A four-horse race

By Joel Hammond


The race to replace Sarah Saccany and Kevin Yania as the president and vice president of Undergraduate Student Government is heating up, as a debate between the four candidates is slated for tonight at 8 p.m. In no specific order, here is a look at the candidates.

Josh Kontak

Kontak, a senior-to-be at the University, has had his eye on this position for a while now.

“I wanted a career in public service someday, and I believe I am the best candidate for the job,” he said. “I think I have an intimate knowledge of the resources available to students here, and would be able to help them through serving in this office.”

Kontak has been a resident advisor for two years, and is also in IMPACT, a critical thinking learning community on campus. He is also involved with the music business, as he is a paid singer with Peace Lutheran Church and president of the Collegiate Chorale. He is currently in the USG Cabinet as state and national liaison, and served as a senator for the College of Music during his freshman year.

Kontak’s running mate is Sara Kaminski, whom he knows well enough to know that she is an influential person on campus.

“I’ve been in a few classes with her, and we’ve always admired each other,” Kontak said. “She has arranged University-wide discussions and is a leader within the Political Science department.”

Quiana Odom

Odom, currently a senator in USG, said she knows the group is the premier organization on campus. But she wants other people to know, too.

“I think my main motivation for running for this position is because I want to know what we do here,” she said. “We have a creed that we have adopted that says we are the premier organization on campus, and I believe that I offer a viewpoint that will help that change be seen faster.”

Odom and her running mate, Jonathan Harrell, have both been actively involved with the SMART program, and Odom said that her experience with Harrell has convinced her he was the right running mate.

“We were mentors together in that program, and he is a very passionate person,” she said. “He offered ideas at SMART roundtables that we would have never thought of. … In his capacity in NAACP, he has done things to help that organization reach a premier level, and I know he can do it in USG also.”

Odom has also been involved with Darrow Hall Council, Student Alumni Association, Leaders in Residence, UAO, the Obsidian and Peer Leadership Council while here.

Chris Pearcy

Pearcy, along with serving in USG currently, is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, and is also president of the Walt Disney World College Program Alumni Association. He has chosen Caroline Kelly, who also ran for vice president last year, as his running mate. But his platform will be a bit different than others.

“The unique part is that I won’t be focused on addressing specific issues,” he said. “I want USG to be a true democracy, and with the help of students, I think we can attain that.”

Pearcy’s plan for doing just that is to create the president’s table, which he described as similar to USG’s current liaison committee. His vision would be to create positions to directly link with other student organizations on campus, such that many student voices are heard.

Pearcy also said that he couldn’t be more confident with Kelly as a running mate.

“She’s been excellent in USG all year, and has a lot of experience within the organization,” he said.

Jamie Borowski

Borowski, also a senior-to-be, is currently the president of Resident Student Association, and serves as a resident advisor in Conklin North. He now serves as Parliamentarian to USG. Borowski, running with Lawren Schuelke, sees room for immediate change within the organization.

“I feel that the organization has done things procedurally that has weakened its power, and I’d like to change that,” he said. “Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of the rules, and it’s something that needs fixed.”

He also wants to see changes in the University’s compliance with the American Disabilities Act and improved maintenance procedures on campus, among other issues.