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Candidates State their Cases in Canisius USA Executive Board Debate

By Connor Pohlman, News Reporter

Candidates for the Canisius USA e-board quietly filtered into Grupp Fireside Lounge on Saturday, March 11 with their speeches in hand. A collective panel consisting of Jillian Galanti, Alex Sanker and this present scribe, Connor Pohlman, representing the Undergraduate Student Association (USA), Afro-American Society and The Griffin respectively, were all present to witness the candidate speeches and to question presidential candidate Jahare Hudson.

The candidates are prepared to vye for the positions of president, executive vice president (EVP), vice president of business & finance (VPBF) and the vice president of marketing and public relations (VPMPR).

Prior to the candidates’ speeches, Galanti gave a set of opening remarks to explain the format. Galanti expounded that each candidate would receive five minutes to express their ideas, viewpoints and goals that they would set out to accomplish if elected.

President Jahare Hudson and VPBF Geetanjali Singh are current incumbents, and Hudson is campaigning for re-election. Hudson is set to be the only candidate for the presidential position, while Marja’e Johnson and Gloria Uwizeye are in the running for EVP. Tim Sanders is a newcomer who is running, unopposed, for VPMPR.

Sanders was the first candidate to speak in front of the audience. With a calm and collected manner, he expressed his vision for a better Canisius, emphasizing the importance of community and the Jesuit values that the college holds so dearly.

Succeeding the podium after Sanders was Johnson, who currently serves as the Facilities/ITS liaison for USA and made it a priority in her remarks to touch on the issues of social justice and diversity. Johnson promised to open the door for students and staff of all backgrounds, colors and creeds, making it known that Canisius should serve as a melting pot of the community.

Finishing out the vice presidential candidate speeches was Uwizeye. She talked about her experience with an international background and how that has shaped her and her vision, shining a light on the importance of accepting diversity from all walks of life. Uwizeye believes that practicing this is a necessary virtue that the Canisius community must continue to adopt in order to further the progress being made.

Incumbent President Jahare Hudson took to the podium to cap off the USA executive board debate. One of the focal questions asked by Sanker was about the shortage of food available on Canisius’s campus past a certain time. The growing concern is one shared among many students, and Hudson made it clear that he understands their quarrels.

“Most of the food places on campus close at 10 p.m., and let’s be honest, most of us college students aren’t going to bed at 10 p.m.,” Hudson said. “I will continue to bring this issue up at our meetings until a resolution is found.”

Hudson was then questioned about what he believes he has accomplished in his short term as president, as well as what he thinks he could improve upon.

“In my time as president, I have managed to work with all of our clubs and boards, and we have made great progress together. In my short time, I have accomplished a lot, but there is still much work to do, and I know that we have the right people to do it.” When asked about what he believes it will take to continue actualizing his vision, Hudson quipped, “Many more meetings.”

For the first time ever, senators will also be giving public speeches on April 17 in the Grupp Fireside Lounge from 5 to 7 p.m. Last Saturday’s debate was one of the first dominoes to fall as the election process commences.

Election voting will open on CanisiusLife on April 11 at 9 a.m. and will be available until April 15 at 4 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. the same day, the results from the election will be announced and the candidates will be firmly sorted into place.

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