ANNELISE GILBERT ’17
Voting for the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Fall election came to a close Sept. 22 at 6 p.m., and results were announced the afternoon of Sept. 23. The Tripod spoke with Student Government President Ryan Miller ’17 to discuss the results and his hopes for the year.
Miller stated that this election was one of SGA’s mosts exciting yet. “Records from the Office of Student Activities, Involvement, & Leadership (SAIL) mark the election this fall as SGA’s most competitive election in recent years. We had contested races across the board, campaign posters scattered around campus, candidate events in dorm common rooms, and ultimately had a higher turnout rate across all class years,” said Miller.
He said that the increase in participation might be due to SGA’s efforts to be more visible and to relax election policies. Miller explained, “I believe that this change is in large part due to SGA’s stronger presence on campus and easing of the election policies. This year SGA had a strong presence among First Year activities – as SGA President I addressed First Years and families as the student speaker at both the Convocation and Matriculation ceremonies. Further, SGA has had a growing vocal presence in administrative committees like the Bicentennial Strategic Planning Commission, the Academic Affairs Committee, and the Planning and Budget Committee. Last Spring, we had a joint town hall meeting with President Joanne Berger-Sweeney and Secretary of the Faculty Kathleen Kete. In terms of election changes – this semester, we opened the election portal for 48 hours versus the 24 hour window we’ve held in the past. Also, we encouraged campaigning for all positions and SGA even printed up to 20 campaign flyers for each candidate if they had emailed it to us prior to the election window. It was incredibly exciting to hear so many people across all class years being engaged and involved in the campaigns.”
As for his aspirations for newly elected officials, Miller said “It is my hope that the recently elected SGA officials hit the ground running as a voice between the school administration, SGA, and their classmates. Trinity offers so many opportunities for students to use their voice for positive change and I want the new senators to use that voice in new ways. We are encouraging students to ask questions, explore collaboration with on-campus resources, and provide programming specific to their classes that will benefit all students in the community. You don’t have to venture far down the Long Walk to realize that Trinity students are bold thinkers with great ideas – if the new senators can work with their classmates to highlight and open a dialogue on new opportunities for us to grow as a residential liberal arts college, the SGA will succeed in its goals for the year.”
The senior class officers are considered by some to have to most responsibility of class officers since their duties include planning and organizing notable events such as Senior Snowball and Senior Week. When asked about the senior class officers and their roles Miller said, “I could not be more excited for the senior class officers. There’s a mix of returning and new senators, so we’ll have new perspectives on the programs for the class of 2017. We had our first introductory meeting Sunday evening and I am incredibly confident in the seniors on Student Government. Those elected have established themselves among their classmates as leaders in the community with recognizable energy and positive outlook the year. Returning senator Nicole Stauffer ’17 has been an SGA class representative for three years now, actively contributing to senate discussion. Her familiarity with SGA procedures and amicable presence on campus will have a huge impact on the work we have planned for this year.”
Commenting on SGA’s long-term goals Miller expressed hopes of bringing the Trinity community together by saying, “One of the driving goals for this year is to work with the greater Trinity community to highlight the many paths students take while at Trinity. First year students through graduating seniors may take classes across departments, join organizations and teams, discover new hobbies, work on research with faculty, intern here in Hartford or study abroad, and participate in community service. We’re at a unique time at Trinity as we approach the schools Bicentennial – the decisions and changes we make as a community won’t just affect us at the college now but could absolutely have a positive influence on the learning and development of future Bantams.”
To increase SGA’s accessibility, Miller encourages students to reach out to their class officers or send questions and ideas to me at SGApresident@trincoll.edu.
To see official election results, go to http://calendar.trincoll.edu/
ANNELISE GILBERT ’17