This semester’s elections, with extremely close votes from nearly 500 people, have resulted in juniors Andrew Reighart and Becky White as the 2012-2013 Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President, respectively.
Running against them were sophomores Shelby Perkins and Thor Petersen. In addition to the newly elected SGA President and Vice President, junior Tiko Mason won the election for SGA Treasurer; Serra Erbas won the election to become the Caroline Senator; and Terrence Thrweatt, Kevin Schwarz, and Jonathan Holtzman won the elections for senators-at-large. No senator has been elected for Queen Anne.
When asked about their plans for the college next year, White said that Reighart’s and her own goals include “continuing discussions on the living wage campaign to ensure that St. Mary’s is a model of both a socially just and economically sustainable institution. Another [goal] would be improving visibility of the Green St. Mary’s Revolving Loan Fun (GSMRF) around campus, as well as continuing to seek out and construct green projects. And a third might be reconstructing the SGA budget, permanently housing certain student initiatives as budget items while ensuring that we continue to support the remainder of student clubs and activities.”
Reighart added to White’s points by saying, “[We] would like to, among other things, eliminate styrofoam to-go boxes in the Great Room [and] finalize and implement a gender neutral housing policy.”
Reighart and White have also expressed concerns about the student body, saying that while they have plans for next year, they want to encourage the study body to interject and help shape the agenda.
In addition to this semester’s elections, the SGA has made changes to the Constitution for the first time in several years. The new constitution states that if a student decides to run for President, he or she must be on campus the semester before they would take office, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) representative is no longer on the SGA senate.
On the new constitution, White and Reighart generally have spoken their approval, though Reighart said, “I do not want to see the MHEC position removed from the SGA Executive Board and I am opposed to the elimination of the minimum voting threshold, which currently requires at least one-third of the student body’s participation for a constitutional change to be formalized.”
The minimum threshold, however, has yet to be met in terms of passing the new constitution, and White said that she and Reighart “would be willing pursue another campaign to pass it next year.”