On Monday, Apr. 19, the results of the Student Government Association (SGA) executive board elections were announced. The 2010-2011 SGA president and vice-president will be juniors Marlena Weiss and Ken Benjes, the treasurer will be junior Matt Smith, and the director of campus programming will be junior Jessica Harvey.
“I was extremely excited when I saw the email from Louis [Ritzinger, SGA Parliamentarian],” said Weiss. “The first thing I did was call my mom, since she had been contacting me throughout the weekend… And then I texted Ken.”
“I was talking to a friend outside Schaefer before class and noticed that I was suddenly getting a lot of texts, which turned out to be congratulations texts,” Benjes said about his finding out about the election results.
Weiss said that initially, she was “somewhat intimidated by the process” because unlike this year, the past couple of SGA presidential tickets have run uncontested. However, Weiss said, “I think that winning a contested election will make us better at our jobs since we have more of a promise to fulfill.
“I am extremely honored and excited that our campus chose us for these important positions,” she said. “My goal for the 2010-2011 year is to follow up on all the ideas I put forth in my platform and always be on the lookout for ways to make St. Mary’s even better than it already is. I plan on staying on campus this summer and will be devoting a large amount of time to SGA and preparing for the upcoming year. I wholeheartedly look forward to working with Ken to lead the campus.”
“As I said in my platform, I plan to fight terrorism on campus,” Benjes added.
Current SGA president senior Justin Perry said that he thought that Weiss and Benjes would do an “amazing job.”
Of Weiss, Perry said that it “sounds like she’s going to continue to place an emphasis on sustainability” and added that her “progressive policies on sexual health,” such as the gender-neutral housing proposal which she spearheaded would have a broad impact on the campus.
“She’s been very involved in the past,” he said.
Perry said that he felt that Benjes would be “incredibly strong” at building openness between between the SGA executive board and the senate. “It feels very divided sometimes,” he said.
Perry also commented on Matt Smith’s election to the office of treasurer. He said that “Matt has been a very vocal leader in the senate for responsible spending,” noting Smith’s role as a “senate leader” this year.
“And he’s awesome,” Perry added.
Junior Colleen O’Neil, the head of the presidential ticket that ran against Benjes and Weiss, said that although she did not win the election, she would still remain active in campus life.
“Of course I am discouraged that my running mate, Hillary [Powell], and I did not win the election but I do think that Marlena and Ken are fully capable of leading our school,” said O’Neil. “I wish them nothing but the best and am excited to see where else in the school I can be involved and invoke change. I love St. Mary’s and its student body and was excited about being SGA president for the sole purpose of giving back and making a lasting change at SMCM.
“I will still be involved and fulfill this purpose in some other manner,” she added.