Written by David Hall
In an online election, 441 students cast votes for positions that varies from class representatives to an executive board consisting of a president, vice president, secretary, and a treasurer. Sophomore Olivia Kitt came out with a resounding win for President, carrying 67% of the vote to beat second place Crista Waterwiese who polled just under 25%.
Other winners include Owen Gold as Vice President, Yipeng Wang who will be Treasurer for the second year running, Crista Waterwiese with a narrow win for Attorney General, and Mone Akindale as secretary.
This years turnout, which amounts to 22% of the student body, is notably lower than last years which pulled around 30% in a contested runoff election for president. The candidates have little more platform to run on than a short paragraph shown to voters right before voting in addition to whatever visual and grassroots campaigning the individual candidates can muster. In a statement echoing words of stronger connections between SGA and those it serves, Kitt boils down her message.
“Due to my experiences, I have uncovered my motto as a Roanoke College student: Service to Students, Campus, and Community,” says Kitt in a statement. Kitt details each of those goals in the following sentences where she aspires for a government more connected to the student body as well as the greater Roanoke College community at large.
We prompted a few members of the new exec board with the same question: What do you believe is your greatest obstacle in the coming year and how do you intend on addressing it?
Olivia Kitt, President
Over the last year and half, I have had the opportunity to serve in SGA both as a Senator and Secretary. Serving in these two positions has given me the opportunity to see SGA through different lenses. One thing I started to notice after being on Exec was the amount of people that were unaware of what people were involved and what the duties are of the Student Government. This is an obstacle that I hope to fix with the incoming Executive board this upcoming semester. I plan to create more avenues for students to be involved in SGA whether that be through forums, surveys, committees, or other events. This will allow us to see what the student body wants implemented and in what ways we can fulfill those ideas. They will also be able to keep up with the Student Government’s implementation of these plans through the website and social media. Overall, it is my hope that we increase student engagement in SGA and create change that will enhance our community.
Owen Gold, Vice President
“I believe that the greatest issues facing myself and the 2018 SGA executive board are the same as always: organization and time management. The art of balancing school life with our roles as executive members while simultaneously respecting the time of Senate members and the student body as a whole can be challenging to say the least. Adapting to the organizational structure of Student Government and learning to manage our time effectively are difficult skills to master within only one short year.”
Christa Waterwiese, Attorney General
“SGA’s greatest obstacle in the next year is increasing student awareness on campus. Most students know we have a SGA, but not necessarily what said group actually does. I hear students talk, that they have no voice in what happens at Roanoke. SGA has the power to be the voice of the students and a beacon to those with a desire to act. And I hope we, as a new Executive Board filled with old and new faces, can work hard to promote the organization we love and bring it to new students. That SGA can become an important part of student’s lives and an organization that students turn towards for help. Leading from behind and lifting every student up.”