Student Association executive candidates share plans at debate


(From left) Ben Donovan, Student Association presidential candidate on the Standing for Every Student ticket, listens as Nathan Lupstein,  SA presidential candidate on the Voice of Change ticket, speaks during the candidates night and debate March 19.

By Ashley Morse

The Student Association Executive Elections Candidates Night and Debate allowed for candidates to discuss what the SA could do in light of proposed cuts in state allocation to NIU.

The Thursday debate was held between Voice of Change ticket members Nathan Lupstein, Reggie Bates, Marc Calvey and Raquel Chavez and Standing for Every Student ticket members Benjamin Donovan, Robert Kreml and Gladys Sanchez.


Donovan said it was important for the SA to increase student outreach and try to connect more with DeKalb, which he said he has done with his push to lower the bar-entry age in DeKalb to 20.

“In the past, the [SA] Senate has not worked much with the greater DeKalb community … and we’ve had [a lot] of conversations with them this year,” Donovan said. “And I would like to keep it that way.”

Lupstein said he would like to take a more direct approach to the student body, including preventing the merging of resource centers and making sure the centers are kept separate to preserve their history.

“We have a huge issue with students not knowing that they have representation … and we need to have a bigger sense of campus outreach,” Lupstein said.

Vice president

Kreml said he would focus on helping students join groups by creating a second student involvement fair and by becoming the liaison between the SA Senate and student organizations.

“I think by having a second fair it helps freshmen who first semester wanted to focus on their studies and didn’t know the campus very well, but come second semester there isn’t another fair to help them decide on what they want to do in the spring,” Kreml said. “It also would help transfer students who are coming in second semester.”

Bates said he would increase leadership workshops for the SA Senate to be better prepared for making decisions. Bates said he has been reading the SA Bylaws every night to familiarize himself with the rules.

“I’m planning on bringing in the mentoring workshops for the Senate … so that we may be able to better serve our student body and so we can make them better leaders and so we don’t have to worry about only two tickets running for positions,” Bates said.


Sanchez said she would use social media websites to stay in contact with students by asking students what they need, as well as providing deadlines to receive funding.

“I have specific plans to give to you guys,” Sanchez said. “I have a handout for [student organizations] for all their deadlines for funding for the upcoming semester.”

Calvey said he has worked with SA Treasurer Husam Salem for several months and has gained hands-on experience. Calvey said money allocation should be done in a “performance-based” manner and student groups must hit goals to receive a certain amount of funds.

“Organizations can come in and sit down with their budget and wants … and they can come in and show us how they want the money …,” Calvey said. “There should be a criteria on how they’re going to get the money.”

Student trustee

Raquel Chavez is running unopposed for student trustee, a position on the Board of Trustees, the governing body of NIU. Chavez plans to attend graduate school at NIU in the fall and push for NIU to increase student recruitment. She herself said she was not recruited by NIU.

“Our enrollment efforts, our recruitment efforts and our retention efforts need to be increased,” Chavez said. “… I think Northern is missing out on opportunities to gain students by not going to college fairs. I think that we really need to push admissions to go out with these things.”