Three students from different areas of the world partnered together last week to pursue common goals in the Freshman Elections.
“The thing is, when there’s discontent, there’s always a gap between demand and supply and I think we’re not supplying enough to meet the demand of the freshman class,” said Manik Elahi, one third of the People’s Party and Freshman Class President hopeful. Elahi is now the third candidate in the race for Freshman Class President against Emma Dillon and Stephen Pelletier.
“There’s honestly no reason to run against each other if you have the same ideals,” said Elahi. Saydou Bonsa originally considered petitioning for freshman class president but reconsidered running for the position after talking with Elahi who started petitioning for Freshman Class President last Monday.
Both Bonsa and Elahi decided to run for the Senate under the same party which later included Brandon Nugent. “We’re doing this because we like our people and we’re willing to work for them,” said Bonsa.
According to Bonsa, the party was formed out of discontent with the way students experience their first year at Hudson Valley. “People need to be more involved, get involved in clubs and be more active with each other,” said Nugent.
Part of the group’s platform is to support socialization efforts for freshman students as well as work further with the performing arts committee to establish a music-based club on campus. “I had a lot of ideas and [Manik] knew I was running for senate so he just choose me,” said Nugent. If elected, Nugent hopes to advocate for athletic events like powderpuff games with support from his party.
Unlike the other petitioners, Elahi, in his second semester with the senate, believes his experience puts him at an advantage against the competition. “I personally believe that when you have that sort of experience, it’s my responsibility. If there is such a position to be filled, I should volunteer for it because I feel an obligation to do that,” he said. According to Student Senate eligibility policy, any student who has completed fewer than 28 credits is able to run in the Freshman elections.
Elahi also runs as the only petitioner for Freshman Class President without a sibling involved in the Senate. “I didn’t have any brothers or sisters to introduce me to the senate and give me an edge,” he said.
All members of the party were born outside of the Capital Region and two members (Elahi and Bonsa) were born outside of the country. Elahi, who speaks in four different languages and moved around the world since the age of seven believes his experience helps him connect to students easier. “I believe I can better relate to all the diverse groups out here on campus,” said Elahi,
Senators are required to collect 50 signatures and Freshman Presidential hopefuls are required to collect 150 signatures in order to enter the race. Election petitions are due on Friday and mid-term grades will determine who will run on the ballot.