Elections start today: here’s what you need to know

Presidential candidates during February's Executive Debates | Elise Gregg, PantherNOW

Elise Gregg | Editor-in-Chief

Student government elections start today, running from March 7 to the 8.  With a last-minute executive switch-up and heavy competition, there’s a lot more action compared to previous years.

It’s not surprising: it’s the first time since 2021 that students have multiple candidates to choose from. And, with a variety of perspectives on what needs to change at FIU, the bidders are eager to prove themselves. 

Most of the SGA executive board is appointed by the president and vice president after elections. However, students vote for president and vice-president, as well as senators who may be appointed to e-board. 

This year, there are three tickets for the executive branch:

  • Future is You Party: Alexander Sutton and Santana Way
  • Gold and Blue Party: Zachary Stangl & Kaylie Goicoechea
  • No party affiliation: Delano Cicconi & Daniel Popa

For Biscayne Bay Campus candidates for governor, there are two: 

  • The Future Is You Party: Grace King Mccullough
  • The Gold & Blue Party: John Boris

Though there are a handful of candidates running for senator with no party affiliation, the vast majority are with either of the two parties: 34 with Gold and Blue, a brand-new party, and 41 for Future is You, which has existed at FIU for over five years. 

With dozens of senators, students can expect promises from both parties to cover most of the prominent student issues: expanding and supporting Greek Life, advocating for their individual schools and improving parking. 

However, with a few key distinctions between parties, here’s what voters should know before heading to the polls. 

The Future is You’s platform includes addressing the student advising situation, scheduling popular artists for Panthermonium, pushing to ban Honorlock and diversifying SGA. 

“If you look at The Future Is You’s slate, it is not only the most diverse slate running in this election, but the most diverse slate that has ever run in any student government election,” said Senate President Alexander Sutton during debates in February. 

“If all of our candidates win our Senate – I can say this confidently – will look like the student body.” 

Executives for the Gold and Blue party listed initiatives on their social media such as supporting student health and wellness, enforcing limits on petitioners on campus and increasing accessibility to grad programs and internships for students before graduation.

“We have concerns of graduate students as top priority and just along with everything else, professional development, student engagement, and student health and well being, these are clear initiatives that I want to make sure are expressed and understood,” said Pro Tempore Zachary Stangl during debates. 

“We hope to continue to support whether it be through funding, whether it’s connecting them with the resources that they need, or simply just getting them a community where they can share with other students who are graduate students.” 

The NPA candidates, during the debate, made it clear that student resources and budget allocations are key for Daniel Popa and Senator Delano Cicconi. 

Pointing to his experience as president of the Registered Student Organization Council, Cicconi also added that he sees the current SGA budget deliberations committee (which Stangl and Sutton are members of) as being ineffective with budgeting. 

“That $20 million needs to be going straight to the students,” said Cicconi during debates. “We need to be utilizing that to create events that are interactive and fun, just like give us I’ve been hosting all year through RSO and SGA.”
Students can learn more about the executive candidates as well as potential senators for each school at both parties’ social media. Voting begins March 7, and students can access the polls through FIU’s Voting Portal.

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