SGA debates: Treasurer and trustee


Nyla Owens

“Junior meteorology major and current Trustee Tim Moore (left) and junior pre-medical chemistry major Yazan Masri debate for the SGA representative seat on the NIU Board of Trustees Monday at the Carl Sandburg Auditorium. The canidates answered questions from the public before having the chance to question one another during the debate. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)”

By Joseph Howerton, Video Editor

DeKALB – Candidates for the treasurer and Board of Trustees positions gathered for an open debate answering a series of questions from the public and each other.

Student Government Association elections are here with polls opening at midnight March 29 and open for 24 hours.



Vying for the position of SGA treasurer are Landon Larkin, a junior finance major, and Gavin Kent, a first-year pre-medical chemistry major.

Larkin is the current SGA deputy treasurer. Larkin said his experience makes him the most qualified choice for the position.

Kent said what NIU needs is to increase student enrollment, retention and graduation rates. This would entail allocating funds to projects that would make potential students want to enroll in NIU. Kent said his experience comes from being the vice chairman of finance for his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and vice president of marketing for the Interfraternity Council.

“When I got here on campus, I realized not only is there a lack of resources, but there’s a lack of involvement,” Kent said. “I mean, when we have students going home every weekend and there’s just nothing to do on the weekends, you just sit in your dorm. I think that’s a major issue, so I wanna work with organizations.”

Both candidates agreed that funding transparencies are a major issue faced by the incoming treasurer. Larkin said he is currently working on an expense tracker to be put in Huskie Hub for students to see expenses. Kent said he would make a weekly or monthly release article on finances either through third parties or directly through SGA.

Both candidates said communication through SGA and organizations requesting funds needed improvement and said they’d take steps to make the process easier.

“Many organizations sometimes don’t even know what SGA funding is, so creating that awareness is the first step to improve the timeline,” Larkin said. “I would definitely say outreach is a big thing and hosting in-person outreach would be another way to increase that.”

If SGA would ever be lacking funds, both suggested aiding organizations in partnering with NIU departments to obtain the necessary funding.



Yazan Masri, a junior pre-medical chemistry major, and current Trustee Tim Moore, a junior meteorology major, answered questions on why they are best suited to be the SGA representative seat on the Board of Trustees.

Communication was a key topic Masri and Moore spoke about, with both candidates agreeing that the trustee position needs to be able to speak directly to the student body they represent to learn what it needs.

Marsi and Moore said campus diversity was a concern for them. Masri said he was prepared for this being a first generation college student and a minority who worked in a diverse healthcare field prior. Moore said he is prepared for this position because of his prior experience working with and organizing multicultural events.

“I believe that the diversity of the organization and experiences that I’ve partaken in has adequately prepared me for this role to understand students and to bring their perspective to the board,” Moore said.

As the current incumbent, Moore said he requires no training to be brought up to speed on how the Board of Trustees work. Moore said he’d continue to work with both students and administrative figures to continue plans for NIU such as the SEM 2.0 plan for enrolling, retaining and graduating students that the NIU administration is preparing.

Masri’s goal as trustee is to update and modernize NIU buildings, making them on par with Barsema Hall. Masri said the outdated state of NIU is a major issue not only with current students but with prospective students choosing not to enroll.

“I would also like to work with the Treasury to allocate funds in order to make that (modernization) happen,” Masri said. “I wanna find investors among the board that are willing to donate to the school to build buildings that will benefit the student population right now.”

Both candidates said issues NIU is facing cannot be fixed in their term; however, now is an important time to lay the groundwork for those issues to be fixed.



Potential voters will have until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to cast their vote for SGA positions. Voters can cast their ballot on the Huskie Hub website.