CSU SGA candidates
Credit: Kat Magalski
SGA senate candidates discuss their intentions for the upcoming academic term at the Student Government Association forum, March 26, 2024.

SGA candidates outline plans for upcoming term

Candidates running in the April 4 election for the Cleveland State student senate and executive board of the Student Government Association explained how they intend to serve the campus community.

Students aspiring to serve the campus community shared their thoughts and plans for the Cleveland State University Student Government Association at a forum, March 26, in Berkman Hall.

The forum was held ahead of the SGA elections on April 4. The SGA gives students a team of representatives who can address their concerns with faculty and the administration. 

The candidates mainly focused on ways to increase student engagement, which they noted was at an all-time low. Additional topics centered around transparency and diversity, equity and inclusion.

The focus on campus and student engagement emphasized the necessity of future SGA members to get students involved on campus and expand awareness of SGA’s dedication to serving the student body.

“Our entire purpose (as SGA members) is to support members of this student body," said Justin Samsa, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, who was running unopposed for SGA president.

The outcome of the elections not only determines the board and senators for SGA but also determines the direction of campus governance for the upcoming semester at Cleveland State University. 

Most of the candidates were running unopposed. The only position on the executive board that had multiple candidates was the treasurer position. The candidates were Aderinola Adedeji (was was subsequently elected), Hassan Shah and Andrew Sobhy.  

At the forum, candidates for both the executive board and the senate were asked the same set of questions regarding their intentions for the SGA. Most responses were similar, with only a few answers eliciting new and varied responses. 

The candidates agreed that SGA’s social media presence needed refining. A few candidates agreed that outreach to student organizations was a good way of surveying the needs of the student body. 

Brett Phenicie (junior, College of Public Affairs and Education) explained how he is involved in a few student organizations which helps him to hear about issues the student body has.

“I can get a good view of what’s going on on campus. Is there any racial and ethnic inequality, any discrimination based off sexuality or gender?” Phenicie asked.

As the semester closes, a new SGA board and senate will be installed to continue connecting the student body with faculty and addressing issues within the campus community. 

Candidates who ran for election


  • Justin Samsa - junior, history & urban/regional study - public management double major

Vice President:

  • Anastasia Hunt - junior, accounting major


  • Aderinola Adedeji - junior, social work major
  • Hassan Shah - junior, health sciences (pre-med Concentration) major
  • Andrew Sobhy - junior, finance (pre-law concentration)


  • Alysha Syed - sophomore, health sciences (pre-dentistry concentration) major


Honors College

  • Jack Whitman - junior, marketing major

Levin College Senator

  • Faith-Ann English - junior, creative writing & sociology double major

Residence Hall Senator

  • Lincoln Short - freshman, political science & sociology double major

Student Organization Senator

  • Gavin Paulesc - sophomore, economics (pre-law concentration) major
  • Brett Phenicie - junior, sociology & philosophy double major, women's and gender studies minor

Undergraduate At-large Senator

  • Abigail Habegger - sophomore, communications studies/management (pre-law concentration) major, political science minor
  • T Wyatt - sophomore, psychology major