Students will vote for the 2017 CSUN executive board on Wednesday and Thursday. This year, students will be able to choose from four candidates for student body president, four for student body vice president and five for senate president. Before the elections, the UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press provides students with an exclusive guide to the candidates.
Christopher Roys – Current College of Health Sciences Senator
Christopher Roys is a junior majoring in kinesiology with a minor in business management. He is a member of Lambda Kappa Delta and plans on going to graduate school at UNLV to become a physical therapist. He enjoys playing paintball on the weekends and has a pet lizard—a 2-year-old Bearded Dragon named Siggy.
Roys has been a senator since August 2016. During his time in the Senate, he, along with current running mate Taryn Kole, pushed for the athletic fee increase to include club sports, which helped the Rebel Hockey Team go to national championships.
Roys says he is the “bigger promoter” for nontraditional and commuter students. It is important to him that they are equally represented and that their concerns are attended to.
If elected, Roys plans on increasing campus security by improving electronic surveillance systems, building a neighborhood watch program for the campus and working with the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program to provide campus organizations with training in order to handle sexual assault and domestic violence on campus.
“We are all Rebels. This is our movement, not just me running for president,” Roys said. “This is about us, not about me.”
Schyler Brown is a criminal justice major in the Trial Advocacy program. In 2013, he served in the Army National Guard as a combat medic before returning to UNLV in 2015. In 2016, he was a senator for the College of Urban Affairs and was elected as the 2016-17 Senate president.
As senator, Brown strove to engage with students who weren’t involved with the university’s campus. In doing so, he attempted to create an electronic marketing system to reach out to these students.
As senate president, Brown streamlined CSUN meetings by cutting meeting lengths in half and creating new marketing techniques.
If elected, Brown plans on utilizing CSUN resources to shift UNLV from a commuter campus to a university with an active campus community.
“I am here to give you the best college experience CSUN and UNLV can provide,” Brown said. “And always, #FUNR.”
“I am here to serve the people who got me here in the best capacity I can,” Donate said. “I value the efforts of everyone who ran, the students who vote and the [UNLV] Scarlet & Gray [Free] Press for keeping students informed.”
Fabian Donate – Current Public Relations Administrator
Fabian Donate is a third-year student majoring in public health. He is the first of his family to step foot on a college campus, and in addition to being a full-time student he works full time with the Las Vegas branch of the American Cancer Society. Donate was a senator for the College of Health Sciences since his first day of college, later becoming the public relations administrator for CSUN for the 2016-2017 school year.
During his tenure as senator, Donate advocated for several causes, including a healthier campus. His accomplishments as senator include the foundation of the oversight committee within CSUN, creating scholarships for undocumented students and stipends for students interested in conducting research, and hosting the first ever Tark Tank event where undergraduate students could propose unique business ideas to a panel of distinguished experts.
As public relations administrator, Donate “revamped the entire public relations department”.
If elected, Donate intends to continue empowering people of different backgrounds and identities by listening to their stories and acting on what the students want.
Nicole Thomas is a senior majoring in biology and minoring in psychology and “hopefully chemistry.” She currently works in a research lab on campus and is part of Gamma Phi Beta where she serves as one of the sorority’s vice presidents. She enjoys reading, writing, attending music festivals and concerts, and has been attending San Diego Comic Con for the past six years.
Thomas is the longest serving member of CSUN and is currently the only science major running in this election. She has been a senator for 3-and-a-half years and served as Senate president pro tempore. As senator, Thomas helped cultivate the Department of Academic Engagement, which brought attention to and exposed students to research opportunities, research fairs, poster conferences and the Creative Arts Expo. She also helped create Camp CSUN, which brought motivated high school students to UNLV and introduced them to different aspects of CSUN and the school.
Thomas said that she refuses to be a bystander in any way and will fight for what she believes in and what students have brought to her attention. She promises to give students their own open forum to speak for the changes they want.
If elected, Thomas plans to be the liaison between undergraduate students and academic faculty and graduate students. She also wants to strengthen academics within UNLV by attaining more funding for scholarships and develop outside internships and partnerships with companies like Zappos, Uber and Lyft.
“I want to make sure that whatever you’re doing in college that you are going to be successful,” Thomas said. “I want for this campus to not just be a commuter environment. I want this campus to be home.”
VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Tayla Hull is a third year student majoring in hospitality with a concentration in event planning. She describes herself as a music person and listens to almost any genre. She is a full-time student and also works for an international travel agency. Hull was the associate director of Campus Life during her sophomore year and recently became the director of Campus Life.
As associate director of Campus Life, Hull helped create the tailgates at football games, which gave students a “safe space to have fun without feeling like they had to entertain the entire student body.”
As director of Campus Life, Hull has been collaborating with venues around town, like The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino, to get students involved with both their community and their campus. Currently, she is hoping to form partnerships with the T-Mobile Arena and the Brooklyn Bowl.
If elected, Hull plans to increase student engagement by advocating for the resources available to students from CSUN. She hopes to “engage the typical student who goes to school, goes to work and then goes home for the day.”
“I understand what it’s like to work for a living and go to school full-time,” Hull said. “I’m doing this to represent people like myself. I’d do that for free.”
Demi Falcon is majoring in political science and public policy. She works for a nonprofit organization that prioritizes clean energy, education and public lands conservation. She enjoys hiking, cycling and will be participating in the Tour de Summerlin this year.
She has been in CSUN since 2014. On her first day of college she went up to the third floor of the Student Union and requested that she be able to run for senator. In 2015, she became executive director, but when she began to miss the interactions between herself and registered student organizations (RSO), she decided to become the associate director of academic engagement.
As senator, Falcon increased the amount of money that could be allocated toward RSOs from $200,000 to $250,000 to provide more funds to less established RSOs that wanted to have a larger influence on campus. As executive director, she helped the former vice president, Taylor Cunningham, manage the various departments under the executive branch. As associate director of academic engagement, she hosted events for students to learn how to apply for scholarships that are provided by CSUN, grants for undergraduate research, and mentorships with professors.
If elected, Falcon would want to create a more academically-minded environment on campus and allocate more money toward scholarships, grants and student organizations. She also wants to work with more diverse groups because of the influence they have on campus. She said she believes that by enacting these changes, UNLV will become more like a Tier One institution.
“The biggest thing I want is more student voices, more [of a] student narrative,” Falcon said. “I don’t think that my opinion is any greater than any other student’s on campus.”
Beatrice DeBelen is a junior majoring in public health and minoring in leadership and civic engagement. She enjoys singing and is a candidate for UNLV Idol. DeBelen wants to go to graduate and become a principal at an elementary school.
As executive director, DeBelen led the initiative for the Cap and Gown Lending Program that started last semester. The program received 19 applicants and all who applied were given a cap and gown for their graduation.
In her office on the third floor of the Student Union, DeBelen makes sure that snacks, tea, tampons and self-care coloring books are available for students who visit her, as she wants to be a resource to students.
If elected, DeBelen says she would would help bring accountability, communication and collaboration both to student government and to the student body. She wants CSUN to be a place that welcomes students and represents all of their needs.
“I want to see students strive and help them succeed socially, academically and professionally,” DeBelen said. “I can help represent students and make the changes on campus that they want to see.”
Trevor Atkinson has been a full-time student at UNLV and a member of Greek life for two years. He is currently not a member of CSUN, but plans on using CSUN resources to shift UNLV from a commuter campus to an active campus community.
Atkinson wants to provide an “exceptional experience for all other students” and bring back school spirit and pride.
“I am not here to play politics,” Atkinson said. “I am here to give you the best college experience CSUN can provide.”
SENATE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Rylee Taylor is a junior majoring in psychology. She was originally a biology major but switched to her current major when she realized that she would rather become a lawyer than a doctor. Taylor has been part of the UNLV Debate Team for three years, with her area of specialization being policy debate. She also runs the Las Vegas Debate League where she works with high school debate students.
Taylor has been a senator since 2015. During her time as senator, she has seen the College of Liberal Arts constantly improve and made it a point to actively engage with the students of the college she represents. She also made the sponsorship program more effective and accountable both to organizations that currently hold sponsorships with CSUN and for organizations looking to start a sponsorship with CSUN.
Taylor is one of the few members on CSUN that is not part of a Greek organization, which allows her to directly communicate with the students outside of Greek life and become the bridge between those students and CSUN.
If elected, Taylor would make sure that the policies within CSUN are inclusive and promote how different, daring and diverse UNLV can be. She would also emphasize communication between the senate president and the student body president in order to better reach the students.
“Every student should vote because every student has to pay a CSUN fee,” Taylor said. “If you’re having to give your money to an organization, you should have some say on who is running that organization and who is representing you.”
Taryn Kole is a senior majoring in hospitality. She plays the drums during basketball games and was a part of the marching band during her freshman and sophomore years. She is also a part of several organizations outside of CSUN, including Sigma Kappa and the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. Kole was a senator for the College of Hotel Administration before becoming senate president pro tempore.
Kole has been a part of CSUN for three years. During her time with CSUN, she helped completely fund the UNLV Wind Orchestra’s trip to France and helped fund the UNLV Pep Band for $15,000 and the Sports Club Council for $50,000 with her running mate, Christopher Roys.
Kole enjoys speaking with students from all aspects of campus life, expressing a genuine interest in getting to know students. She has never missed a CSUN meeting, prioritizing Monday nights for CSUN.
If elected, Kole would continue advocating for all undergraduate students, including those who are nontraditional or take classes online only. She would also advertise the scholarships and resources that are available to students through CSUN.
“I already embody what it takes to have this position. I don’t need this position to start anything huge,” Kole said. “I advocate for underrepresented students, and even those who don’t feel underrepresented but want their voice to be heard. This isn’t about money or power for me.”
Cameron Coaley is a junior majoring in business, specifically in business management. He is the current president of Pi Kappa Phi. This is his second term as president and is one of the founders of the fraternity. He is also the owner of the digital marketing agency, Aperient.
Despite his lack of experience in CSUN, Coaley believes he is a qualified candidate because of his transparency. He also served in leadership roles throughout high school and college, and believes that owning a company has given him leadership experience on a professional level.
He is currently working on opening a second company while interning for Remark Media, a global digital media company that targets millennials.
If elected, Coaley plans on making a more transparent senate. He also plans on taking student questions and concerns to the senate by providing an outlet for students to express their concerns.
“One thing students should know about me is my phone number,” Coaley said. “I would be more than happy to talk to students and help them understand CSUN.”
Ryan Edep is a junior double majoring in political science and international business. He was a volunteer at the 2016 Presidential Debate and is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, among other honor societies. He currently works for Apple Inc. and has participated in several community events.
Edep has been a part of CSUN since his sophomore year. He was awarded Most Outstanding Vice Chair Award for his leadership within the Constitutions & Bylaws Committee in CSUN.
If elected, Edep plans on creating an open environment where students can feel comfortable discussing the changes they would like to see on campus. He would provide opportunities for students to enjoy their college experience at UNLV.
“I will be the liaison between the students and the administration, and I promise to be a voice for all,” Edep said. “I believe, no matter what the reason may be, we all want to enjoy our university in some capacity and enjoy a positive experience.”
Kulani Purkey – National Physique Committee Bikini Competitor
Kulani Purkey is a criminal justice major and a bikini competitor with Team Platinum Physiques. Purkey did not respond to inquiries made by the Free Press about her goals as senate president.
Editor’s note: Since the time of publication, CSUN announced that Kulani Purkey has withdrawn her candidacy for senate president.