BY BETH PETER
The race is on to find the next Student Government Association (SGA) president at the County College of Morris as current SGA President Marcelle Caruso is stepping down after two semesters at the helm.
“I’ve already had my moment to shine,” Caruso said. “Now it’s going to be an interesting race.”
There are three candidates on the ballot: Walter Yurcik, SGA vice president, Andrew Ginsberg, SGA treasurer, and Stanley White, SGA fundraiser chairperson.
“From what I have seen during my time as vice president, there are certain things that need to change,” said Yurcik, a computer information systems major at CCM.
He cited changing academic advisement and club leadership training as two of his main goals.
“I know of at least two students that actually spent a year taking classes that will either not apply to their major or they won’t transfer out,” Yurcik said. “They could’ve been done in two years flat, and now they have to do another year. And that’s a problem. If it’s happening to one student, how many other students are being affected by this?”
Caruso said every president has their own goals.
“We sit down to have three goals and each one carries that out how they will,” said Caruso.
Yurcik said he is the best available candidate because he has the experience and the knowledge in leadership.
“I have strong time management skills, which I didn’t have before, and I’ve also looked at what issues we have now and what can be different and what we can change,” Yurcik said. “We have to evolve as the student government and as clubs.”
Ginsberg is a public and nonprofit administration major at CCM, and has balanced the treasurer position of both SGA and the Student Activities Programming Board for the last two semesters.
“I’ve received over a half dozen recommendations from students and faculty before agreeing to run,” said Ginsberg. “Which is likely due to the fact the two initial candidates are in their 40’s. What makes me the best candidate, and separates me, is I’m more capable of representing the majority of the student body and I’ve proven to my club members I’m capable of controlling a room.”
His main goals to achieve during his presidency is enhanced student awareness of and involvement in clubs, and the provision of more transfer fairs and career development seminars.
Ginsberg said he recognizes why most people attend CCM and aims to help students achieve those goals.
“I feel like I really have a chance to help CCM,” said Ginsberg.
White said that as SGA president, he will actively advocate for students and be a change agent for the campus community.
“As a student and professional firefighter, I am disciplined, proactive, and committed to diversity and excellence,” said White, a liberal arts major.
Caruso said she is stepping down to focus on academics and is running for vice president of the Student Activities Programming Board.
“It is my time to step down and show everybody what the candidates have to offer,” said Caruso. “I graduate in the spring of 2017, and my plans [for next semester] are to strictly focus on academics but still be involved with clubs because my personality is very involved, very heightened. So, I decided to run for SAPB vice president. You’re still involved, it’s still fun, you still know what’s going on, but there’s not a lot to do.”
Caruso has been SGA president for the entire 2015-2016 academic year, and could run again if she so chose.
She led a student government that was very involved on campus, hosting events including the Student-Faculty Luncheon and Exotic Food Extravaganza.
Caruso said community involvement was one of her goals when she took the presidency, but it might not be the goal of the rising president, and she knows that.
Her advice to the candidates regarding their goals as leaders centers on inter-club development.
“They definitely need to focus on the collaboration and communication with other clubs, that’s the most vital thing.” said Caruso.
Voting is available to CCM students through Blackboard from Tuesday, April 26 to Thursday, April 28. Results will be posted outside the Office of Campus Life on Friday, April 29. The next president will begin his term with a transition meeting on May 12 and will serve for one academic year until the next election.