Caroline Gimenez is a vice presidential candidate and is running with presidential candidate Ryan Waddell. Their campaign developed a platform based on AGENCY — appreciation for diverse perspectives, governmental relations, enriching educational opportunities, collaboration and your voice.
Their campaign focuses on diversity initiatives, working with the Virginia and federal governments on higher education advocacy, academic advising and affairs, Hokie Spirit, collaborating with the Virginia Tech community and student outreach.
Anjelica Smith is a vice presidential candidate and is running with presidential candidate Dustin Dorph. Their “Ticket to Win It” platform focuses on connecting the SGA representatives with the student body. Their platform focuses on four categories: student life, diversity and inclusion, community partnerships and the internal structure of the SGA.
They want to “make being a Hokie an involved and rewarding experience.” They hope to revamp the F-6 program, which coordinates activities during the first six weeks of the school year, by working with Dining Services, New Student Programs and the Residence Hall Federation.
Both candidates spoke to the Collegiate Times about university issues.
Collegiate Times: How will you address the issue of parking and transportation on campus?
This is always an issue, and it has become increasingly difficult for students with all of the construction going on around campus. Based on our platforms, I think we would want to do a lot of collaborating with the administration to see what their plans are to address this issue, what their timeline is, and then communicate this information to the students.
We can then discuss with students about what specifically they want and their reaction to those ideas, whether it’s a new parking garage that won’t be up for another two years, or setting up interim parking to make up for what has been lost. And we can relay that feedback to the administration and work to solve these issues.
The “Ticket to Win It” recognizes the difficult parking and traffic situation on campus. Realistically, there is no quick fix to the situation at hand, but our campaign is looking to work with administration to plan for a future with more organized transportation. Some ideas are promoting alternate forms of transportation, proposing a form of U-Share bicycles and pushing the outside community to be more accessible to pedestrians.
CT: How will you change academic advising for students?
This is pretty much directly addressed in our platform, but we definitely want to keep the momentum going with everything the SGA has done this year to improve academic advising on our campus. Some students have had great advising experiences. However, a good percentage of students have had a completely different experience. It is important to really push and work with the administration to set up a form of mandatory training for advisors, or mandate that advisors must meet with their students at least once a semester.
Academic advising is an important part of students’ path to graduation. The “Ticket to Win It” recognizes there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to meet the challenges of advising across colleges and majors. The “Ticket to Win It” will talk to deans and advisers of each college as well as departments to determine both sides of the issue. Solutions worth further investigation include requesting employment of more full-time advisers and advocating for the improvement of advising websites.
CT: What kinds of issues do you think exist for students, and how will you deal with them?
There are issues that are present every year on a college campus like Tech, such as parking, class size and lines in dining halls. The SGA works every year to improve these as much as possible. One of the platforms we are most passionate about is being the students’ voice.
There are plenty of new issues that can arise every year that were not present before, and they can come up at different points throughout the year. That is why we really want to increase and improve student outreach and the lines of communication between students and the SGA.