PRIDE! Kent Nominees

Mariana Silva

PRIDE! Kent will hold its election for board members at 8 p.m. today in the Governance Chambers.

The organization’s board decided to delay the elections until today because last Thursday, when they should have taken place, not enough members showed up at the meeting. Instead of the usual 30-plus members, only 12 were present to vote.

Last Friday, PRIDE! Kent announced the nominees for president, vice president, allies chair and programming director. The board of the organization chooses one nominee for each position among the pool of candidates.


The nominees are Trae Ruscin for president, Amanda Fincham for vice president, Cristina Mazzone for allies chair and Martonyo Caddiell for programming director. The elected president will select the secretary and treasurer positions.

PRIDE! Kent members will then vote yes to agree with the board’s selection or no to disagree or abstain, if they neither agree nor disagree.


Trae Ruscin, senior general studies major – President

Currently PRIDE! Kent’s vice president, Ruscin ran for treasurer in 2008-2009 and for vice president in 2009-2010. He was elected for both.

“I chose to run for President of PRIDE! Kent because I want to see PRIDE! Kent as a group that everyone feels they can come to,” Ruscin said, “not just the LGBTQ students on campus.”

Many of Ruscin plans, if elected, include making of PRIDE! Kent a “member-oriented” organization that interacts more with the LGBTQ and the straight communities on campus as well as with other organizations.

He also said he would like to change the groups policy on election in a way members have more power to decide for the board members.

Amanda Fincham, senior English major – Vice president

This is the first time Fincham has run for a position in the organization’s board.

“I am running this year because I feel that PRIDE! Kent isn’t as fun as it used to be when I first came to Kent,” Fincham said.

Like Ruscin, Fincham wants the make the organization more accessible and interesting to the gay and straight communities and make students aware of what they do.

Fincham said one of the areas she will concentrate her energies will be in the communication between board members, group members and students on campus.

Cristina Mazzone, sophomore public relations and international relations major

Although Mazzone has served as ally chair this semester, this will be the first time she officially runs for a position.

She said she decided to apply for the position because she wants to become more involved with the organization next year and because she wants to bring PRIDE! Kent closer to other organizations.

“I really want to make PRIDE! Kent more open to other groups on campus and make PRIDE! Kent more diverse,” Mazzone said. “Let it be known that it isn’t just an organization for the LGBT community. Everyone is welcome. I would like to see more allies coming to the meetings and being involved next year.”

Martonyo Caddiell, sophomore organismal biology major

Currently the communication chair of the executive committee for PRIDE! Kent, Caddiell has been involved with the organization since his freshman year.

“I wanted to run so I could give back to the LGBT community,” Caddiell said. “I feel like this is my family, so what better way to serve them.”

Caddiell said he wants to create “a better sense of the community” for the LGBT students on campus. He said that if elected, he will concentrate on expanding awareness, attendance, community building and new programs.

Contact diversity reporter Mariana Silva at [email protected].