Student Government: Meet FAU’s 2021 candidates

Candidates from all university campuses speak about their campaigns.


Collage pictures all nine candidates for 2021. Collage by Kendall Little.

Michael Gennaro, Contributing Writer

“In a previous version of this story, the University Press misspelled the name of Nicholas Brickman. We regret the error.
Student Government elections are less than a week away. In the final days of their campaigns, the prospective student body president and vice president, along with campus governors  made their final statements before students cast their ballots on Feb. 23 and 24.

Maxwell Simonson, a sophomore that grew up in Boca Raton and always wanted to attend FAU, is running unopposed for student body president. 

“Growing up here, everyone wanted to leave and kind of ragged on FAU. I really wanted to come here and bring it to a better place,” Simonson said. 

Simonson vowed to be proactive in communicating with the student body on each campus.

“My number one priority is really to communicate with the students and be a platform for them to capitalize on the opportunity around us. I want to make my ceiling their floor,” Simonson said.

The student body vice president candidate is Lily MacDonald, a sophomore from Naples, is running alongside Simonson. She credited her brother, Kyle, a former student body president in 2018-19, as the reason she chose FAU.

“I want to enhance student life, enhance campus life, get more events on campus and really work for the students and better their overall experience. I want to put FAU on the map,” she said.

MacDonald wants to conduct more Owl Central questionnaires and open forums where students can talk to student leaders about their main concerns and air their grievances.

“I think if we can really advertise a lot of the resources that we already have available for students, they can use those to become even better students,” she said. “I really want to be an advocate for all students, make sure every student has a voice on campus and that we hear their concerns and really do care.”

Juniors Nicholas Brickman and Rhoda Hoods are running for Boca Raton campus governor. 

Hoods wants to bridge the gap between administrators and students to help them better understand why things are happening and how they can get involved. She proposed town halls and councils for students to accomplish this.

If elected, Hoods would like to be remembered as someone who evoked change. “To evoke change you must be the change,” she said. “My job is to serve you; a vote for Rhoda Hoods is a vote for openness, truth, endurance and determination.”

Brickman has the pandemic at the forefront of his mind. Safety regarding COVID-19 is his number one priority.

“I want to work with Night Owls and fellow organizations like Night Owls to increase safety at night on campus because our students are a little spread out right now. I feel like this would also raise a little bit more jobs on campus, and community involvement, which FAU does lack at times,” Brickman said.

He also proposed a newsletter that comes from the offices of the Governors Administrative Cabinet and Peer Academic Coaching directly to students, to help students understand what their votes represent and summarize the weekly Student Government town halls.

Broward Campus Governor will be a contest between two juniors as well: Brittney Del Valle and Sarah Louis.

Sarah Louis is a biology major that transferred to the university from Broward College. She is a current Senate member. Her first priority if elected is to build a team that can help her make decisions and aid students. She wants to empower students and build a stronger community. 

In a statement posted on Instagram, Louis said “I am running for our Broward Campus Governor position because I believe in the power of our voices. This position allows me to speak for us students and fulfills the purpose of bringing a positive change. Being a senator for two semesters has given me the push to want to do even more for this university.”

Brittney Del Valle is a criminal justice major. In a statement posted on Instagram, she said “I would love to bring more opportunities for minority students. To establish a greater sense of community and opportunity, just as those offered on the Boca campuses.”

Del Valle promised she would have an open-door policy for students from all campuses and listen to any problem, big or small.

The candidates for Jupiter Campus Governor are Jaylene Kennedy, Kirk Meyers, and Jitesh Persaud.

Jaylene Kennedy is a junior. “I am running for office to establish our campus in the city of Jupiter more,” she said in a statement posted on Instagram. “I believe that our campus would thrive with off-campus connections in the city of Jupiter. If elected, I will advocate for longer library hours, off-campus discounts at our local restaurants, and develop a stronger relationship with our sister campuses.”

Kirk Meyers, a sophomore and Student Government representative of three years, said that his platform will focus on expanding diversity programs and services. Extensions of Jupiter library hours and establishing a homecoming culture at Jupiter are important to him as well. Meyers said in a statement on Instagram that he “gathered the experience and built the relationships needed to put our Jupiter campus on top!”

Sophomore Jitesh Persaud wants to enhance campus life at Jupiter. 

“By fostering relationships with faculty members and various departments across FAU, we can find new and meaningful ways to engage our undergraduate students,” he said in a statement.

Student Government will hold elections from Feb. 23 at 12:01 am through Feb. 24 at 11:59 pm. Students can vote at


Michael Gennaro is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or follow him on Instagram @mycoolgennaro.