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Meet the SPA election candidates

March 18, 2018

During the upcoming elections on March 18 through March 21, students will get to vote on the next executive board for the Student Programming Association. Here are the candidates for SPA president and vice president:

Vice President: Saurav Shrestha and Quynnlynnette Nguyen

A sophomore mathematics major from Nepal, Saurav Shrestha serves as chair of SPA’s multicultural committee. His involvement at Nicholls extends from the Student Educators and Leaders (SEALS) to Pi Kappa Alpha and even to the math club.

Shrestha served a member of both the multicultural committee and union activities committee before chairing the multicultural committee, which has allowed him to plan campus events pertaining to various different cultures.

“The things this year that I planned were French Day, where we gave coffee and beignets. We did tees and tacos [and] we did Vietnamese New Year’s last month. We did Festival of Colors…For next semester I planned a Halloween barbecue bash,” Shrestha said.

Shrestha said that SPA has been like a part of his family for the last few years. If the student body were to elect him vice president, he said that his priority would be increasing student involvement.

“I think the utmost priority for me would be getting more students involved because not a lot of people know what SPA is,” Shrestha said. “[We have a] president, vice president, secretary and five committee heads, but because we’re planning events, we need a lot of students to help out, so getting those students involved would be like my basic priority.”

Shrestha said that his greatest strength as a student leader is his level-headedness.

“I don’t stress out if something goes wrong. I try to be proactive and make things happen. Even if something goes wrong, I try to find some way to make it right, or if something fails, I try to alternate it to get it right,” Shrestha said.

Quynnlynnette Nguyen is a junior business management major from Larose and chair of SPA’s union activities committee. She serves as a student ambassador, treasurer for the Society of Human Resources Management and a member of Tri Sigma. Through these various roles, she said she has gained experience in recruiting students to come to Nicholls and learning aspects of business.

Nguyen said that in her current role as union activities chair, she feels she has gone above and beyond in her duties. She wants students to know that they have a voice at Nicholls.

“A lot of people still don’t know to this day what SPA is [or] what we do,” Nguyen said. “Everybody is a member of SPA, so the students should know that they have a voice [and] that they matter. It’s not like these 10 or less people on the e-board decide who gets to do what on campus.”

She said that she is an organized student leader who is always open for criticism. Her greatest strength she said is her openness with people.

“I definitely believe I’m a people person. I love just talking people [and] getting to know them because I love how…everybody has their own story,” Nguyen said. “That’s what makes them unique and so special and I just think that’s like the coolest thing.”

Nguyen’s plans, if she is elected vice president, include increasing engagement, participation and diversity within SPA. She said that she wants to hold recruiting events and that she wants students to know she has an open-door policy.

“I want to be able to make sure that everybody knows that their ideas are important, they matter and they shouldn’t be like afraid to come share those ideas,” Nguyen said. “I want them to know that like I have an open-door policy…Great things can happen if so many people would just come together with their creative minds.”

President: Caroline Jacobi

A sophomore mass communication major from New Orleans, Caroline Jacobi is set to run unopposed for the position of president. In addition to her service as special events committee chair of SPA, she serves as vice president of new member education for Tri Sigma.

Jacobi said that she is excited about being more involved with SPA. She said that between last semester and this semester, she has attended various student programming conferences to make plans for the organization.

“We went [to a conference] a couple weeks ago, so we’re planning for the fall. We’re getting a lot of new ideas, a lot of new ways to revamp SPA and revamp programming for the students so it’s better,” Jacobi said.

Jacobi said that she tries to get as much feedback from the student body as possible. If she is elected president, Jacobi said that she plans to change the structure of SPA’s meeting to allow for members to participate in more than one committee.

“We want to kind of change our meeting setting and structure because the way we do it now, the committee heads will have their own meetings and then we’ll let them go and we’ll have our e-board meeting,” Jacobi said. “A lot of members want to be in multiple committees, so I think we’re going to do one big meeting and then have them branch off.”

Jacobi said that her greatest strength as a student leader is that she is passionate about everything she is involved in, from SPA to her sorority.

“I’m passionate, hard-working [and] I’ll do anything to make [those organizations] better. I’ll listen to people. [I’m] just always like open-minded, trying to get feedback from people,” Jacobi said.

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