By Amethyst Martinez and Felicia Roehm
WITH a plethora of hot-button issues at the forefront of the Rider community’s mind, voting season has begun for the 2023-24 Student Government Association (SGA) student body president. This year’s roster features two candidates: junior political science major Naa’san Carr, and junior economics major Joe Tufo. After interviews with both candidates conducted on April 3, The Rider News editorial board has decided to endorse Carr for the next SGA student body president.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
A major topic that has garnered not only attention from students on campus, but nationally, has been diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in higher education settings. Carr’s knowledge on DEI is expansive due to his various involvements on campus, such as being a part of the Black Student Union (BSU), a public relations chair in Black Men Unified (BMU), a student worker at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and being a member of Rider Democrats and Rider’s Political Science Club. As student body president, one of Carr’s main initiatives is implementing JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) on campus, which he says will “enhance the experience” for students at Rider. Carr plans to do this by adding diversity training for topics such as LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone and disability awareness, along with creating resource guides for “cultural identity-based communities” at Rider and chartering an NAACP college chapter.
“I just have a wide variety of being with our identity-based clubs or faith-based clubs here on campus to really g auge on what the community needs and what it has to of fer for ever yone here at Rider,” said Carr.
Past roles in SGA
Along with his high involvement in the campus community, Carr has held positions and served in all levels of SGA during his three years of time at Rider: his freshman year in a senate position, his sophomore year as equity and inclusion committee chair and this year as vice president for class connections. This allows him to play a crucial role in the understanding of all positions in SGA and each of their uses.
He hopes to implement monthly meetings for the student body to attend outside of nor mal weekly senate meetings for SGA to air their thoughts, as well as sending out emails to students after senate meetings to reflect on the work that was done.
Carr also mentioned that he sees SGA’s role on campus as “roots on trees,” intertwined together with issues affecting the entirety of the campus community.
Big plans for communication with students
A significant problem posed to the univer sity has been a variety of issues taking place over the past few years, with confusing topics that many students struggle to navigate and understand. From moving Westminster Choir College to the Lawrenceville campus in 2020, to the possibility of a strike looming over student’s brains last semester, the university is no stranger to confused members of the community strugg ling to understand huge institutional change in all sectors of Rider.
Cur rent SgA President Andrew Bernstein has made huge leaps in communication to students, but Carr plans to take these initiatives a step further, emphasizing that he wants to meet with the student body frequently.
Carr’s said his hope is that, if elected, he will be remembered for making a change.
The Rider News’ opinion
Carr had very clear points about Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) because of his strong connections with the CDI. Because of these connections, The Rider News believes he can bring more diversity training for a variety of topics.
Carr also said he wants to create a feeling of community not just in Rider but also in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and students feel that there is currently a disconnect within the community. If Carr could make a stronger relationship with the Rider and surrounding community, then students could feel a greater sense of care and pride.
There isn’t just a disconnect within the town, but also within Rider. Carr is determined to connect more students with SGA by having more one-on-one conversations with them, and that could help create a bond between the students and SGA.
Car r is truly adamant about creating change whether as SGA president or as another position on the SGA board. Making change is a dream of his, and The Rider News endorses his efforts of making that dream come true.
This editorial expresses the unanimous opinion of The Rider News Editorial Board. This week’s editorial was written by Managing Editor Amethyst Martinez and Opinion Editor Felicia Roehm.