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  • Writer's pictureHANNA BABEK

Student government elections and class committee changes

The Student Government Association (SGA) spring election was held on April 4, with 80 voters deciding the 2023-2024 academic year’s e-board representatives and the class of 2024’s class president.

The Student Government Association (SGA) spring election was held on April 4, with 80 voters deciding the 2023-2024 academic year’s e-board representatives and the class of 2024’s class president.

SGA members at Midnight Breakfast in Fall 2021. With nearly their entire e-board graduating, a wave of underclassmen members are now stepping up into new roles in the organization. Photo courtesy of Mekenzie Barbosa

Next semester there will be an almost entirely new executive board led by President Elect and legal studies and English major Arielle Hornbaker. The only returning member is sophomore Vice President of Student Affairs and elementary education major Sarah Mendes, who was appointed in February.

The remaining executive board members are graduating. Director of Student Activities and Orientation, Thomas Morgan, says “It’s rare having an e-board of all seniors like that. Usually there’s a little bit of a mix between classes so there’s always some continuity but, with the exception of Sarah, they’re all new to the e-board.”

Most of the new e-board members have served on SGA for at least one year and are now stepping up to take on leadership roles. Morgan says SGA continues to grow each year, with there now being six e-board positions after the addition of a Vice President of Communications Affairs position two years ago and the newest addition of a Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion position last semester.

Along with the election came changes to how class committees will operate beginning in the fall semester. Currently, each class has a committee consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

SGA members voted to dismantle the first-year, sophomore, and junior year class committees, causing the senior class to be the only year with a committee. Each year will continue to have a class President who will serve on SGA, but the other roles of the committee will only exist for the senior class.

Morgan says this decision was made for multiple reasons. “It helps to streamline the work that student government does and prevents people from feeling like they have to be involved in a lot of different things when all of them kind of have the same mission.”

He says, “For example, right now, a lot of class committee members are already in SGA. So class committee is just one more meeting that they have to go to, to pretty much talk about the same things.”

Current class of 2024 President and Vice President Elect of Academic Affairs and forensic science major Trevor Lopinsky, says in regard to the change, “I believe it just came out of an understanding that there wasn’t a huge necessity for a committee for each class, a President would suffice for that as well.” Lopinsky says. “To my understanding, there will still be someone sitting as a representative for each class, so it shouldn’t change too much.”

Although the majority of the rising senior’s class committee has not been formed, Mekenzie Barbosa was elected as President. Barbosa was a senator in SGA’s Financial Affairs Committee last academic year, but took a break this year to study abroad last semester.

Barbosa’s goal as President is to make Senior Week more inclusive to the entire student body. She says, “I know there are a lot of people who aren’t 21, so I kind of want to get everyone’s perspective on what they want to do. A lot of people don’t like going out to the club, so I kind of just want to make it inviting for everyone, and more feasible as well.”

Barbosa says, “I’m really excited to get my class back together. Being the class of 2020, we came in during COVID. A lot of us haven’t had prom, we haven’t had a real graduation or even senior events. So I think giving them something that we should have had four years ago is going to be really exciting.”

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