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Andrew Brinker

LGBTQIA+ Commissioner Lily Fitzherbert delivers a speech to students attending Thursday’s candidate press night.

Palauskas campaigns on experience at SGA press night

Published December 10, 2019

Student Government Association Executive Vice President Will Palauskas used his previous experience in the governmental body to sell himself to potential voters Thursday during SGA’s Candidate Press Night. 

Palauskas’ stump speech, the same speech posted in the description of his campaign’s Facebook page, referenced his ability to lead the students of the college through what he identified as an upcoming period of transition.

A lot more change is coming for us in the future,” he said. “With the merger of Marlboro College alone, there’s the possibility of more than 20 tenured faculty members and 100 students joining our community here in Boston. Together, we can help prepare our community for the changes in the future that are coming.”

Palauskas announced a write-in campaign for the office of executive president on Wednesday after the two originally slated candidates abruptly dropped out of the race.

Palauskas, who joined SGA in 2018 as a marketing communications senator and won election to the executive vice presidency by just six votes, is currently running unopposed. He spent his term as executive vice president work-shopping this year’s academic initiative as president of SGA’s senate and coordinating the highly attended Academic Town Hall.

Candidates for president and vice president of the class of 2023 and for Visual and Media Arts senator also spoke to the crowd.

Co-Executive Assistant Ariane Ivanier and LGBTQIA+ Commissioner Lily Fitzherbert are campaigning together for the presidency and vice presidency of the class of 2023, respectively. The two current SGA members focused their platform on showcasing student work and making SGA members accessible to students. 

“I think what’s really lacking at Emerson overall is the fact that so many people are doing such incredible projects across the school, and I feel as though people don’t know about it,” Ivanier said in her speech. “I want to work to have students work on TVs all around the school. I want people to know about the incredible magazines like Atlas that everyone works on—just making people aware of what everyone else is up to.”

Ivanier and Fitzherbert face two challengers from outside SGA in the upcoming elections, both of whom made appearances at Candidate Press Night. Leon Liu, a VMA major, will challenge Ivanier for the presidency and Koby Polaski, a theater and performance major, will face Fitzherbert for the vice presidency. 

While Liu and Polaski did not name any specific policy goals in their speeches, Liu said in an interview with The Beacon that he plans to focus on improving sustainability at the college should the student body elect him. 

“We could all be living a greener lifestyle because right now, with global warming and climate change, [sustainability] is everyone’s job, and we can start off right here at this college,” Liu said. 

In the race for VMA senator, just one candidate, freshman Seamus Butcher, appeared at the event. Butcher, who emphasized his involvement in on-campus organizations, focused his platform on the promotion of student work at the college, proposing an end of the year showcase for work done by VMA students in their courses. Butcher has worked for The Beacon podcast team.

“Emerson is a creative school, but VMA, especially, is a creative field,” Butcher said in an interview with The Beacon. “A lot of students and their careers will be defined by the work they make. So, having more opportunity to showcase that work is integral to their learning experience and potentially their current career experience.”

Voting in the upcoming elections will run from Wednesday, Dec. 11 until Friday, Dec. 13.

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Andrew Brinker, Senior Investigative Reporter

Andrew Brinker graduated in 2022. He previously served as the paper's news editor, directing coverage of Emerson's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He's also worked as The Beacon's Deputy Express Editor, Senior SGA reporter, and Assistant Enterprise Editor. Brinker is a working freelance journalist. He dearly loves his cat Mittens, learning to cook, soup dumplings, and walking the city of Boston.

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