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SA presidential hopefuls show face

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The race to be the next University at Albany Student Association president is officially underway.

On the ballot this year are four tickets hoping to serve as SA’s president and vice president throughout the 2018-19 academic year. They are: Mark Anthony Quinn and Patrick Carroll; Langie Cadesca and Nicholas Pepe; Jouly Lajara and Alexander O’Leary; and Alejandro Gonzalez and MikaElla Rectin-Hernandez.

Before casting your ballot next month, get to know more about each of the tickets.

Mark Anthony Quinn and Patrick Carroll

Mark Anthony Quinn has been thinking about running for SA president since his freshman year. For the current appropriations committee chair, it was just a matter of timing and finding the right person to run as his vice president.

Patrick Carroll is someone who I actually have a real relationship with,” said Quinn of his running mate and current SA deputy comptroller. “We are literally in the trenches shoulder-to-shoulder helping student groups. For me, it was a clear-cut choice.”

Quinn said he has a “very long list” of things he’d like to accomplish as SA president, but marked increasing student involvement through better student group funding and expanding diversity inclusion as top priorities.

“UAlbany United, that’s what we’re pushing,” said Quinn of his campaign’s message. “We want to be united in our struggles and united as a community.”

Langie Cadesca and Nicholas Pepe

The idea to run for SA president has been on Langie Cadesca’s mind since her freshman year but didn’t become a reality until last semester when she finally decided she was going to run.

The current chief of staff to SA President Jerlisa Fontaine wouldn’t give details on when she decided to team up former SA senator Nicholas Pepe to form a ticket, saying only the two have a similar vision to change the culture at UAlbany.

That vision, according to Cadesca, has three main points: accountability, community and excellence.

“You have to be accountable for your team to build a community that will achieve and inspire other people to be excellent,” she said.

An active member on campus, Cadesca plans to focus her campaign not just on the Student Association, but the student body as a whole.

“Our passion is to get this community together to see it as one body,” said Cadesca.

Jouly Lajara and Alexander O’Leary

When Jouly Lajara decided to run for SA president last month, after a year of mulling it over, his ideal running mate, Alexander O’Leary, contacted him proposing the two form a ticket.

“The day before I contacted Alexander O’Leary, he called me,” said Lajara who explained the pair formed a friendship after meeting in class last year. “He told me the same exact things I have been thinking about for a month.”

For the current off-campus senator, improving communication between the SA branches, and campus diversity top a long list of issues he would like address should his ticket be elected.

“There seems to be this status quo on campus,” said Larjara. “It seems like certain resources and certain things are only accessible to certain people, and that’s what I want to work hard to dismantle. I want to diversify resources.”

SA Presidential candidate Alejandro Gonzalez with his running mate, MikaElla Rectin-Hernandez at the first election meeting on Feb. 23. Tyler A. McNeil / ASP

Alejandro Gonzalez and MikaElla Rectin-Hernandez

The only ticket with no prior SA experience, Alejandro Gonzalez and MikaElla Rectin-Hernandez decided to run as president and vice president respectively just a few weeks ago.

“MikaElla had some campaigning experience and I had some political experience so we figured we could combine those talents and put together a campaign that would really work for the school and the students,” said Gonzalez.

An e-board member for Middle Earth, Gonzalez currently interns at the state Assembly. Rectin-Hernandez is a member of UAlbany’s mock trial team and served as president for her high school’s student government in St. Louis, MI.

With a campaign based on relationships and Christian faith, the pair hope to bring about ethics reform, greater oversight on the executive board, smarter spending and promote a safer more academically diverse environment.

“We want students to thrive on the UAlbany campus,” said Gonzalez.

Campaigning for the 2018-19 general election continues for the next four weeks, culminating in a two-day voting period that is set to begin on March 21.


Chad Arnold is a reporter for the Albany Student Press covering Student Association affairs. He is also an die-hard heavy metal fan.

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