Alexandria La Flair, Staff Writer |
On April 6 and 7, SUNY Oneonta’s Student Association will be holding elections! Student Association arranges many of our campus-wide activities. One of the most important positions for students to consider is the Student Association President. One of the students running is Darren Pikul, who is
currently the Executive Vice President of SA. A transfer Junior who’s majoring in Communications and minoring in Sociology, Darren took the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for the students.
Alexandria La Flair: Why did you choose SUNY Oneonta as your transfer school?
Darren Pikul: I chose SUNY Oneonta because of its small school atmosphere. As a transfer student, it’s sometimes complicated to get acclimated at a four-year college. I knew when I visited Oneonta last Fall that it was the place for me. Just from having conversation with several administrators and students my first time here, I realized this was a college filled with advocacy, trust, and friendliness. I am very proud to say that this feeling has not changed and I’ve fallen in love with Oneonta ever since the first step I took here in August. Also, student government has been something I’ve done since high school – I served as Vice President of my senior class in high school and I served as Vice President at Onondaga Community College for two terms. It has always been a plan of mine to get engaged in the Student Association here at Oneonta and I’m just so glad to be running for the position of President.
AL: What do you believe makes you the most qualified and ready to be our SA President?
DP: I’ve been preparing to be President since the beginning of the Fall semester. I have been shadowing the current President, [and I have been getting] myself engaged and prepared to hold this office. I’ve held the office of Executive Vice President for this past semester and have loved it. I’ve had the opportunity to preside over our senate and be in charge of our transportation program as well as our scholarship program. I’ve ensured transparency within our organization and I’ve also worked to ensure that our student body is in SA’s best interest. I also have connections with the SUNY system since I am a member of the SUNY Student Assembly’s Executive Cabinet. In my position, I assist the Vice President of SUNY SA, and we take on so many different initiatives including campus safety, domestic violence/sexual assault prevention, and any [issues regarding] diversity, equity, and inclusion. I recently traveled to Washington D.C. and advocated on behalf of the SUNY system right on Capitol Hill. My experiences along the way and the initiatives I’ve worked on have brought light to that. The SA and myself truly embody the term “For Students, By Students.”
AL: Here’s the major question: why should we vote for you? What are you going to do for us?
DP: There are so many different initiatives and plans that you can take on as President. It’s truly what you make of it. What I really want to push, along with numerous other ideas and plans I have, is to generally increase communication and conversation with the student body. I have spoken to students from the different clubs and organizations on our campus, and there seems to be a lack of communication with SA and the student body. I am in the works of creating a communications plan in order to increase many aspects that are related to communications and public relations. I find it important to release statements made by the SA President and to publish press releases on behalf of the Student Association. What I truly want to implement is, once or twice per semester, [having] the SA president meet with all club or organization presidents to stay updated with their respective club and to be a point of reference for any sort of questions they may have on running that club or organization. My initiative is simple: be the voice of the students. Moreover, I am currently working on getting a student seat on the Oneonta City Council. Students tend to have a negative image when it comes to the citizens of our city, and we need to break that barrier!
Voting will begin on April 6 and end at the end of the day on April 7. You will receive the email to cast your votes that Thursday morning.