By Jack Hill
The campaigning is done. The votes have been cast. The ballots counted. Twelve senators were voted into office, four representing their respective class and the remainder representing the various areas on campus. The winner for the North Side seat is Chris Temple. The East Side is represented by Ryan Dill. Pete Johnson, Marissa Lahousse, and Abigail Peters all represent the West Side and Kyle Wolfe, Katie Jensen, and Madison Howard can call themselves senators for the South side.
The Student Government Association (SGA) aims to act as the bridge between the students and the administration. Its purpose is best outlined in the student handbook as an organization to “support the mission of the institution and uphold the college’s standards of honesty, respect, and personal responsibility.”
These new senators are coming from different backgrounds and with different experiences—much like the student body they represent. Some, such as Abigail Peters, chose to run because she wanted to express her school spirit. Others, such as Reed Walter, chose to be senator because it “is such a great way to represent the students and really voice their concerns and questions in a positive manner.” Still others ran to bring their experience in student government to the table.
The newly elected senators face an uphill battle. Roanoke’s SGA has often been accused of opaqueness in their process and lack of clear vision from the leadership. Stories persist of slow and uncommunicative action taken by the body. In fact, it took almost two weeks to get a winners’ list.
But the SGA is not deaf to their critics. They have revamped their Public Relations committee. Both Alex Boone and Reed Walter hope that this year will be a new chapter for the SGA’s PR face. Walter hopes to get word out about what the organization is doing to improve campus life, and Boone is excited to serve on the PR committee.
While hoping to revamp PR and other aspects of the association, the SGA is also hoping to improve campus life with new infinitives. West Side representative hopes to address the lack of a crosswalk across Market Street. Madison Howard, South side representative, said there were plans on somehow integrating Fruitions into the swipe program.
Time will tell if the SGA will be able to overcome their historical issues. With the infusion of such experienced and passionate students, one can only hope.