Hopefuls want more voices


Mary-Lynn Retassie

Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates (front row, left to right) Rebecca Stefanyak, Olivia Albert, Devin Seiger and Tessa Fry participated in a debate last Wednesday. The debate was hosted by Connor Watkins (back row, left) and Madison Kriak (back row, right).

Alyssa Coleman, News Editor

The search for new Pitt-Johnstown student-body representation continued last Wednesday as two pairs of top leadership candidates participated in a debate.

Presidential Candidate Devin Seiger is running with Vice Presidential Candidate Tessa Fry against Presidential Candidate Olivia Albert and Vice Presidential Candidate Rebecca Stefanyak.

Two of the candidates—Stefanyak and Seiger—seemed to place an onus, or responsibility, on students when it comes to inadequate snow and ice removal.

“I do feel that more can be done as far as snow removal goes,” Stefanyak said.

“But snow does happen and students also need to take preventative measures.

“There are instances where students are asked to move cars from the parking lots so snow can be removed, and then they don’t move them, and students need to comply if they want anything done.

“You shouldn’t complain if you’re not going to be proactive.”

Seiger said that, although students have concerns about maintenance taking care of the roads and parking lots, it is important to do their best as students to understand that human problems happen.

“We need to understand that humans do make errors and maintenance is doing the best they can,” Seiger said.

“It is a problem that students, staff and faculty can all work on together.”

The debate, hosted by student government Elections Chairs Madison Kriak and Connor Watkins, began with the candidates explaining what they feel makes them different from their opponents. 

Seiger said he feels that he and Fry interact with more students on campus than Albert and Stefanyak. 

“Tessa and I are both very involved on campus,” he said.

“We like to get out and talk to people. We’ve done a lot this year.” 

Stefanyak said she and Albert are different from Seiger and Fry, in that they have experience working together and passionate views.

“We want to put students first and make sure everyone is heard,” she also said.

Both pairs of candidates talked about how they feel that one of the biggest problems on campus is not everyone’s voice is being heard. 

Albert said, if she was elected, she would take the time to make sure students were represented adequately. 

“I want to take time to focus on the student body,” she said.

“I also want to encourage students to speak out about any concerns they may have.”

Fry said she would like to make changes that people are going to care about.

“I want to try and speak with as many students as possible,” she said. “I want to listen to what people have to say and take notes.”

Seiger said making sure students have a good college experience is what being the students’ voice means to him.

“College is a huge transitional time.

“I want to make sure students feel comfortable voicing their opinion because voices are being lost and everyone deserves to be heard,” he said.

Seiger said students from all academic divisions should be heard.

“I can work with different academic divisions and reach out to those division (chairs) and students in their majors.

“I can work with club members and advisers to make sure that needs that aren’t being met are met and things aren’t pushed aside.”

Stefanyak also said club members need to have their interests represented.

“We can invite different clubs to meet with us and talk about concerns that they may have,” Stefanyak said. “We can try and promote clubs that feel unrepresented and help them move forward.”

Voting began Monday and will last until the end of the week. 

Students can only vote for candidates from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. today and Friday in the Student Union and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday on the Blackington Hall first-floor lobby.

Winners are to be sworn in April 8.