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Letter: ‘UAlbany United’ campaign is about more than one ticket

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As my fourth and final year at the University at Albany winds down, I am excited to bear witness to what should be one of our campus’ most rigorous and competitive student government elections ever. And as someone who has served in the Student Association senate for four years, three of which have been spent in its leadership, I have closely followed the paths of the six names that comprise our three presidential tickets.

This time, it would be easy for me to sit on the sidelines. I have no more elections to face; in two short months I plan to graduate. Considering my title and the professional relationship I hold with the candidates, withholding an endorsement is something I had previously weighed. But I have been doing this job long enough to realize the vast implications of this race – and for that reason, I will not sit and watch. I will fight for the team I believe in.

I have never been prouder to support a team than that of Mark Anthony Quinn and Patrick Carroll. Of many, they are two of the very best student leaders I have ever known. More than any other team, they recognize that effective change-making is about more than just a vision – it is a mission. Their unique combination of experience in and knowledge of the Student Association, coupled with a platform that is thorough, pragmatic, and specific, is unmatched among the options offered to the student body.

I met Mark Anthony when he was a sophomore, a newly-elected Colonial Quad Senator. From the very beginning, he exhibited incontrovertible charisma and a rare stripe of initiative. Right away, he requested to be on the Appropriations Committee as his top choice. But given his lack of seniority, I overlooked him when assigning senators to the committee. That would be one of the first mistakes I would make as senate chair.

Before year’s end, he had not only wrestled his way onto the committee, but into the role of ranking member. I would then have the pleasure of watching him passionately advocate on behalf of student groups every Wednesday night. When it comes to securing supplemental funding for scores of student groups, and helping dozens of new ones onto their feet, few individuals deserve credit – Mark Anthony is one of them.

I met Patrick around the same time, in the fall semester of 2016. As a student of political science and economics, he was hungry to become involved in the Student Association and decided to put his efforts into a special senate election on Dutch Quad. As a student group leader himself, he would soon become an animated voice on the Appropriations Committee. Noting the talent he possessed – and the natural chemistry he would cultivate with Mark Anthony – I knew he was due for a promotion when I began my second term as senate chair.

Little did I know at this beginning of this year when I made Mark Anthony Quinn the chair of the Appropriations Committee and Patrick Carroll his ranking member, the two would become partners in the fight to become the next president and vice president of SA. But I could not be any more thrilled that they have.

As someone who has now spent more time in SA than anyone else at UAlbany, I can confidently say that this duo, joined together with a senate ticket packed with bright and dynamic individuals, has the potential to achieve amazing things if given the chance.

Despite all the time I have devoted to this organization, there is still so much I have not managed to figure out. New questions, new problems, new debates arise every day. This campaign recognizes that. And above all else, it recognizes that students want – no, need – a group who is ready and willing to sweat the details. It’s willing to talk and act in specifics and to bring about real, refreshing change to the executive and legislative branches of SA.

Mark Anthony and Patrick have, for a very long time, been on the frontlines of advocating on behalf of the everyday student and for every student group, no matter its size or cause. Now, it is time we come together and give them some backup.

“The Student Association” is more than three words and it is more than two candidates. It is all of us, side-by-side, fighting for what we believe in and delivering results. That is the core message of “UAlbany United.” And I know, with deep conviction, that is precisely what we will get when we make Mark Anthony Quinn and Patrick Carroll the next president and vice President of the UAlbany SA.

– Jarrett Altilio

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