SA candidate breakdown: A Better NIU ticket

SA candidate breakdown: A Better NIU ticket

By Morgan Fink

The Student Association announced tickets for the upcoming election on March 28 and 29. One ticket, A Better NIU, consists of leaders such as SA president candidate Alex Forgue, Spencer Teplitz, SA vice presidential candidate, and Erin Hernandez, SA student trustee candidate. Editors Note: Next issue, we will feature candidates from NIUnited ticket.

Why are you running for this position?

AF: Student Association is very dominated by Greek Life, so as a non-Greek-life candidate, I want to change that pattern of Greek Life students being nominated. Getting every type of student’s voice heard is very important to me.

ST: Vice presidents are heavily involved with student organizations, and I want to be able to play a role in supporting students closely.

EH: I see the need for a new voice for students. I have gained enough experience to reach out to students, board members and to administrators to help make a better NIU.

What student leadership experience do you have?

AF: NIU for two and a half years. In those two and a half years, I have served as president for NIU Prism. I have been active on multiple committees for NIU, including Student Advisory Council.

ST: I have volunteered working with special needs children and helping out at animal shelters. I am also a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity on campus, which has helped me branch out at NIU and become more involved.

EH: I can bring people together in order to negotiate different things. I also have been involved with the undocumented community, the [LGBTQ] community and the black community. I have also traveled to Springfield, Illinois in order to lobby for the MAP grant. I have had multiple jobs on campus that involve making students feel at home and making sure that they are getting enough to eat and helping them apply for scholarships.

What are your personal interests?

AF: I am very involved in politics. I have been a political activist since I was in high school. I also enjoy running in my free time.

ST: I am heavily involved with Greek life. I also love to travel around the world and learn about other cultures.

EH: I have a passion for politics and volunteering. I like working with the undocumented community and communities that are marginalized in this society. I also enjoy attending press conferences, rallies and lobbying.

What is your academic life like?

AF: I like anything science-related because I am a physics major.

ST: I work really hard to do things such as run for vice president of the Student Association. I take 16-plus credit hours each semester in order to do so. I work closely with the history, political science and Spanish departments in order to learn more about what I am studying. I also love learning about politics.

EH: Through my education and the political science field, I have learned the way in which government works and the way different policies affect all types of people.

What do you want to accomplish for the student body?

AF: I want to work to lobby for the Monetary Award Program grant and state funding, which is important to me. I also want to make education more affordable for students, so if I am nominated, I want to start committees in order to improve the expense of education.

ST: I want to be able to improve students’ experiences on campus. I want students to be proud to attend NIU and to give a voice to organizations that don’t typically get heard on campus.

EH: I want to be able to make education affordable, especially for students that come from low-income families. I value education and have worked with President Doug Baker to find ways for students to pay for their studies and successfully finish school in four years.

What are your goals if elected?

AF: I want to be able to protect the student body, especially students who are being targeted by the current administration such as Muslim students, LGBTQ students and undocumented students.

ST: I want to take student involvement to a new level by uplifting groups that do not get their fair share of being heard on campus. I want to organize two different parades for the upcoming fall and spring semesters that will show off how awesome certain organizations on campus are. By showcasing organizations such as veterans, minority groups, student athletes and Greek life, I want to show the world what NIU has to offer.

EH: I want to make NIU feel like a second home for students. I also want to focus on the things students need. A lot of times I see decisions being made on this campus and students are more involved in other things that do not correlate with decisions that have been made in the past. If elected, I want to be a part of the decision-making process. I have had exposure to all different kinds of students at NIU, so I feel that I can voice their concerns.

How are you different from other candidates?

AF: Candidates on the other ticket have been on the student executive board before and are currently serving. They made commitments to the student organization that have failed, and I feel that I have more experience in making commitments happen because I am currently the president for PRISM.

ST: I have a more passionate drive, and I have an ability to connect with people in order to work together to make this campus a better place.

EH: I am a first generation student, so I personally know the struggle of trying to find enough funds to get through each year of my education. I come from a low-income neighborhood in Chicago, so I know the troubles that students from that area experience.