Presidential Candidates Interview: Stefan Fiandeiro and Ryan Kay

By Peter Elijah Lim
Staff Writer

1. Your campaign slogan is “Bridge the Gap.” How do you plan to embody this slogan and how did you create it?

Stefan: The ‘Bridge the Gap’ mentality came from the experience Ryan and I had transferring here in Fall 2022. We got involved in the campus life through intramurals, ministry, mission, academics, and different clubs, including debate club, the Veritas Society, and the Economics Club. The biggest thing we noticed is the giant gap between the student population and the administration, specifically between what the student population needs and wants and what the administration is allowing for. We see that this gap needs to be fixed to protect the Franciscan culture we love so much. We see this improving through student communication, student advocacy, promoting 24/7 campus building hours, and having one centralized place to address and streamline student concerns.

2. What’s your experience working with Student Government and the Franciscan community?

Ryan: Neither of us is super involved with Student Government. We have a lot of friends that are in Student Government and they are the ones who got us into it. We’ve gotten to attend some student government meetings so that we can get the feel of the environment surrounding it. As far as involvement in the campus community goes, I am an intramural supervisor, a part of the Veritas Society, an admissions worker, and more.

Stefan: We are incredibly involved with this campus, but we don’t intend to stand by and watch things happen when we should be active and be pushing for what is most needed by students. Our distinctiveness is in the experience we have had at Franciscan. We have been active in every aspect of the Franciscan life- athletics, academics, social life… we can take those areas and move towards a student government that connects with the needs of students.

3. What are your main campus goals? What steps will be taken to achieve these goals?

Stefan & Ryan: The first goal published on our Instagram page was opening and streamlining communication between administration and the student population. We can clean up the weekly Student Life Bulletin by taking down unnecessary classes and putting up more important happenings like weekend events. Our second goal is to promote a 24/7 open campus, which means extending gym and library hours. We would also like to alter the hours of the cafeteria and the pub so that students are able to eat when they get out of class and so athletes can eat after their practices. We also are focused on student advocacy, which would involve forms and polls being posted to Student Government’s Instagram so that students’ thoughts can be brought before administration. Advocacy would also entail bringing back Student Gov on a Hill so that we are out and about at least one morning a week giving donuts to students and hearing their concerns, feedback, ideas, and suggestions.

4. Are there any campus rules or regulations that you feel need to be changed and how? (visitation hours, restrictions of academic or gym hours, etc.)

Stefan & Ryan: We want to help bring about a transition to 24/7 hours on campus because we ourselves have experienced that, often, when you want to do something or go somewhere on campus, that place is closed. For example, if we want to go to the gym at 6 am for a morning workout, it is closed. On Sundays, when many students want to study in classrooms, the classroom buildings are all closed. If we unlock those doors, we are moving towards having a livelier campus throughout the year. In addition, this would promote better and longer building hours and increased access to student spaces.

5. What kind of events do you have planned for the Franciscan community?

Stefan & Ryan: Jared and Caleb’s administration has given us a great idea of what events can be, but we would love to have more students’ voices involved in planning events. For instance, for an event like the Annunciation festival, we could present ideas on food and t-shirts but have the student population make the final decision. Second, we want to empower student leaders by allocating money to the clubs that make Franciscan the school we know and love and that bring people together from all sorts of backgrounds into one beautiful, holistic, fulfilling Catholic culture.

6. What makes your campaign different from other campaigns?

Stefan & Ryan: People will notice we are transfer students who have a blend of experience from other schools. Though we felt amazingly welcomed at Franciscan, we can see what could be improved. We are the only campaign that is emphasizing the need for a transition to a 24/7 campus which would allow greater accessibility to student spaces. We are also campaigning for a better system of meeting students’ needs, whether they be physical, academic, or social. We are also big on streamlining communication so that students can be aware of campus events.

7. How do you hope to create a lasting impact if you are elected as President and Vice President?

Stefan & Ryan: The best thing we can do is enhance and promote the culture that we have currently. We are going to do that through our main goals and our campus presence. We want to always be accessible and continue promoting communication, advocacy, and a 24/7 campus.