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SGA candidates Bentley & Mona: org outreach and study spaces

Explain your main platform and how you will implement it.

Mona: Our platform is based off the three C’s: campus health, campus communication and campus space. The first one is related to mental health, which is something we really need to educate the community on. We want to unify all the mental health groups to create a mental health week, because they all have the same goal and if we can get them all working together it can make a bigger difference. For communication, we want to tell students about the benefits and opportunities of getting involved in SGA.”

Bentley: “For campus space, we want to open up the library for 24 hours as opposed to the hours that are currently in place, and that means opening it up to outside just the RLC. The RLC is a great space, but it’s not enough space for everyone who wants to study.

Explain why I should vote for your ticket in particular.

Bentley: “I think what sets us apart is our passion, character and dedication to changing this organization to be the powerhouse that it is supposed to be and meant to be.”

Why do you believe you are the most qualified to be the leaders of SGA?

Mona: “We’re really well-rounded and open-minded. We will talk to everyone. Literally everyone. I think people aren’t afraid to talk to us; we’re approachable people. I think you need someone like that who people are willing to talk to if they have a problem or proposal.”

How do you plan to campaign?

Bentley: “It’s really hard to even come up with a strategy to campaign because this campus hasn’t seen an election like this in years, at this scale. There are 6 tickets running and it’s really interesting to think about places like late night [True Grit’s], one of the prominent campaign hubs, and knowing that with just three teams there it seems overwhelming. Now it’s going to be six, which is insane.”

If you don’t get elected, how do you plan to help improve the campus?

Mona: “I’d still continue if there are positions open in SGA afterward. I wouldn’t mind getting involved just because I’ve learned a lot about SGA and really want to make a difference, no matter where it’s going to be in SGA.

If you were forced to drop out of the SGA race, what candidate would you support?

Bentley: “From what I have seen from our candidates, I think I’ve seen the most passion and effort from the Em & Isa campaign. I really really love their ideas of inclusion with SGA.”

What do you think is the primary function of our SGA?

Bentley: “The primary purpose is to empower students to really find the inner leader in themselves, and to use that to help change the community and leave a legacy at UMBC. Also, to find a home away from home. SGA can be that place.”

What is one policy you would like to enact on campus but don’t think is feasible?

Bentley: “I’m passionate about first year students. Their entire first year is where they either fall in love with UMBC or they build up all these misconceptions because they don’t have the resources and opportunities to make UMBC your home. So something that I want to do is implement some type of mentor system, where we could get 1500 students or so to sign up for the program and be a mentor/mentee. for a first year student or transfer student.”

What is your stance on the recent budget proposed by the Jankoski administration?

Bentley: “What I’m really curious about is what was so wrong with the budget that’s been in place for the past decade or so. The budget has been pretty much the same. Of course there are fluctuations, but they haven’t been this drastic before. I just wonder what was going so wrong that these changes needed to be made. I definitely did not support the budget.”

Final question: The executive branch has had many “ghost departments” this year, in that they appointed numerous individuals to lead various executive departments without posting an open application. Positions were essentially given to friends. Upon examination, these departments have been unproductive and/or completely stagnant. When it comes to appointing department heads and overseeing the various executive departments, how would you make sure the mistakes made this year don’t happen under your administration in the future?

Bentley: “First off, there would be a very open application to be a part of the executive branch. That would go out hopefully even before the school year ends. I also want to utilize a lot of different people to make the decisions on who would actually get the position because I think it’s great to have an entire process. I really want to get everyone’s opinions on who will be good for the position.”