Second year Software Engineering students Paul Darragh and Nickolas Cifranic have been involved with Student Government (SG) this past year as the freshman senator for the 2011-12 academic year and the current Golisano senator, respectively.
But now that the 2013 student government elections are in they will be serving as the new student government president and vice president in the upcoming year. The two candidates received 872 votes, or 39.2 percent of the popular vote.
The Darragh and Cifranic campaign was based largely on three major changes the duo wishes to make at RIT during their time in office. The first change dealt with videotaping classes at RIT. This service will help students who miss a class catch up; it will assist students who are thinking about changing their major and allow them to experience the material before changing; and will allow for students to review for tests. “We’re going to be in semesters, and that’s 15 weeks’ worth of information,” Darragh explained. “I don’t know about you, but personally I don’t remember everything from week one now.”
The second change in the president and vice president’s plan looks at creating a way for students to rent bikes on campus. Ideally, this would decrease bike theft at RIT and also allow students who don’t have the money for a bike or who live too far away from campus a way to quickly travel to classes.
Finally, Cifranic mentioned requiring teachers to use myCourses. Cifranic and Darragh cited student complaints of teachers who don’t put up lecture material or grades on the site as the reason for this bullet point in their platform.
The two students hope to continue work on some of the issues that current President Taylor Deer and Vice President Sarah Thomas have started addressing this past academic year. Some of these issues include the debit problems that have surfaced and more work with the bus system. Darragh talked of extending bussing for breaks so that the bus would not only transport students to the airport at the beginning of the vacation but also bring them back to campus when the break was finished.
One of the main goals stressed by Darragh and Cifranic was staying connected with the students, clubs and organizations on campus, an element of their campaign that they believed helped them win. They hope to do this by advertising a day each week where they will be eating lunch at a different place on campus and encouraging students to eat or talk with them. Another way of increasing student voice will involve utilizing a new technology known as “Ask SG.”
“It’s an SMS application, so it’s text messaging,” said Cifranic, explaining it as being similar to ChaCha. “An RIT student, if they have a question about Student Government, would text their message to a number and they would get a response.” Cifranic stated that this system will possibly be in place by the fall semester.
And the changes don’t end there. Darragh said that they have a long list of things that they would like to implement to make student life easier, including a reduced price dry cleaning service for students when the career fair approaches, more water bottle stations (as plastic water bottles will soon no longer be available by vending machine) and a taxi service with reduced rates for students.
After planning for the election for nine months, the incoming president and vice president claimed that they were relieved to hear that they had won and said that they hope that changes that are made will assist students on campus.
Darragh and Cifranic encouraged students to begin reaching out to them through Paul Darragh’s email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through their personal Facebook pages.