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Student Government Election Guide

Posted by iusbvision on April 4, 2006

Presidential Candidates (1 position)

Mike Renfrow
Quote: “I will continue my efforts to ensure an effective government working to protect students rights, represent student interest, and push for the expansion of our campus and student life through the acquisition of state and private funding for the Associates building and dorms.”

Running Mate: Marcus Vigil

Teresa Santos
Quote: “I stand for promoting diversity within the campus and community.  I will work to create an environment where all clubs and organizations are afforded equal visibility in the Student Government and the Administration.“

Running Mate: Frank Fotia

Vice – Presidential Candidates (1 position)

  • Marcus Vigil
  • Frank Fotia
  • Thomas Warfel

Treasurer Candidates (1 position)

  • Crissy Counsellor

Secretary Candidates (1 position)

  • Heather White

Senate Candidates (12 positions)

  • Jessica Atkins
  • Amanda Anglin
  • Lori Bryant
  • Isabel Dieppa
  • Alma Galicia
  • Teresa Granados
  • Vince Huseynli
  • Erkki KochKetopela
  • Ben Peak
  • Misty Perrin
  • Joanna Reusser
  • Mitch Royer

For candidate and voting information visit:

Voting is on April 11th and April 12th

The IUSB Vision Encourages You to Participate!



5 Responses to “Student Government Election Guide”

  1. Brett M said

    I attended the first of the debates and I have a few comments to make. I could not make out where the differences lie in the platforms of Santos and Renfrow. They spent the whole debate agreeing with each other. For this reason, I would call the presidential debate a draw. This makes me ask the following question: why change leadership to a person who does not know the personel necessary to complete the tasks of the president? This makes me lean towards Mike Renfrow since he has two years experience on his side.
    Teresa Santos also mentioned that a new senate needs fresh leadership. I could not disagree more. I feel that a fresh senate needs strong leadership to lead them. If everyone is new, how will they know how to do anything?
    The Vice Presidential debates were far from a draw. Marcus Vigil looked and sounded like a man who was in control. He knew how to do the job and seemed competent to do it if asked.
    On the other hand, I almost started to feel bad for Frank Fotia. He seemed like a deer caught in the headlights. Three times he needed to have the question repeated. After three times you have to believe he either was not paying attention or was stalling for time. I saw a couple of times where he seemed to be asking Teresa for the answers to the question. He also refused to acknowledge that public drinking is not conduct becoming an SGA officer. He is shown on the website drinking down a beer and thought it was funny when questioned about it.
    He had no knowledge of the problems clubs encounter when looking to fundraise or the matters presently being discussed at the board of trustees meetings. He needed to have the questioner explain the situations to him. How is he supposed to solve the problems of students on campus when he is clueless as to what they are?
    One thing he said that stuck in my mind was when asked about Mike Renfrow’s veto, he said that he was glad he did not have to make the decision, and thought that was funny as well. Newsflash, as vice president you have to tackle the tough issues. He also had no idea about the budget cuts in research funding, again he needed clarification. I believe you need to be informed about these matters before you become elected, not after.
    I will not split my vote for SGA. THe one who gets my vote for president, his or her vp will also get my vote. I believe that Marcus Vigil did so much better than Frank Fotia that that alone will push me to vote for the Renfrow – Vigil ticket.

  2. Jayson said

    I disagree with Bret’s analysis on one point. I too attended last night’s debates and found one question where I think the candidates disagreed. There was a question regarding precedent. I believe that Mike Renfrow said he was more likely to look at the precedent, where as Teresa Santos said she would look at the requests for funds on a case by case basis. I don’t know if this will influence his decision or not, but I do believe they at least disagreed on that point.

  3. Jarrod Brigham said

    I attended the first debate, but was not able to attend the second. My two questions did not get read by the moderator, so I wanted to ask them here and hopefully the candidates will answer them.

    1) After the veto of funds to the freedom summer tour, are you in favor of putting a cap on the amount given to student clubs per person per event.

    2) It is widely known that many students have to go through hoops in order to get the recital hall for club events. Do you have any ideas to improve this process or what have you done in the past to try to fix this problem?

  4. Michael Renfrow said

    First off, thanks to everyone for taking the time to ask questions on this forum and to be at the debates. I agree it can be hard to tell the difference between candidates, especially in campus politics when it is hard to get down to details. That is truly where the debate needs to take place but many times candidates lack the pure knowledge to debate these details. I think the Board of Trustees questions was a great example of that in the debates but I also wanted to talk in detail about things like parking because I understand the bigger picture, the cost of the garage, what the current parking budget looks like, and the state restrictions on funding. The problem is that most candidates, especially non-incumbents, lack this same knowledge and just make general statements about fixing parking or have unrealistic ideas (lets just build another parking garage). The bottom-line is experience, everyone wants a better campus but the best way to accomplish that is by establishing an understand of the system and relationships with the administration. Things that have taken a while for me to build but now that I have them I can and have put them to use for the students. A great example is the issue of the H100 class that has gone on for years, but with the relationships the SGA has built and the understanding of the system, we have been able to fight hard for these student’s rights.

    Addressing the precedence issue, I respect the other candidate’s thoughts but once your in office you see how there is a balance of looking responsible to the administration and serving students. While we should never bend to admin for reasons we truly feel are just, it is important to understand that our ability to exist, in some capacities, comes from the administrations good will towards the SGA. The word “funding” does not comes up in the SGA Constitution. We have that privilege because the administration believes we can exercise good judgment. People criticized me for seeking counsel from different administrators in regards to the Freedom Summer Class. What I did, showed the admin that, while we may not agree with admin sometimes, we give them the respect of taking their view in consideration on big subjects. This builds respect for the SGA. If you were going to run a freshman SGA you say you are going to make decisions based on each case by case circumstance, what do you have to base your first decisions off of? Just your better judgment? The bottom-line is that we use precedence, even if we don’t think we do and we build a precedence as time goes on.

    Finally to address Jarrod’s issues. The administration has suggested funding cap ideas that would directly link the amount the SGA could give to the amount of fundraising a club does. The argument is that the current state of funding can in some ways lead groups to fundraise less and just ask for more money. While I don’t agree with this idea entirely, I think the possibility of a change in the funding system should be looked at. I don’t know if a cap is the best idea but it should be evaluated.

    As for the recital hall I have spent hours upon hours in meetings and emailing upper administrations, Deans, and even the Chancellor trying to get a resolution. What I am now told is that the situation is suppose to be resolved and that there should not be any further problem If that holds true, only time will tell.

    I hope I have answered a few questions and if you have anything else please feel free to leave a response. Thanks for your time.

  5. Teresa Santos said

    I too would like to thank everyone for your interest in the debates and what goes on in your Student Government. Given the fact that Mike and I are friends, many are curious as to why I chose to run. Yes, Mike and Marcus do have the experience of a couple of years on their side, but it took them that amount of time to build “experience.” They didn’t have it coming in. Mike himself says, “Things that have taken a while for me to build [experience] but now that I have them I can and have put them to use for the students.” The people whom he now knows within the Administration and on the Board of Trustees, both here and downstate, were cultivated throughout his years in office. It may surprise you to know that I have met and spoke with some of those very same people at venues such as leadership training conferences, inter-campus activities, as well as socially. The fact is that most students as well as citizen’s don’t attend Board of Trustee or Administration meetings, but I have developed relationships with some these very people despite no previous involvement with the SGA. As a member of the SGA you have duties required of your office and as such are responsible to attend different administrative meetings and report your results back to the rest of your legislative body. I do have experience working with elected offices at the local, state, and national levels. I will not need two years to build relationships with people that I have already interacted with.

    My years of basic work experience as well as being part of executive management within small and large corporations, gave me experience to read and gauge people. It doesn’t take me long to figure out strengths and weaknesses, or to figure out how to work and interact with individuals or groups. Teambuilding is my specialty I give the ownership of an organization to the people who are involved. I can help develop strengths to make them dynamic and turn weakness into something positive. The difference between Mike and me is simply our style of leadership.

    I am very active in community and organizational leadership, getting people involved and tapping into their personal resources is a highly developed skill. Once you have that, you don’t lose it. Teamwork is my philosophy of leadership. I take no sole credit for anything that is accomplished, every person and every idea has value and merit. All contributions large or small are seen as equal in my eyes. Thus far, I have proven myself as capable leadership within many campus organizations. My leadership helped the Spanish Club become self-funded and we help raise funds for the Club Council which benefits everyone. My leadership helped create the Scholarship Art Sale along with the Visual Arts League, Raclin School of the Arts, and the SGA, creating invaluable benefits to the students and community.

    As for the experience required for the position of President, there are mechanisms in place to train fresh leadership. The current SGA system provides for an Advisor to the SGA to help with the transitions between administrations; this is the responsibility of the Student Life Director. Also, there are two former Senators returning, one from Judiciary is seeking a Senate position, and the Secretary is returning. I know two are graduating, and two are entering their final year and want to concentrate on their studies, which leaves four to eight people with experience that are not coming back. Why? The experience a person needs to bring to the SGA is an understanding of how to do research and aquire the information needed before a bill is introduced on the floor. This is something I can and will do.

    The Veto happened, we learned from it. It’s over now and time to move on. The Civil Rights Heritage is raising money to help cover the rest of the cost. If you can, help them out with anything small or large.

    Mike mentioned resolving the parking issues. What has been done so far? I have gathered ideas from quite a few students. There is so much that we can try. The bulk of classes take place between 10:00am and 3:00pm. They could be spread out between 8:30am and 9:00pm. The freshman can be required to park in the Purdue lot and the lot behind the Associates building. We could work with the Health and Wellness Center and start an initiative to encourage students to ride bikes, take Transpo, or walk to school. One of the biggest issues is the 20+lb. backpack a student has to bring back and forth. Why not get lockers and give them to students who don’t purchase parking passes?

    Did you know that the sculpting lab on Wayne Street had a roof that leaked for years? It literally leaked buckets and buckets of water all over that lab. It was leaking still when I took a class there 2 ½ years ago. Various faculty members tried to get someone to fix it for years. They were told there was no funding available. I popped in during the fall semester and it was still leaking. I asked several students to file a complaint with me and I delivered it to the SGA. There was a new roof placed on that building within two weeks after the student supported petition was filed.

    As to the recital hall, there seems to be an agreement in place right now with the administration concerning the theater. There was thought to be an agreement last year, as was the year before. Given the history, there will probably have to be a new one made next year. Over semester break, I was with student leaders from across the IU system for one week of leadership training sponsored by the Bloomington campus. I asked if any of them had that issue on their campus and it actually goes on across a number of them. This is not an isolated problem. This is a place where again, you may have to think of yourself as more than a student, but also as a taxpayer, and a voting citizen. You, the entire student body, and I have the power to come together and make a larger movement on these types of issues. We can’t rely on just the President or the Administration to resolve an issue we must hold our officials accountable. Sometimes you have to shake things up – Get other students involved, get a petition going, and get an email campaign going. It takes a collective voice to get the difficult issues resolved.

    Mike and I both love IU South Bend; we have shared ideas and concerns before we chose to run against each other and you heard us say we would continue after these elections no matter who wins. You also heard Mike and Frank say that they would do their best to fulfill their terms. You heard Marcus and myself say that we would fulfill our terms. Both Mike and Marcus are speaking about experience and continuity. I chose to run for office because I too am concerned about continuity. Mike, Marcus, and Frank, are in their last year at this school, I am here for three more years. Some good things have happened during Mike’s time in office. But what is going to happen when they are gone? Who is going to have the experience then? Out of 12 Senate positions available, only two Senators are seeking re-election. If that situation happens at the end of next year along with Mike and Marcus’s departure, who is going to be there to carry on? Am I the only person who is looking to the future? Mike and Marcus won’t be here to lend their experience and guidance then, so why is it so important now? It will truly be a fresh Presidency with the possibility of a fresh Senate next year.

    Thank you for your time and concerns.

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