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April 16, 2024

2024–2025 SGA Executive Board candidates discuss their platforms

By AIMEE CHO | March 6, 2024

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ARUSA MALIK / DESIGN & LAYOUT EDITOR

Candidates for the 2024–2025 SGA Executive Board race shared their reasons for running for office.

One ticket and four independent candidates have joined the race for the 2024–2025 Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Board elections. The SGA Executive Board debate will be held on Wednesday, March 6, and voting will be open from March 11–12.

Two candidates are running for student body president: current Sophomore Class President Stone Meng and Black Caucus Senator Tyler Turner. Two candidates are running for student body vice president: Secretary Amy Li and President of the Senate Nasreen Naqvi. Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Senator Tim Huang, Junior Class Senator Brandon Benjamin and Co-Assistant Secretary Buse Koldas are the only candidates running for chair of programming, treasurer and secretary, respectively.

Race for president

Presidential candidate Stone Meng described the meaning of his campaign motto, “Changes You Can See,” in an email to The News-Letter. He underscored his past accomplishments in SGA, such as free iClicker and improvements to dining areas and transportation routes.

“Despite these achievements, the current SGA structure heavily leans on a select few individuals for tangible changes, while internal bureaucracies and overly ambitious goals persist as overarching challenges,” he wrote. “As president, I aim to streamline processes, minimize conflicts, and refocus SGA on its core purpose — creating real, visible changes for the student body.”

Some of his goals are to expand free access to academic resources, tackle shuttle coverage and delays, and improve dining availability and selection. Moreover, he aims to simplify the funding process of SGA-funded student organizations to be more transparent and efficient.

Another focus area of Meng’s campaign is the issues surrounding the renovation of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE). He believes that the proposed solutions lack consideration for students’ accessibility, especially with the delayed construction of the Student Center.

“If elected as Student Body President, I will strongly advocate for a tuition reduction based on these grounds, ensuring that the financial burden is justified by the impact on student life,” he stated.

Tyler Turner proposed to support and destigmatize mental health through collaboration with related organizations, office hours with counselors at the Counseling Center and organizing mental health weeks.

Furthermore, he plans to create a user-friendly system to streamline campus resources.

“Enhancing resource exposure and simplifying event processes for student organizations empowers students for personal and professional development,” he wrote in an interview with The News-Letter. “The initiative's goal is to introduce a clearer roadmap, ensuring students make the most of the boundless opportunities and are equipped to be more successful.”

Turner also hopes to connect Hopkins with Baltimore through collaborative projects and outreach programs so that students can make a positive impact beyond campus and raise school spirit.

Race for vice president

In an email to The News-Letter, Amy Li explained that her previous experience as SGA secretary enabled her to understand the SGA structure and collaborate with other committees. She hopes to make SGA more productive with structural reforms, comprehensive trackers and events such as retreats and coffee chats.

Li added that she aims to enhance SGA’s social media presence, host more interactive monthly tabling events and implement more frequent feedback mechanisms to ensure that SGA accurately represents the student body’s interests. 

“Inclusivity and communication are at the heart of meaningful change on campus, and I am committed to upholding these values throughout my tenure,” she wrote.

Li’s campaign shares similar goals to Meng’s, who is running on the same ticket, including tuition reduction as a solution to MSE construction and improving dining and transportation.

Nasreen Naqvi proposes to make SGA more visible to the student body by providing more inclusive channels for student participation. She intends to utilize social media, set up town hall meetings and open forums, and establish additional student advisory committees and focus groups that represent diversity.

“At the heart of my platform is the pledge to make the SGA's core duty of attending to students' needs and welfare a top priority,” she wrote in an interview with The News-Letter. “It also entails coordinating closely with the administration of the University to resolve student issues in a timely manner and in a way that benefits all students.”

Some areas that Naqvi hopes to address are mental health, academic achievement, campus safety and sustainability.

Race for chair of programming

In an email to The News-Letter, Tim Huang outlined his platform goals, mainly focusing on registered student organizations (RSO). He plans to make RSO training representative for all clubs and facilitate the interaction between RSOs and Leadership Engagement and Experiential Development (LEED).

“We know that reaching LEED can be a long process, and RSOs deserve better,” he wrote. “I want to act as a liaison for RSOs and create a direct form for RSOs to contact LEED, and for us to facilitate that process.”

Huang commented that he will organize workshops that detail the processes of event creation, such as how to get SGA funding and event grants, how to schedule event space and what to do when something goes wrong in an event.

Race for secretary

Buse Koldas wrote in an email to The News-Letter that her previous experience as co-assistant secretary this year shaped her understanding of the communication and organization of SGA. She believes that it is the secretary’s role to track progress of initiatives, ease the orientation of new members into the group and improve communication.

“A secretary that is in the loop with the initiatives of the SGA would motivate the senators to push for the materialization of their projects [and] facilitate spotting areas where these members might need guidance,” she wrote.

In addition to specific goals as a secretary, Koldas discussed her goals to improve student life as an elected member of SGA. Her initiatives include vending machines that operate with J-Cards, discounts at nearby cafes and restaurants, timely Hopkins shuttles and the extension of free applications.

As of March 6, The News-Letter did not receive a response from treasurer candidate Brandon Benjamin.

This article is based off of the updated version of the list of 2024 candidates at time of publication.

Buse Koldas is a Social Media Manager for The News-Letter. She did not contribute to the reporting, writing or editing of this article.

Editor’s Note, 2024: This article previously misstated that Nasreen Naqvi is Vice President of the Senate. The News-Letter regrets this error.


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