By Morgan Petronelli
Candidates in the upcoming election for president and executive vice president of Youngstown State University Student Government Association took the time to answer questions about themselves and their platforms. Logan Barna and Samantha Heestand are running for president and executive vice president, respectively. SGA elections will take place on April 3 and 4.
Q: Tell me a little about yourselves and what are you involved in?
Barna: I belong to the Honors College. I was a Beeghly College of Education representative on Student Government my freshman year, and now I am a participant in the Emerging Leaders Program. In my spare time, I am either with family and friends, or reffing youth and high school soccer games.
Heestand: I am also in honors at YSU, and I am an active member of the Student Nurses Association. Whenever I have free time, I like to relax and de-stress from school, work, volunteering and other obligations.
Q: Why do you want to be elected president and VP of SGA?
Barna: I aspire to be president of SGA because I believe that there are many issues within the YSU community that have gone unnoticed, and I feel I am the right candidate to bring about these changes. I believe that everyone deserves representation, not just a select few groups of people.
Heestand: I wish to fulfill the office of executive vice president because I feel Logan and I would be placed in a position where we could really help people. I chose to become a nurse for the sole purpose of helping people in need, and I feel that I would be able to greatly assist the students at YSU if I were to be elected EVP of SGA.
Q: What kind of leaders do you describe yourselves as?
Barna: I am the type of person that, once I set my mind to something, there is nothing that can stop me from pursuing it to the best of my ability. Additionally, I am the type of leader to represent what is in the greatest interest of all concerned.
For example, it is the “STUDENT Government Association,” not the “LOGAN Government Association”; therefore, I will advocate for what the students want, even if I personally feel differently.
Heestand: To maximize the rate at which things get accomplished, I believe in delegating tasks in order to not only get it done faster, but it allows multiple people to take a part in the solution. I don’t see myself as a boss or an authority figure; I see myself as a member of a group with a shared common goal.
We also believe in putting our money where our mouths are, which is why we have promised to donate $2,000 from our salaries (if elected) to Guinathon [a YSU student organization benefiting Akron Children’s Hospital].
Q: Why do you think you’d be a better president and VP of SGA?
Barna: While Ernie Barkett and Caroline Smith have both served on SGA for three years apiece, they have failed to accomplish or attempt to accomplish anything concerning the number one complaint of YSU students — parking.
Also, the solution they have planned is to buy another shuttle bus; however, this does not address the issue because in order to ride the shuttle, you still have to park your car somewhere.
Heestand: We have not spent a career in SGA, but we have enough experience to know how to get things done and who to talk to regarding various issues. I believe we are the better choice because our opposition has represented three years of inaction, while we are hungry for change.
Q: What are your specific platforms during this election?
Barna: My main priority will be to purchase door barricade devices in order to counter the rate at which school shootings are rising. I do not believe in waiting for something to happen; we cannot gamble with our students’ lives. The devices are extremely affordable and simple to install.
Another goal I have is to eliminate 8 a.m. final exams. Psychology has proven that 8 a.m. is not the ideal time for students to be testing; therefore, we would like to have the exams scheduled no sooner than 10 a.m.
Heestand: The main issue I will be taking up is extending dining hours in The Den and Wendy’s. The current dining hours are unacceptable, and students have limited choices past 4 p.m. Extending dining hours would increase student satisfaction and garnish more revenue for the university and Chartwells.
Another goal is, of course, solving the parking dilemma. I will be looking into obtaining grants from the state to assist in paying for a new parking deck by DeBartolo Hall and Cushwa Hall because the current deck was not intended to be a permanent structure.
Q: What do you wish to accomplish in your time as SGA president and VP?
Barna: As stated previously, we wish to accomplish everything on our platform, as well as some other issues including, but not limited to, obtaining two-ply toilet paper, controlling the temperature in each academic building, increasing snow removal (especially in the parking deck) and expanding recycling on campus.
Q: Why should the students of YSU vote for you?
Barna: The students of YSU should vote for the candidate that they feel is the best option for the office of president and executive vice president. As stated previously, we feel we are the best candidates to enact major change at the university.
While we may not achieve everything in one year, we feel confident that every student will see major changes in multiple areas within the school year.