Dandan, Reynolds Run for CSGA President, VP


Courtesy of Jenny Paleracio

Miguel Dandan (left) and Ben Reynolds are candidates for CSGA president and executive vice president.

It’s Chaminade Student Government Association (CSGA) election season and in the running for president and executive vice president are two unlikely transfer students from Saipan and Wisconsin.

Juniors Miguel Dandan and Ben Reynolds forged their friendship after transferring to Chaminade and being assigned as roommates at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Quickly realizing that Chaminade was in need of some dire changes, the pair eagerly searched for opportunities to make a difference despite being the new kids at school.

“We felt that even though we are transfers, even though we are people who are still new to Chaminade and to Hawaii, we could offer something to better Chaminade or at least make a difference,” said Dandan, CSGA presidential candidate.

Among the immediate changes Dandan and his vice presidential running mate Reynolds hope to achieve are reducing student bus pass rates, improving the on-campus fitness center, and extending library hours. Much of the candidates’ inspiration is derived from their experience of dorming on campus at Hale Pohaku and having 24/7 access to campus and all of its excellence as well as its shortcomings.

“Being that we’re both transfer students, we’ve both seen successful structures of a university and seen how other universities put students first, and I don’t feel that Chaminade is doing that right now,” said Reynolds, the executive vice president candidate. “I’d like to see a change, and I’d like to be part of that change.”

Both Dandan and Reynolds transferred to Chaminade in search of a unique academic and cultural experience. Reynolds figured that pursuing a degree in political science in Hawaii would be the perfect escape from the cold of his hometown Green Bay, Wis. Dandan, a communication major from Saipan, was interested in receiving his education from a Catholic university and thought that Chaminade was close to home but far enough for him to gain independence.

With a plethora of professional experiences under his belt from his previous institution, Dandan is confident he will make a superb president. At his community college in Saipan, he served as the senator for the Associate of Students Organization, occasionally offered his opinion at Board of Regents meetings, and worked as a marketer, ghost writer, and PR specialist for the Institutional Advancement Office. Dandan has a comprehensive understanding of the structure of higher education including aspects like accreditation and funding.

Although he has only been attending Chaminade for one full semester, Dandan has already thrust himself into the inner workings of the university. Currently, he serves on the executive board for the Residential Housing Association as historian and works directly under Alumni Relations in the Institutional Advancement Office.

“Miguel is very diligent, I have noticed,” said Tom Galli, a communication professor who has taught Dandan both last semester and this semester. “He takes his assignments seriously, and he follows through on them and works pretty well. So I would imagine he would bring that same level of diligence and attention to detail to any office that he held.”

Dandan and Reynolds promise that if they win the election, they will prioritize Chaminade students above all else and make the university well known in the community for its excellence and involvement.

“Are we the best for the position?” Dandan asked. “That’s up to the people. We’ll find out election day. But me and my running mate know that if we win, we will make a difference. We’ll fight for everything.”

Elections for the CSGA Executive Board will take place from Wednesday, March 14, through Friday, March 16, in Ching Hall 106 (OSAL office) and the CSGA office located next to the Vi and Paul Loo Student Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students must bring their valid Chaminade ID in order to cast their vote. Dandan and Reynolds are opposing Antonio Bonnetty and Claire Riggan.