SGB presidential candidates give statements

By Marissa Meredyth

Three students — juniors Molly Stieber, Benjamin Vaccaro and Matt Weis— submitted… Three students — juniors Molly Stieber, Benjamin Vaccaro and Matt Weis— submitted applications for Student Government Board president by yesterday’s initial deadline.

An additional four students have picked up application packets to run for the position overseeing eight Board members but have not yet submitted the completed documents. Those students can still make the Nov. 2 late-candidacy deadline, which requires them to gather an additional 250 signatures for a total of 500, according to SGB’s Elections Code.

Names for late candidates were not available, with the exception of current Student Government Board member and senior David Gau, who confirmed that he will run as a late candidate.

Before the students are eligible to run for president on Nov. 18, the SGB Elections Committee must confirm their qualifications.

Vaild candidates must be full-time non-College of General Studies Pitt students, have a QPA greater than or equal to 2.5 and be in good academic standing with the University. They must also have at least a full year left at Pitt.

Lena Wickenden, Elections Committee chairwoman, said candidates should be reviewed by Monday. Students with any questions about late candidacy or eligibility should contact Wickenden at [email protected]

Each of the potential candidates for SGB presidency, whose names have been released, spoke to The Pitt News via e-mail. The following is a run-down of their years, hometowns, majors and statements:

David Gau — Senior, Chester, Pa.

Economics, Bioengineering, Math

My name is Dave Gau, and I am running for president of Student Government Board. If elected to Student Government Board, I will work to improve communication in three different areas — between student organizations, between student organizations and Student Government Board and between Student Government Board and the administration. Enhancing communication in each of these three areas will ensure that the needs of each party are vocalized and brought about in a more effective and practical manner. Thank you and hail to Pitt!

Molly Stieber — Junior, Lancaster, Pa.

Philosophy, Political Science, Global Studies-Middle East and Arabic

As a current Board Member, I have helped contribute to the Student Government Board becoming something I respect and am proud to be a part of. At the same time, this year has given me time to see the room for improvement that still exists. I believe that with my experience — as well as dedication to my projects and the students of Pitt — I will be able to lead the new Board Members to success, both in terms of responsibly allocating the Student Activities Fund, as well as completing their Board projects. Thank you and hail to Pitt.

Benjamin Vaccaro — Junior, Armonk, N.Y.

Economics and Communication

My name is Benjamin Salvatore Vaccaro, and I am a junior. Currently I am enrolled as an Econ major, but I will officially be a Comm major also by the end of this semester. I am also working on getting a History minor and I will be three-fifths done after this semester with that.

I come from a town called Armonk, which is about 30-45 minutes north of New York City. The county is called Westchester — it’s one word as opposed to the West Chester county in Pennsylvania.

As for qualifications, I became the Resident Student Association executive board business manager during the second semester of my freshman year, and the term ended at the end of my first semester sophomore year, when I was elected president. I am currently serving until the end of this semester. I have also been a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity since fall 2009.

Matt Weiss — Junior, Wexford, Pa.

Neuroscience and Chemistry

My name is Matt Weiss and I am running for Student Government Board President on the Unity slate. If elected to Student Government Board, I will work to improve the Pitt student experience in three different ways — safety, involvement and Pitt pride. I intend to enhance the Pitt experience in each of these areas by expanding the sphere of security off campus, which will make Pitt students feel safer, increasing student group involvement by enhancing the scope of financial resources available to each group and by creating an on-campus outlet for students to express their Pitt pride — whether it be for home or away games. Thank you and hail to Pitt!