Q&A: Presidential candidate Marianne Alex looks to shed light on mental health, sexual assault

The write-in candidate is running against two other presidential hopefuls.


Marianne Alex. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor

Benjamin Paley, Distribution Manager

At the beginning of February, over 20 candidates registered to run in the 2018 spring Student Government elections.


Fourteen of those candidates dropped out, leaving three vying for the university-wide presidential seat of the Boca, Davie, and Jupiter campuses.


The University Press reached out to presidential hopeful Jacqueline Labayne and her Vice President Kyle MacDonald, as well as presidential candidate Abdel Rahman Eltawil and his running mate Christopher Acosta, but did not receive a response as of publication time.


Ahead of tomorrow’s elections, here’s a Q&A with presidential candidate Marianne Alex. Because her vice president, Edward Perez, did not appear for interview, Alex spoke on his behalf.


The junior nursing major wants students to know that both she and Perez are write-in candidates and will not appear on the ballot. Because they entered the race after the “declaration of candidacy period,” students will need to write in both of their full names.


To cast your vote, there will be polling stations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow in front of the Boca and Davie campus Student Union. You can also vote online via Student Government’s Owl Central page.


Q:  Do you have any previous experience in Student Government?


Marianne: I have been in the House since freshman year. I stated as freshmen chair. I was Speaker pro tempore my sophomore year, and then my junior year I was Speaker of the House. A lot of my experience is in the House.

Q: What do you plan on accomplishing?


Marianne: We have a four-pillar plan: mental health awareness, sexual assault awareness, transportation and safety, and campus improvement.


For mental health awareness, we want to erase the stigmas with more education and more funding for CAPS [Counseling and Psychological Services]. Right now, we don’t have enough counseling there. We also want to bring more speakers and have more seminars to educate people on the issues because a lot of people go through tough issues in college. It is OK to say that you are anxious during this time in your life.


For sexual assault, we want to do more than just “It’s on Us Week.” Most of sexual assaults happen during the first month of the semester. We want to make sure that we don’t ignore a huge population of the people who are sexually assaulted: transgenders. We will also promote RAVE Guardian, a program connected to the FAU Police Department that you can call to track where you are. We also want to educate people on stigmas associated with sexual assault victims so they don’t feel afraid to come out.


For transportation and safety, the lighting on campus is terrible. We want to provide extra lighting in areas that are ill-lit. We also need more blue lights on campus. We also need a bike share program, which I have fought for in the past.


I know that everyone complains about parking, so I will work with the Parking and Transportation Department to improve the situation for everyone. For campus improvement, we want more recycling on campus. We are also trying to do a point system where every time you swipe your Owl Card at an event it adds points, and if you get enough points you can be added in to win prizes.


Q: What sets you apart from the other candidates?


Marianne: I didn’t want to run for SG president initially, but after I saw what the other candidates for that position were planning to do and how they have acted in their current positions, I decided to run because I have worked too hard to see Student Government go down the drain.


Q: Why did you choose to go to FAU?


Marianne: I am a local. I decided to go here for the nursing program. I was also in Student Government in high school.


Q: What is one of your favorite things about FAU?


Marianne: I really like the campus. Even the campus in Jupiter and and Davie look like parks. One of my favorite places is the garden outside the Nursing Building where there are rocking chairs and a great place to relax and study.


Q: What is one thing about FAU you don’t like?


FAU has a lot of different resources that the students do not know we have because they are not marketed well by the school or by Student Government. For example, a lot of students do not know about Student Health Services.


Benjamin Paley is the distribution manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].