Guide to this year’s Student Government Executive Elections

Rafael Cariello, Evan De Joya, Catherine De Freitas of the "U First" ticket. Photo credit: Tommy Fletcher

UPDATE, 4:53 p.m., Feb. 7, 2018: Ravichandran has said that he will be withdrawing from the race, according to Goberna. Goberna said this afternoon Ravichandran indicated he will not be participating in any of the upcoming campaign events, including tonight’s Executive Ticket Debate. Ravichandran’s name will still remain on the ballot.

Campaigning for the 2018 Student Government for Executive and Legislative branch positions began on Feb. 5. Earlier, SG officers tried to attract students to run for open positions, and finally two full tickets were registered by the deadline. But by Feb. 3, two of the three members of one ticket opted not to campaign, effectively taking themselves out of the running. As of Wednesday morning, there is one full ticket running for president, vice president and treasurer and one solo candidate for vice president.

Voting is open Feb. 12 to 14 on, and results will be announced at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Lakeside Patio.

But, until then, The Miami Hurricane alongside the Pen and Sword Society will be moderating the Executive Ticket Debate at 7:30 p.m. tonight on the Lakeside Patio Stage.

Here’s what you need to know about the candidates:

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Rafael Cariello, Evan De Joya, Catherine De Freitas of the “U First” ticket. Photo credit: Tommy Fletcher

U First

The “U First” ticket is team of three juniors vying for positions in the Executive Branch of UM’s SG. According to each candidate, their strengths are the many different perspectives they bring to the table as well as experience within and outside of SG. Evan de Joya, running for president, said the campaign’s ticket’s name, U First, has many meanings including the candidates’ commitment to putting the university first as well as the students.

“We want to create a platform and initatives, and we feel that we have, that encompasses all different communities of students on campus. Whether it’s commuters, freshman or transfers, we really feel that there’s something in our platform that they can identify with and support,” De Joya said.


President: Evan De Joya

Year: Junior

Major: Biology and geography

Experience: Freshman Leadership Council, Academic Liaison Council, Director of Academic Affairs for Student Government, student representative on faculty senate



Vice President: Catherine De Freitas

Year: Junior

Major: Marketing

Experience: Freshman Leadership Council, Leadership Development Coordinator for FLC, Teacher’s Assistant in the Business School, Sisterhood programer in Delta Gamma Fraternity, Greek Week Executive Board


Rafael Cariello

Year: Junior

Major: Economics and finance

Experience: Vice Chair External on Category 5, Vice President to the Association of Commuter Students, commuter senator in Student Government Senate, Vice Chair of the Public Relations Committee, Orientation leader, Homecoming Executive Committee

Seven-Point Concept-Based Platform

U First created a seven-point concept-based platform that are seven “core concepts” that will work as a “framework for what U First would like to accomplish during the 2018-2019 academic year. Underneath each category, there are specific initiates. De Joya said, as opposed to tickets that have run in the past, they opted to steer away from a single list of initiatives because it would not “fully convey” what U First’s vision is for the university. Here are some of U First’s specific initiatives under their framework:

  • An Accessible Campus

Uber and Lyft have become large parts of the student body’s life with many preferring to pay for a ride than to take the university’s free shuttles to off-campus locations such as The Shops at Sunset Place. U First plans to work with the Office of Parking and Transportation to subsidize the rides by reallocating the money used for the shuttles routes to Uber and Lyft rides originating from campus. The Unlimited ticket had a similar initiative on their platform last year.

  • A Safe College Experience

The Hurricanes football team kicked off their season with a new team. Hard Rock Stadium welcomed a new tailgate zone to its lots called the Fan Zone, that provides students with shade, water, food, picnic tables and real bathrooms. However, U First is looking to “revamp” the game day experience by marketing the zone as a resource rather than a replacement to tailgating, according to Cariello.

  • An Approachable and Transparent Student Government

Student Government is a major force on campus with hundreds of UM students involved in some capacity. U First is looking to make SG reach even further to pockets of students that aren’t usually involved. If elected, U First is looking to create monthly progress reports and release them on various online platforms so students know what they’re up to month by month.

For more information and a full list of initiatives, visit

We Got You

The ticket, originally composed of Matt Wenstrom, Nishan Ravichandran and Ashlyn Coleman, became a one-candidate ticket over the weekend. Wenstrom, running for president, and Coleman, for the position of treasurer, indicated to Elections Commission Chairman Luis Goberna on Feb. 2 that they wanted to withdraw from the election.

Because both individuals indicated they wanted to drop after the deadline, the elections commission shot down their request unanimously 8-0. Therefore, each candidates’ name will still remain on the ballot.

Wenstrom, a junior, said as time went on he realized he wasn’t “the right person for the job,” despite initially feeling it was something he wanted to do.

Wenstrom and Coleman will not be participating in campaign events. Coleman declined an interview with The Miami Hurricane. Though Ravichandran, vying for the position of vice president, said he’s still interested in participating in scheduled campaign events, he has not attended any so far, according to Goberna. The Miami Hurricane reached out to Ravichandran for an interview on multiple occasions but did not receive a response.

Ravichandran has not confirmed he will be attending the debate tonight.