MoKent re-elected as president and VP, share plans for next term

By Maria Ranoni, NEWS EDITOR
On March 4, 2018

Kheireddine and Kent’s reelection marks the first time in over a decade a student body president will serve two terms. ORACLE PHOTOT/MIKI SHINE

The votes have been counted and the results are in. Moneer Kheireddine and Shaquille Kent have been re-elected to serve as student body president and vice president. They plan to hit the ground running this time around.

Kheireddine and Kent received 53 percent of the vote, while fellow candidates Gabby Cruz and Scott Tavlin received 35 percent and Peter Corsa and Julius Jackson received 7 percent. 

This election is the first time in over a decade in which a president has been elected to serve two terms. The last time being Michael Griffin who served as student body president from 2001-03.

“It’s been very, very rewarding to go through the campaign period twice because this time we got to see a lot of the critical feedback and constructive criticism from individuals and we want to improve moving forward,” Kheireddine said. “Some of those things include our branding effort — not in any negative sense toward anyone on our marketing team.” 

According to Kheireddine, he and Kent plan to get started right away as they did not have the opportunity to do so last year. 

“There’s a couple of things we can get started on right out of the gate,” Kheireddine said. “The first is hiring to make sure that our team is ready to start up next year because last year we had a little bit of a delay with all the struggles that happened in the election so it took us a while to actually get started with hiring. This year, we’re probably going to start giving out job descriptions and opening positions within the next week or two.”

Since Kheireddine and Kent have already been in office for a year, they have a couple initiatives they plan to continue pushing for. 

“There’s already a couple projects that we have underway,” Kheireddine said. “Some of these include the rock wall which a survey was sent out a couple weeks ago and we’ll more than likely be sending an unallocated cash request to Senate to actually fund that rock wall. Some other things include the discount ticket center which we’ve almost completed as well.”

According to Kent, he and Kheireddine want to make sure that their opponents’ platform is taken into account.

“I want to make sure that Gabby and Scott’s platform is well represented as well,” Kent said. “I’ve already started conversations with the alumni center on how we can engage students more to be interacting with alumni and I know this is something they ran on. Additionally, I want there to be also a stronger focus on mental health and zero tolerance for sexual assault on this campus.”

Kheireddine said that while he wants to enact changes, there are some aspects of his administration that he and Kent are satisfied with.

“In regards to the current structure, we thinked it worked really well,” Kheireddine said. “I think we’re going to be editing a little bit on our marketing team to see if we can make some changes to job duties and job descriptions.”

Kent said he agreed with Kheireddine in that they will put more focus into improving their administration. 

“Moving forward this year I would like to evaluate what went well and what didn’t go so well and see how we can improve it,” Kent said. “There is no perfect formula but having the experience from last year is key and we are going to use that to be more efficient this year when it comes to accomplishing our goals. 

“A major focus this upcoming year as well is to refocus the spotlight onto the persons behind the scenes that work tirelessly to ensure that initiatives and programs to improve the overall experience gets accomplished. Moneer and myself are only two out of a hardworking team of individuals that deserves the recognition for the great work that they do and we want to ensure that happens.”

It’s no secret that Student Government (SG) has had some issues with its culture and its perception from students. Kheireddine said the way to improve this is through seamless communication. 

“In regards to culture, I think we’ve made a lot of strides in improving our relationships not only with the Legislative Branch, but with the judicial branch so that they are able to be accommodated for whatever it is that they need,” Kheireddine said. “Also, making sure that everyone is working together as a team, being invited to SG events and ensuring as a whole support each other in the efforts we have. Moving forward, there just has to be continued communication between the branches and making sure we’re taking active steps in making sure we’re listening to their concerns.” 

One thing Kheireddine said he is pleased with is the respectful way in which he, Kent and the other tickets conducted themselves during campaigning.

“We had a very clean campaign on both ends and we were very supportive,” Kheireddine said. “I was very proud of the way both tickets acted.”

Kent said that being re-elected into his position gives him a chance to give back to USF. 

“The mentality remains the same from last year where it is all about giving back to a university that has giving so much to me in just being here and having access to a world class education,” Kent said. “For this, I give back all my time and energy to ensuring that students are represented and are proud of the school that they have chosen to be a part of.”

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