BY: KEELEY IBRAHIM
LIU Brooklyn is under new leadership. The votes were tallied Thursday, April 18 for the next Student Government Association leaders.
After months of campaigning, independent candidate Anthony Allen won the position as SGA Executive President. “I put a lot of work into this,” says Allen. “My supporters also helped to get the word around.” The interim election results stated that Allen won with 603 votes, nearly doubling the votes received by Sean Isaiah James and Pedrito Exume, respectively. Allen says he believes he secured the SGA presidential spot by constantly speaking with the students. “I actually gave speeches in classes and had my supporters tell their friends about me.”
Some LIU Brooklyn students have expressed frustration with the SGA campaigns and whether some female voters choose their candidate based on popularity and not based on their platforms—Allen is currently facing these criticisms. “You’re always going to deal with controversy when you’re running for a leadership position,” says Allen. “I really don’t pay that any mind. I have a lot of supporters that are men as well as women.”
Joining Allen in the Student Government Association will be Maxim Celestin, who won the position of executive vice president by a vote of 483.
“Hard work pays off. I really dedicated myself for the past 3 months,” says Celestin, who ran on a separate ticket with Sean I. James, Bianca Lahiji-Nir and Taiesa Heath. “We all had the same type of views on many things,” he said, talking about his former running mates. “We would have done something to change this university to make it better. I’m a little disappointed.”
Celestin was the only one from his ticket to win for the position he was vying for and he thanks his former team for pushing him. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here right now. There were times when I thought I was giving up, but they told me to stay in it.”
Although Celestin is now part of a new team of SGA leaders, he intends to sit down for a one-on-one with his new executive board over the summer to compare thoughts and ideas. “Each of us have great ideas,” says Celestin, who expressed thanks to Sean I. James, Rafael Molina, and Caribbean Student Movement President Samantha Mitchell for guiding him through this tough campaign.
Another candidate who believes dedication helped in her SGA win for executive treasurer is Aneesa Osborne, who will enter the next semester as a junior and Political Science major. “It felt nice to fight and work hard for something and have it shown through your success,” says Osborne. “It feels great to win. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
The position of SGA treasury had four candidates running, more than any other seats open. One of the first challenges Osborne hopes to overcome is allocating the budget kits for all LIU Brooklyn student organizations; she said that the team isn’t going to make any official plans until their inauguration on May 7.
“We’ve all preached unity, but I want to show it,” says Osborne. “Within the first three months [of next semester], we’re going to have a lot of things to show and prove that we can be united.” Osborne says that although each candidate ran separately, “it’ll work out better moving forward.” The diversity amongst the group will help to strengthen the plans SGA makes in the future, Osborne says. Osborne plans on attending Rutgers University for law school after graduating in May 2014.
Returning to the SGA role of executive secretary will be Shaharrah Richards, who will be entering her senior year this fall.
“It’s not guaranteed that [I] would have won office,” said Richards, “but this was my second term so a lot of people knew about me and what I did [last term].” Richards said that although she put up a tough campaign, she ran against a great opponent in Taiesa Heath. Richards says that she was excited when she heard she’d won because she worked really hard to get her name out again during the campaign.