22. You’ll get your ballot in your Loyola email.

Before that, here’s a little about each candidate, according to each’s public campaign statement.

Kathleen Meis and Mario Guerrero

Meis, the presidential candidate, has served as an SGLC senator on the Justice Committee her first and junior years at Loyola, taking a break to serve as the senate body’s speaker her sophomore year. She is in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters through the service organization Loyola 4 Chicago.

Guerrero, her running mate, has spent his time in the SGLC Senate on several committees and has served as a peer advisor, social justice intern and worked with the #LoyolaVotes initiative, which aims to help students get involved in elections.

Meis and Guerrero’s campaign platform focuses on improving Campus Safety, increasing accessibility of school resources for students with disabilities and students who have trouble affording Loyola, sustainability and inclusivity.

They want to finalize the implementation of a Loyola class on American Sign Language and commit Loyola to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as as more courses that teach about and study disabilities.

Sophie Yano and Ben Franc

Yano, the presidential candidate, is SGLC’s current Speaker of the Senate. She’s been in the SGLC for three years. Franc, her running mate, is the body’s current attorney general and served on the Senate’s Allocations Committee as a senator in the past.

Yano and Franc are running on a platform of accessibility, accountability and community. They say they’ll commit to making their administration and student government more accessible, as well as school resources. They say they’ll hold themselves and the Loyola administration accountable while in office. Finally, they say they want to bring the Loyola community together more so that nobody feels left out, citing things such as concerns from students of color they witnessed during the #NotMyLoyola movement last spring and other concerns.

Harsh Patel and Thomas Sallese

Patel, the presidential candidate, founded the Men of Tomorrow, a men’s style and etiquette organization, at Loyola and served on the student advisory board for the Center for Experiential Learning. He’s also helped host Diwali, an event put on by Campus Ministry for Hindu students.

Sallese has served in the SGLC Senate and as a student alumni ambassador.

Patel and Sallese want to improve Loyola’s mental health and disability resources. They also want to improve its housing fairs to make it easier for students to find off-campus apartments.

They also want to increase the amount of money each student organization receives from the school, as well as implement programs that clarify the correct way to fill out forms to secure funds and cut out unnecessary bureaucracy that makes organization treasurers fill out more forms than they need to, they claim.

The two also want to improve the visibility of SGLC’s suggestion website, Loyola, It’s Time (LIT) and foster more direct dialogue between the administration and students, keeping students involved and informed.

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