The best of SGA Speech Night

Posted by Andrew Cantor

On Wednesday evening at the Spa, 21 first year students running in the Student Government Association fall elections were not visibly intimidated by the audience of nearly 100 of their fellow students.

All candidates, including four students running for positions in the classes of 2011 and 2013, gave short speeches outlining their objectives if elected and entertained questions from the audience. With the exception of class of 2014 treasurer, students ran for every first year position, although not every position was contested. The student body voted in the election either online or in Case Center from 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, to noon on Friday.

"I believe this is the first year in a long time that we had a candidate run for every freshman position," said Ali Drucker '11, vice president for Residential Affairs. "It's great to see this type of enthusiasm from the candidates, and I hope it carries into the year. I'm really excited to work with the new first year students."

The candidates, while representing both geographic and ethnic diversity, largely concerned their election platforms on the issues of environmental sustainability, financial austerity and general diversity.

"Environmental sustainability is clearly a hot topic, not just at Skidmore, but globally. It's logical that the freshmen were sensitive to the issue only being at the college for a few weeks," said Alex Stark '11, SGA president.

Several first year candidates mentioned the need for a compost pile with organic material from the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall.

"A lot of students seem to want a compost pile, and I think this is a great idea, especially with all the food wasted in the dining hall," said Brianna Wellen '14, who ran for the positions of Class of 2014 secretary and First Year senator.

Leland Martin '14, also running for the First Year senator position, said a compost pile could supplement the Environmental Action Club-run student garden as a fertilizer.

"It really is a shame how much food is being thrown away in the dining hall, and I see that first-hand having worked there a couple of times," Martin said. "I took a glance at New York composting laws and there doesn't seem to be anything against it."

In acknowledgement of the current tumultuous financial market, Libby Gronquist '11, class president, asked the candidates for their proposals on keeping within a small budget for class events.

"Money is good, but money is not the most important thing. People are. Whether we have one dollar, two, or 2,000, we're gonna make the party happen," said Xavier Hatten '14, running for the position of class president.

"I'm into do-it-yourself stuff, similar to those old fashioned carnival games when you win a prize and kind of get crafty about it," said Lily Jordahi '14, also running for class president. "I think one of Skidmore's best traits is that there are students that are really creative, so I would put those resources to work."

First year candidates also addressed the issue of ethnic diversity.

"I've been in an international school and I really enjoyed being with people from different countries. I speak almost six languages because I like to connect to people," said Tashi Sherpa '14 from Nepal, running for First Year senator.

"I come from Maine which is not that diverse of a place, but I've written a lot about it for courses in high school. And coming from Maine, I see the need for diversity," said Brianna Wellen '14, running for First Year senator and class treasurer.

"Diversity is such a strong issue here because there are so many different types of people," Hatten said. "That's good but a lot of them don't look like me, and everyone should be heard."-

Following speeches from the class of 2014 candidates, students from the classes of 2011 and 2013 ran for various positions, all of them uncontested.


Emilee Bell '13

Emilee Bell '13, running uncontested for the sophomore class president, brings geographic diversity to Skidmore, hailing originally from Washington state and recently moving to Arizona.

Bell ran on the platform of a proposed universal card swipe system, or a policy which would allow students to swipe into any dorm with their campus ID. This past year, Alex Stark '11, now SGA president, originally proposed the idea of all-dorm access for the student body, but the policy never came to fruition.

"It was an all-around difficult measure to pass," Stark said. "There was hesitation on behalf of the administration to allow the campus-wide dorm access, and we had many other things to accomplish in SGA, so we never went through with it."

Along with this proposition, Bell wants to develop a compost pile with waste from the dining hall, an idea echoed in other election speeches.

When asked about her plans for Spring Fling, an event under the management sophomore class, Bell said she wants to feature a more accessible band for performance on that day.

"I'm thinking along the lines of soul and funk, maybe bluegrass," Bell said. "I'll post a survey on Facebook so the student body can make suggestions on who should perform."


 

Eve Lewis '11

This is the second year Eve Lewis '11 is running unopposed for social chair of the 2011 class. Lewis, in continuing her position from this past year, believes in tradition at Skidmore.

"One of my favorite events is the lighting ceremony in December," Lewis said. "I know that might sound corny but I think it's a wonderful way for the Skidmore community together, with the a capella performances… It's really a great thing."

Lewis is also in charge of Senior Week in May, where the seniors participate in a series of social events before they graduate at the end of the week. She emphasized a greater community responsibility during that week.

"It's very important to have our last hoorah as a class, but it is also really important to do that in a way that collaborates with the community," Lewis said. "Perhaps it could be along the lines of a formal ball to raise money for a non-profit group or a community group in Saratoga."

 This is the second year Eve Lewis '11 is running unopposed for social chair of the 2011 class. Lewis, in continuing her position from this past year, believes in tradition at Skidmore.

"One of my favorite events is the lighting ceremony in December," Lewis said. "I know that might sound corny but I think it's a wonderful way for the Skidmore community together, with the a capella performances… It's really a great thing."

Lewis is also in charge of Senior Week in May, where the seniors participate in a series of social events before they graduate at the end of the week. She emphasized a greater community responsibility during that week.

"It's very important to have our last hoorah as a class, but it is also really important to do that in a way that collaborates with the community," Lewis said. "Perhaps it could be along the lines of a formal ball to raise money for a non-profit group or a community group in Saratoga."


 Emmeline Taylor '14

 Although a first year running unopposed for class social chair, Emmeline Taylor '14 has unique ideas for her class' social events. As a member of the first year class, Taylor would be responsible for the February weekend event.

"I was thinking along the lines of an ice cream snowball fight, but that would get dangerous quickly," Taylor said. "Instead I'm proposing a sled decorating competition where dorm floors would compete with their own decorated sled in a race… And of course we'd have hot chocolate."

When asked about a tradition she would bring to Skidmore from her high school, Taylor suggested a "pet day."

"We had a senior pet day, and I'm allergic to a lot of pets so I brought in a hermit crab. I thought maybe we can bring in pet animals on campus," Taylor said.Although a first year running unopposed for class social chair, Emmeline Taylor '14 has unique ideas for her class' social events. As a member of the first year class, Taylor would be responsible for the February weekend event.

"I was thinking along the lines of an ice cream snowball fight, but that would get dangerous quickly," Taylor said. "Instead I'm proposing a sled decorating competition where dorm floors would compete with their own decorated sled in a race… And of course we'd have hot chocolate."

When asked about a tradition she would bring to Skidmore from her high school, Taylor suggested a "pet day."

"We had a senior pet day, and I'm allergic to a lot of pets so I brought in a hermit crab. I thought maybe we can bring in pet animals on campus," Taylor said.


 Katherine Lodge '11

 

 Katherine Lodge '11, running for class secretary, will, along with Lewis, be in charge of Senior Week and other senior events during the year.

Lodge, citing long waiting times at bars, suggested a ticket system at campus events with alcohol where drinks are prepaid on a number of tickets. This would reduce extensive waiting times at the bar, and yield a more social environment.Katherine Lodge '11, running for class secretary, will, along with Lewis, be in charge of Senior Week and other senior events during the year.

Lodge, citing long waiting times at bars, suggested a ticket system at campus events with alcohol where drinks are prepaid on a number of tickets. This would reduce extensive waiting times at the bar, and yield a more social environment.

SGA election results

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