Last week, we reached out to the nine Student Government Association Finance Board representative candidates via email to get a sense of their campaign and their qualifications. We asked each candidate the same eight questions about themselves and their platform, but there were two questions that we felt were the most important.
- How do you plan to allocate student org funding in an equitable way?
- What do you feel Finance Board’s role is within campus life?
Since then two candidates have dropped out of the race. Five candidates responded with answers. Seven candidate positions are up for grabs. Pooja Patel and Achalefac Akem did not comment.
Aliyah Adegun’s passion for student government comes from her involvement in her own high school SGA. A freshman health, administration and public policy major, Adegun is ready to “hear the concerns of clubs and see where they feel their needs and wants have and haven’t been satisfied,” she wrote.
Adegun feels that the Finance Board and student organizations have a very “symbiotic” relationship: “We wouldn’t need Finance Board without campus organizations, and without Finance Board we wouldn’t be able to have all the great activities clubs have for their members.”
In addition to her campaign for a Finance Board representative position, Adegun is also very passionate about voting and would like to potentially use her platform to encourage University of Maryland, Baltimore County students to register to vote and vote in the upcoming primaries and election.
As a First Year Ambassador (FYA) within the SGA, Sierra Dubuque’s first placement was within the Finance Board. Dubuque, a freshman biochemistry major, credits this placement as giving her a “front row seat to how Finance Board works.”
During her placement, Dubuque was able to engage both in conversations and decision-making — though FYAs are not voting members of Finance Board — surrounding the budgetary process.
Dubuque plans to “maintain and uphold” the current allocation system, which requires student organizations to request funds one semester in advance. This is, according to Dubuque, the “most fair system available to Finance Board.”
While some may see Finance Board only as a source of student organization funding, Dubuque sees it as a means to provide the “power that students clubs and orgs have to create the UMBC culture,” she wrote.
Victor Kehinde, a freshman biochemistry major, is also a FYA with a placement within the Finance Board.
He credits his time with the Finance Board as providing him with the knowledge he needs to be successful in a full representative position and currently plans to allocate funding in a way that is “fair to all student organizations” but also “benefit[s] the UMBC student community as a whole,” he wrote.
Rehman Liaqat’s campaign is by the people and for the people. Though Liaqat has not held an SGA position before, he has held numerous positions as a member and executive board member for different student organizations around campus which he believes “give[s] me an insight as to how lack of adequate funding affects the events and activities that they implement,” he wrote.
Liaqat, a freshman global studies and political science double major, regards the opportunity to allocate $330,000 to student organizations as a “privilege” and wants to make sure that, if elected, the Finance Board understands each organization’s need for funding and the impact that funding will have on that organization and on campus life.
“Being a part of a group of leaders representing the student body is not about being unique but rather being able to recognize the privilege one holds when making such difficult and complex decisions that profusely affect the ability of students to make change and to stimulate events they find pivotal and essential to campus life,” Liaqat wrote.
Liam Von Alt
For Liam Von Alt, the Finance Board is in “the ideal position to do the most good around campus.”
Von Alt, a sophomore information systems major, plans to allocate funding to student organizations in a “fair and unbiased manner,” he wrote, adding that Finance Board’s role on campus helps student organizations “put on their amazing program[s] and events throughout the year.”
While Von Alt has not served on SGA before, he has held treasurer positions in other capacities in the past, and he currently serves as the treasurer for the Guneukitschik Lodge of the Order of the Arrow for the Boy Scouts of America. Though he considered running for SGA treasurer, Von Alt felt that the skills he has acquired through these positions would be more “valuable” in the process of allocating funds.