Class of 2024 incumbent Manahil Jawaid delivers her student government campaign speech to her on April 26.

Student Government Candidates: The New, the Old and the Radical

The school planned to announce the winners of the SGA election on May 2. Rank&File talked to incumbent and non-incumbent candidates about their goals for the future.

Class of 2025

Incumbent: Chloe Hoang

Freshman Chloe Hoang said she ran in 2021 for SGA “because over quarantine, I was really closed off from everyone else, so I thought it would be a good way to connect with them.”
She decided to run again this year to continue planning events and working with her peers.
Hoang said she believed the SGA’s different classes worked well together this year, but that there are ways they could improve.
“I think we should’ve had spirit days that were already popular and ones that we knew students were gonna like,” Hoang said. “Instead of Netflix day, we could’ve done ‘bring anything but a backpack day,’ which I think we all would’ve really enjoyed.”
She said she hoped students would be comfortable reaching out with ideas and suggestions.

Non-incumbent: Samad Quraishi

“I decided to run for SGA in order to make Marshall a more fun place for everyone,” Quraishi said. “I had some great ideas I wanted to see turned into a reality, and this was a perfect opportunity for me to do so.”
Quraishi experienced some anxiety during his speech where he discussed his goals. He wanted to create a fun environment for the freshman class, implementing “anything but a backpack day” spirit days and making prom and homecoming a fun event for all students.
When discussing Advisory, Quraishi said, “I, and many other students feel that it was an ineffective program that took time out of ways that could have been used in different, and more productive ways for students.”
Quraishi said he believed he would bring a new perspective to the table and learn as he gains experience.

Class of 2024

Incumbent: Manahil Jawaid

Sophomore Manahil Jawaid decided to run for SGA for a second consecutive year with the hopes of holding her spot. She said she initially wanted to become a member of SGA for college applications but then realized her passions ran deeper.
“SGA isn’t a point on your student resume, you are elected to speak for your class and to try and ensure that their voices are heard and heeded,” Jawaid said.
During her sophomore year on SGA, Jawaid worked with fellow members to plan and design prom, came up with spirit weeks and assisted upperclassmen with their duties.
“Roles in SGA can be as mediocre or impactful as you make it out to be,” she said.
Jawaid said she decided to run for SGA again because she loved the concept of it and wanted to continue to improve the organization and its impact, now with a year’s experience.
“My future plans include two main things which are key to my candidacy: transparency and student involvement,” she said. “Students have to know what we are doing on their behalf so they know how to get involved.”

Non-incumbent: Leen Abu Gafra

Sophomore Leen Abu Gafra said she decided to run for SGA to provide better representation for the Class of 2024 in decisions that impact the school.
“My goals would be to make sure the Class of 2024 gets heard when it comes to spirit weeks and any type of event that includes our class,” Abu Gafra said.
Abu Gafra said if elected, she wanted to increase participation during spirit weeks, be a voice for the student body and make Advisory a more comfortable class if she is not able to get rid of it completely.
“My hope for SGA in the future is to create an environment that everyone feels safe sharing their opinion,” she said.
Abu Gafra also planned to target school spirit.
“I plan to increase Marshall school spirit, at least for our class, by making sure they get a voice when it comes to decisions for themes and events,” she said. “Hopefully making everyone want to participate a little more.”
Abu Gafra said one thing she would change from last year is the barrier between SGA and the student body.
“Hopefully by having someone like me who is very outgoing and has strong communication skills, everyone will be happy with the decisions we make,” she said.

Class of 2023

Incumbent: Jalil Ahmed-Litz

Over the past three years, junior Jalil Ahmed-Litz has become somewhat of a Marshall celebrity.
While it’s his fourth year running for SGA, Ahmed-Litz said it’s his 15th year in the Marshall community.
“I’ve done community resource fairs, I’ve helped in organizations that deal with domestic violence shelters and families,” Ahmed-Litz. “I wanted a way to not only help Marshall but give back to a family that means so much to me.”
Ahmed-Litz said he felt strongly about the organization.
“I love doing it,” he said. “It almost gives me a sense of purpose in what I do. This feels like a method in which I feel confident and feel I can do the most.”
Ahmed-Litz said the senior calendar is fairly light.
“Not in particular, I think it depends on the senior calendar,” he said. “The big things are towards the end of the year, the senior gift, the graduation speaker, the senior trip.”
Ahmed-Litz remained hopeful for the following year.
“Something that creates more of a school community in a [spirit sense] because it’s something we’ve been lacking a little bit,” he said.

Non-incumbent: Gavin Rahnavardy

Junior Gavin Rahnavardy was the only new candidate for the rising senior class.
While Rahnavardy said his goals for the upcoming year remain “undecided,” his reason for running was direct.
“For college, I guess,” Rahnavardy said. “College credit. And because I’m just so eager to join the SGA.”
Rahnavardy said he found the process of applying “easy.”
“I had to fill out a form, teacher recommendations, make a speech and that’s pretty much it,” he said.
Rahnavardy said he recognized he may have to work with school administration to implement some of his ideas.
“After every home game football [win], mandatory storming the field,” he said.
When asked by Rank&File about whether he thought the idea was feasible, Rahnavardy was optimistic.
“We’ll have to break down some walls [with administration] but I think that it’s possible,” he said.
As the only non-incumbent in the race, Rahnavardy said he hoped to bring something new to the table.
“I just hope the SGA can actually implement some real change,” he said.