Victoria Jackson & Derek Deakins

Student Government presidential nominee Victoria Jackson and vice presidential nominee Derek Deakins are no strangers to the organization, having both been involved since their sophomore year at George Mason University.

Combined they represent a broad and diverse group of students on campus. Jackson is a transfer student and a commuter and is actively involved with service organizations around school, while Deakins is from out of state and lives on campus while also participating in the Greek system.
“It’s not about representing ourselves,” Deakins said, “It’s about representing everyone.”

All of the candidates are using the term transparency, but Jackson and Deakins said they aim to make it more than just a buzzword. Their goal is to make the SGA known throughout campus.

“Not enough people even know about us,” Jackson said, “and that’s a problem.”

With so much access to technology the candidates wonder why more is not being done to make an impact on the SGA website or on Facebook. With so many options there is no reason people should not know about SGA.

They are also looking to bring back the Executive Public Relations Committee, whose sole job is staying in touch with the student body.

“If you don’t like the way things are going, why keep doing them over and over again,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she had doubts about coming back to Student Senate because she didn’t feel the SGA was serving it’s purpose, so she is taking action by running for president.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, anyone can do it,” Jackson said. “Nothing gets done by just sitting there.”

Victoria Jackson & Derek Deakins

Student Government Presidential nominee Allyson Bowers and Vice Presidential nominee Jacky Yoo said they feel it’s important to have a strong sense of community on campus.

“Ally and I are extremely passionate about this,” Yoo said, “If we’re gonna do it, it’s gonna be 110 percent.”

Having been involved in SGA, Bowers said she has seen presidents come in and not be able to fulfill their duties because of their lack of experience in the organization.

“If students want change,” Bowers said, “we know how to do it, and who to go to, to make it happen.”

The problem is the lack of presence on campus, and making sure to change that so that people are aware of what we do, Bowers said.

Other changes they hope to see should they win office fall right back under their want for a community. One goal is to help publicize Mason sports other than basketball.

They also hope to implement a safe ride program on campus.

“It’ll be a big challenge because of what it’s notorious for,” Bowers said, “but I think it could solve lots of problems.”

Another major program that they would like to see supported is a lobbying day, where students head down to Richmond and represent our school.

“Mason is one of the least represented schools in Richmond and that needs to change,” Bowers said.
In the end though, it all comes down to a few basic principles for the two candidates.

“If you’re not passionate then you’re not going to enjoy what you’re doing,” Bowers said.

“I want to be a part of the legacy and change that I want to see,” Yoo said.

Michael DeMatteo & Michael Lillie

With over 20 years combined military and managerial service under their belts, presidential candidate Michael DeMatteo and vice presidential candidate Michael Lillie said they feel ready for the challenges they will face next year.

“I’m honored to give back to the student body,” DeMatteo said. “To be a part of something bigger than myself.”

DeMatteo said a lot needs to happen to make a difference, but they are ready to face the challenge.
With retention rates so low in SGA, and a lack of productivity, DeMatteo said he plans on decreasing the 80 positions available, feeling that not enough people know their job description.

“That’s how I’m looking at it from a managerial position,” DeMatteo said.

Transparency is a hot topic with all the candidates this year, and DeMatteo is out to show that he considers it more than a just a word.

“Candidates can talk about transparency,” DeMatteo said. “I’ve already done it. They haven’t.”
DeMatteo is referring to his Facebook page where you can find links to all of his bills and resolutions.

“I’m the guy that tells it like it is,” DeMatteo said.

Often referring to the job as a managerial position, DeMatteo and Lillie are expecting hard work from everyone in office.

“If you’re here in senate, you’re gonna be here on Thursdays, and speak up, and if not… I’m gonna fire you,” DeMatteo said.

After speaking with a fellow student, DeMatteo and Lillie were unhappy that the student had no idea what the SGA’s function was.

“We plan on exercising our campaign on transparency and results,” Lillie said.

As rocky as the road ahead may be, the candidates are still staying positive about their outlook.

“Always stay motivated,” DeMatteo said. “You’ll have a lot of folks to take care of, but treat it like a business and never back down from a challenge. Remember this isn’t about you.”