Student Government vice president candidates discuss plans

Chrissy Miller, Administration Reporter

The student government will have elections for its executive positions Monday and Tuesday.

Students will be sent an email in their Panthermail letting them vote for the candidates.

Derek Pierce and Juan Neveraz are both running for executive vice president. Pierce, current student vice president of student affairs, said as executive vice president, he would work to ensure all voices are heard in the State Capitol and the Board of Trustees.

“After serving as vice president of student affairs and talking to various organizations and countless students, I believe I have a firm grasp on our collective concerns,” Pierce said.

Piece said he aims to improve overall campus relations with the local community by forming a strong relationship with Charleston and its Chamber of Commerce.

On student government, Pierce has been a senator, chair of the business affairs committee and the vice-chair of the Apportionment Board.

“In my current role as student vice president of student affairs, I planned Pantherpalooza both semesters and oversaw the allocation of over $420,000 in student fee money,” Pierce said.

Juan Nevarez, a senior psychology major, said he will represent the students in front of the Board of Trustees professionally and maintain constant communication with all organizations on campus.

Nevarez said he does not just want to be a voice for students, but faculty as well.

“I seek to represent the university down at Springfield by lobbying for the university, as every single faculty member here is family and should be represented as such,” Nevarez said.

He said if he gets the position, he would work to fix the senate retention rate and increase benefits for students who are part of Student Senate.

“(Low retention rates) affect the effectiveness of the officials responsible to represent the student body,” Nevarez said.

Nevarez said he would improve the experience of students by reaching out to the students on campus and developing a sense of unity.

“Students should be open to discussing their issues with me and I will represent every single student on campus,” Nevarez said.

The candidates for student vice president of academic affairs are Rebecca Cash and current senator Tarve’a Durant.

Cash, a public relations major, said she would work extensively with the deans of each college to make sure students’ voices are being heard.

“Responding to your academic issues will be my top priority,” Cash said. “I want to give more recognition to organizations that are excelling in their academics.”

Cash said she would also like to continue coming up with more ideas and events for “Prowling with the Prez’,” events where students get to interact with Eastern President David Glassman.

Cash is currently the treasurer for Sigma Sigma Sigma, executive vice president for the Panhellenic Council and University Board’s concert coordinator.

“I have been in charge of multiple different committees due to my involvement in multiple organizations and each committee comes with a vast range of personalities,” Cash said.

Durant has been involved with the student government for a year.

If elected as student vice president for academic affairs, Durant said he would reach out to students about their thoughts involving academics.

Durant said he wants to make students more aware of the process for grade appeals and invite students to attend student government meetings to help educate students on what student government is and what it does.

“I would reach out to RSOs and all of the student body because sometimes they go unnoticed, like the graduate students and international students,” Durant said.

Durant said being a senator has helped him to develop skills that will help him to interact with the community.

Current senator Zac Cohen is running unopposed for vice president of student affairs.

Cohen said during his semester as a senator, he has been able to have an inside eye and observe the current vice president, Pierce, at work.

Cohen is now the vice president of the Apportionment Board, a member of Sigma Chi, a member of the Student Action Team and a member of the Student Publications Board.


Emmanuel Ayiku contributed to this article.