A fter two hours of counting over 250 ballots, the doors to the Student Senate office opened, and the election committee was released from deliberations. At one point during the counting, the votes for presidential candidates were tied at 99 votes apiece, but the final count gave Jojo Buss ‘14 a margin of victory of 13 votes.
Current Student Body President Asad Sohail ’13 summarized the Student Senate year 2012-2013: “One of my goals was to have a Senate that represented both the majority and the minority of the groups on campus and that’s what happened. I am happy about my team this year, and I am satisfied overall. Even though there are things that could have been different, we learn from our mistakes.”
Crucial positions in the Student Senate include members of the executive board, which are president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
Although in the April 12 election, the position of secretary was not filled, the new president of the student body will be in charge of appointing a secretary in the next semester, otherwise the records, proposals, and minutes of all the meetings will be missing in action.
In the role of Student Body President, Buss will be the chair of the Senate and required to enforce the regulations of the Student Government Association (SGA) Constitution. An interesting fact about the president is that they are not allowed to vote in meetings, unless their vote would break a tie.
“It was a good feeling knowing that all the work that I have done has been recognized, and it felt good to know that I have the people’s support,” Buss commented after hearing the results.
In regards to the campaign, which she called “intense,” Buss stated that she gives her respect to opponent Cleopass Nakoma ‘14.
“I know that I will work closely with him and he will have ties to the student body, too,” she explained.
Future Vice President Antoine Lucic ’16 will be the right-hand man to the first female president in at least five years. After serving as freshman representative this year, the skills he learned will transfer to his new role of chair of the Judicial Board.
“I’m going to continue to be available to all students, and do my duties always with an optimistic energy,” Lucic said.
Continuing as the SGA Treasurer Michael Magnotta ’14 is in charge of keeping track of all Student Senate funds and managing the financial records for Club Assembly and contingency budget. Magnotta also heads the Student Financial Committee, despite double majoring in History Education and REED.
Other unfilled positions in Student Senate are director of IT, Killington rep, and commuter rep. Of the open positions, Lucic noted, “I think it’s a lack of knowing what the Student Senate does. With better advertising, people will be able to know what positions are open and it will generate higher interest.”
To tackle this, Buss suggested including Student Senators as orientation leaders to improve the first-year student orientation experience.
“Right now, Student Senate is an unknown territory for incoming freshman, so I want to hit them over their heads with what Senate is,” she stated jokingly.
The team for 2013-2014 so far includes Nicholas McEachern as senior rep, Matthias Baudinet as junior rep, Allan Michel Jales Coutinho as sophomore rep, Jude Chisom Erondu as director of civic engagement, Corey Fletcher as director of public relations, Lian Kariuki as director of fundraising, and Meesuka Morelus as director of facilities. This is quite a diverse government full of international students.
“We have some big souls here,” Sohail reflected. “But they must be a team; they must be united. I want Student Senate to stand up for students, to really represent the body, not just the head.”