Student Government Association (SGA) elections began this Friday September 23 and will run through Thursday September 29. Although there have been a plethora of students who have started campaigning, a large amount of positions remain open.
According to SGA President and senior Mark Snyder, 14 Senate seats and a number of open Class Officer positions have yet to have candidates, an issue that “has been worrisome for me since day one,” he said.
Despite initial concerns, however, the elections show a promising turnout. According to Snyder, the SGA has received a high amount of applications as well as inclination of many students to run through write-in campaigns.
For the Class of 2012, those running for class offices include senior Emily Gershon for Vice President, senior Molly Daugherty for Secretary, and senior Laura Bruffey, running for Treasurer.
“My biggest goal on Executive Board will be to ensure the senior class has the most memorable year possible,” Bruffey said. “As Treasurer, I will focus mostly on fundraising so that the entire Class of 2012 can enjoy all of the activities, events, and privileges that all St. Mary’s seniors should have the opportunity to experience.”
The Class of 2013 has only one candidate at the moment, junior Nithin George, running for the position of class Treasurer. The Class of 2014 filled their whole Class Executive Board in last Spring’s elections and are “in really good shape going forward,” said Snyder.
“I’m confident that after elections are held, every position will be filled,” Snyder added.
As for the Class of 2015, first-year Kate Brennan is running for Vice President and there are two candidates vying for the position of Class President, first-years Michelle DiMenna and Terrence Thrweatt.
Thrweatt emphasized the importance of every voice being heard. As president he states he would organize class activities and “partner with the SGA Programs Board to promote/organize events” as well as promote campus diversity and organize study groups with upperclassmen to assist those who need academic help.
“I’d like to bring down the cost of books by holding parties (open to all SMCM students)- that would ask for a voluntary admission fee (a donation).” Thrweatt said. “The donation would go to a “Book Fund”, overseen by the necessary school officials, and would be put towards subsidizing the costs of books for the students with the most financial need.”
DiMenna, also running for president, stated that she plans to “organize get-togethers and activities for the class to promote unity” and create a network for all first -years to be able to express issues or concerns they have about the campus or campus life.
“As 400+ freshman from various places and backgrounds, I think that it is important for us as a whole to have a strong base of friendship to build upon over the next four years,” DiMenna said. “Expanding upon unity, I would like to organize class-wide service activities. This would show the Class of 2015 to be a service oriented class, and in the process people would be able to connect and build friendships”.
Senatorial seats are also competitive, as several students are campaigning for the positions of Dorchester, Caroline, Waring Commons, and Commuter Senator.
“Elections are always tricky,” Snyder said. “There’s a lot that’s just not in our hands since we’re still using BlackBoard. We tried to get it organized a little earlier than in past years, and we’re making sure elections after winter break and spring elections happen a little sooner than usual. SGA is an organization that transcends the entire school; we work closely with students, faculty, administrators, even President Urgo. What’s been forgotten the past few years in the SGA was created to magnify the students’ voice on campus and this year we’re really trying to find ways to remind students of that. And the more people we have who are interested and engaged in the Senate the better, that’s why these elections are so important.”