This past week, students had opportunities on both Thursday, Sept 18 and Friday, Sept. 19 to vote online or at Case Desk, the Dining Hall or Thursday night's Rock the Vote Student Band Showcase at Falstaff's. Even with these opportunities to vote, the turnout in this election was small with only 605 students participating. While this is significantly less than half the student body, it surpasses both turnouts from last year. Last year’s fall election had a voter turnout of 507 students and the spring election had 560 voters.
The low voter turnout was foreshadowed by the prior night’s election speech, which also had a small turnout despite the event’s enticing announcement that Plum Dandy Cookies&Milk was to be served.
During the election speech, the candidates were questioned about their running. These questions included more practical issues regarding their qualifications and goals for the future, as well as some less serious questions like, “if you had one dollar to spend on something for your class what would it be?”
The student candidates sought eight different positions. However, there were many more open positions available. , “Not all of the positions were filled because we have a lot of positions, and we very intentionally allow people to get involved throughout the year,” SGA President Addison Bennett '16 said.
Only three positions were contested: junior class treasurer freshman class president and vice president for Diversity Affairs—a position on the executive SGA committee.
From the class of 2018, Maddie Hoffman and Themba Shongwe ran for freshman class president, with Shongwe eventually winning.
Posted on SGA’s Facebook page were the candidate platforms and campaign videos. Here, students could learn about and compare the candidates running for contested positions. Shongwe included three primary points on his platform posters, the first of which was “making SGA relevant to freshman.” His competitor, Hoffman, had different goals in mind. Among her goals was “to unify the campus as a whole.”
“We don’t want to shut the door on people joining SGA in September,” Bennett said. For those of who missed the boat on elections and want to get involved, there is ample time and space.
The student government would “love for more people to join Senate, a committee, or their class council, and luckily we have the open seats for people to join through willingness to serve,” Bennett said. To apply for a position through willingness to serve, students should go to the SGA site.
Below is a complete list of the Fall 2014 elected SGA officials:
First Year Class President: Themba Shongwe
First Year Class Secretary: Rachael Thomeer
First Year Class Treasurer: Alyssa Bueno
First Year Class Vice-President: Tayler Salvatore
First Year Senator: Kalika Likhi and Olivia Golden
Junior Class Treasurer: Ramsey Daniels
Sustainability Senator: Lauren Scauzzo '15
Vice President for Diversity Affairs: Sibo Gama '15