The University of Maryland’s SGA elections kicked off Monday and voting will continue until 5 p.m. on April 17.

Two candidates are vying to become the Student Government Association’s student body president for the 2024-25 academic year. Reimagine Maryland’s Reese Artero will be on the ballot against Uplift UMD’s Ian Gould.

The Diamondback spoke with both candidates to learn about their vision for this university. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Reese Artero

Artero, a junior criminology and criminal justice major, is headlining Reimagine Maryland’s ticket.

Artero currently serves as one of SGA’s off-campus neighboring representatives and previously served as the organization’s undergraduate studies representative and recruitment and retention coordinator. She also worked on sustainability-focused legislation for this university’s Residence Hall Association.

Artero, who was born and raised in Guam, was involved in her high school’s student council, but often felt frustrated by the role’s constraints in making change. As the prospective SGA president, Artero hopes her policies positively impact the student body.

“I really do value the work that I do in SGA,” Artero said. “I really want to make sure that our bills, or my bills specifically, had an impactful change on my constituency.”

Sexual misconduct prevention and student engagement are two focal points of Artero’s agenda.

To address sexual misconduct on campus, the Reimagine Maryland party hopes to provide students with drink test cards and cup covers and mandate Title IX training for teaching assistants, according to its website.

[Student engagement, sexual misconduct headline UMD SGA executive candidate debate]

To promote student engagement with SGA, Artero also wants to hold more open houses and town halls where students can meet representatives and committee directors.

“I think that at the end of the day, we want to be cultivating a culture internally that SGA is for everybody,” Artero said.

Isha Rajani, one of Reimagine Maryland’s behavioral and social sciences college candidates, said she supports Artero because of her motivated nature. Artero is very strong in proposing policies and initiatives to tackle challenges, Rajani said.

“If she sees something that needs to be changed she has no problem at all pushing for that change and making sure she sees it through,” the freshman government and politics major said. “There’s no empty promises on her part.”

Ian Gould

Ian Gould, a junior government and politics and philosophy major, currently serves as SGA’s South Campus Commons representative.

Gould served as a senator in the Easton and Oakland hall councils for this university’s RHA. He found his voice advocating for others during his time with the organization, Gould said.

Gould said his tenure on SGA has helped him connect with students across campus. Becoming student body president would allow him to address the challenges these community members face, he said.

“Student government and student orgs all across campus give ample opportunities to learn about others and become friends and work around a shared passion,” Gould said. “I think all of those opportunities are so important to building community.”

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One of Gould’s biggest priorities if elected is student mental health and well-being.

Uplift UMD supports increasing the number of counseling drop-in hours for underrepresented students and offering free counseling once a month, according to the party’s website.

“We want students to be more connected,” said Gould. “We want them to thrive on campus, make sure they’re healthy, they’re well and that they’re prepared for what comes after.”

Gould also wants to improve relationships with student groups by making funding more equitable. SGA should act as an “HR department” for student groups that can help them succeed, he said.

He also wants to collaborate with members of this university’s Greek life community — from individual chapters and Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association leadership — to “promote anti-hazing attitudes.”

Elise Donnellan, Uplift UMD’s executive vice president candidate and SGA’s current Greek residential representative and recruitment and retention coordinator, said Gould has “amazing leadership qualities.”

“He puts so much forethought and care into everything he says and does,” Donnellan, a junior environmental science and policy major, said.