SGA candidates share their qualifications at Thursday’s debate

Voting for SGA will occur Tuesday and Wednesday at various locations across campus.

The+Student+Government+Association+is+located+in+the+Holmes+Student+Center+ground+floor+in+the+OASIS+space.+Elections+will+occur+from+9+a.m.+to+6+p.m.+Tuesday+and+Wednesday+at+various+locations+around+campus%2C+or+on+Huskie+Link.

Zulfiqar Ahmed

The Student Government Association is located in the Holmes Student Center ground floor in the OASIS space. Elections will occur from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at various locations around campus, or on Huskie Link.

DeKALB — The Student Government Association is hosting elections for new leadership positions in their executive and legislative branches Tuesday and Wednesday. The association hosted debates for their executive candidates on March 24 at the Carl Sandburg Auditorium in the Holmes Student Center. 

Raaif Majeed and Montez Soliz are running for president, Kaylin Lee is for vice president, Honor Morgan is for treasurer and Tim Moore is for student trustee.

The candidates in attendance of the debate were: Majeed, Lee and Moore. Morgan and Soliz did not participate in the debates due to illness and schedule conflicts. 

Jacob Burg, the current Deputy Speaker of the Senate, opened the debates and introduced Moore to the  stage,

Moore, a sophomore meteorology major, is running for the position of student trustee. He is currently involved in the Student Government Association on the Environmental Affairs Committee as well as a member of the atmospheric science community. 

The senate’s first question for Moore was, “What do you see as the most important role as the student trustee?” 

“One of the main things that the student trustee provides is being the main chain link between the students and the university at the highest level while also maintaining communication at all levels,” Moore said. 

Throughout the debate, Moore further explained his qualifications, his past experiences being involved in student government, issues he plans to advocate for, and his plans on how to keep students informed.

Burg next introduced vice president candidate Lee to the stage.

Kaylin Lee, a sophomore music education major, is a former orientation leader here at NIU as well as involved in the marching band, Penguin Players, College of Visual Arts Board and is on the committee for the School of Music. 

“There are a few things that I want to focus on in the position of Vice President,” Lee said. “It is vital that we improve to embrace diversity and make sure that every voice is heard. Also, student organizations are a very important part of our university. One of my goals is to obtain, retain, and maintain members of all of the student organizations we have here on campus.”

The senate asked Lee many questions ranging from her current involvement with the university, ways she hopes to help student organizations and how she plans to advocate for students.

Lee was asked why Huskies should feel confident putting her in one of the highest positions in SGA, given that she has never held a position with SGA before. 

“Although I have not held a position in the Student Government Association here at NIU, I have held other leadership positions,” Lee said. “With my past leadership experience, I am able to reach out and advocate for the student body as a whole, even though I haven’t held a position with the Student Government Association.” 

Burg next introduced presidential candidate Raiif Majeed to the stage.

Raiif Majeed, a senior pre-med student majoring in psychology, is a former community advisor, as well as a member of Med Life NIU, Operation Smile, Sigma Nu Fraternity, IFC Executive Board, and Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. 

The senate asked Majeed many questions ranging from his current involvement with the university, past experiences in leadership roles, ways he plans to live out the value of diversity in the presidential position, as well as his goals if elected as president. 

Neither Majeed nor his opponent, Soliz, have experience working in the Student Government Association. 

“What I lack at Student Government here, I make up for in many other spaces,” Majeed said. “I have had the opportunity to become the first undergraduate student to serve on the board of directors of a major Greek-lettered organization. I oversee a staff and budget much greater than the SGA. I have more than enough executive experience to lead this organization.”

After closing audience questions, Burg closed the debates by thanking the candidates and audience for their time. 

Voting for the Student Government Association will occur from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in Barsema Hall, DuSable Hall, Founders Memorial Library, Holmes Student Center and New Hall Community Center. Additionally, voting via Huskie Link will be available for 24 hours.