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SGA candidates Tristan and Pandora: cost-cutting and safe sex

Explain your main platform and how you will implement it.

Tristan: “We each have different goals we would like to accomplish and I’m sure we could fill this entire issue of the Retriever with our goals and how we could accomplish them. We’ll discuss our three most important initiatives. The first of these is something which I’ve fought for ever since my induction into SGA: college affordability. I’m not talking about making cuts to the Retriever or SEB — I’m talking about SGA looking at its own budget and finding responsible ways to save the student dollar.

“Just think of the message it sends to our administration and colleges across the country when the UMBC SGA doesn’t choose to maintain or increase the student fee, but to take a stand in reducing it. This past year, we’ve actually cut stipends across the board by 10 percent and have used this money on initiatives and one-time expenditures. However, next year, I plan on beginning the process early and actually reducing the amount of money that students are paying for their activity fee.”

Pandora: “Although we have different things we plan to work on, we will collaborate with each other to work on these specific initiatives. I would like to advocate for more student-athlete representation on campus, along with overall cultural awareness and LGBTQ+ awareness. More specifically, I will encourage athletes to step out of their comfort zone and get more involved in programs and organizations around campus as well as encouraging more interaction between athletes and non-athletes. For LGBTQ+ awareness and cultural awareness, I will work with the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Department.”

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

Tristan: “So, I was elected to the SGA Senate in the Spring of my freshman year and then I was elected to the position of Assistant Speaker in the following spring. I currently serve as the SGA Treasurer, where I enjoy working with the wonderful student organizations on campus and our administration.”

Pandora: “Collectively, we have the most experience in SGA in this race. And we are willing to put our best foot forward and work diligently to serve and represent the student body of UMBC.”

How do you plan to campaign?

Tristan and Pandora: “Effectively, efficiently, and fairly.”

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

Pandora: “I plan on continuing initiatives that I have started working on this year, as well as taking other students’ concerns into consideration.”

Tristan: “I plan on accomplishing my goals the same way as if I was the SGA President to prove to others that I genuinely care about the well-being of the students.”

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

Tristan: “No comment.”

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

Tristan: “SGA is the most powerful change agent on our campus for students to use and allow their dreams to manifest. SGA is relationships, it’s teamwork and it’s inclusivity.”

Pandora: “SGA is a learning experience. It’s the voice of the student body and works to address student requests/concerns as one governing body.”

What is one policy you would like to enact on campus?

Tristan: “What I’d like to implement is a SexEdu course for incoming freshman, either online or as a part of orientation. It’s one of the biggest issues on campus that I believe remains unaddressed and unpublicized. Most students have no idea about the benefits of UHS or about safe sex practices.”

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

Tristan: “Reckless. Period. As SGA Treasurer, I proposed my own, separate budget with input from numerous members of the SGA. More specifically, SEB and the Retriever did not face budget cuts.”

Pandora: “I second Mr. Oetker’s response. I have been in budget discussions as a Senator and realized that Tristan’s intentions and proposed plans are solely for the benefit of students. This is one of many reasons why I decided to run alongside my partner.”

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?

Pandora: “We will make sure to go through an intensive, but fair, interview and application process to ensure that the candidates are highly qualified for the position, and we will publicize open positions so that all may know they can apply.”

Tristan: “People will be selected based on their merit, not on their relationship with Pandora or myself.”