By Lori Wysong
Elm Staff Writer
The results are in from last week’s Student Government Association elections. The 2018-19 Washington College SGA president and vice president are junior Victoria Cline and sophomore Savannah Masterson, respectively.
Cline and Masterson were sworn into office at the SGA meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27, and have begun the process of transitioning into their new duties.
When Cline found out she had won the presidency, she said she felt “absolutely blessed and thankful” for the opportunity to serve WC students.
Masterson was in a meeting when the email announcement came out that she had won the vice presidency.
“I was so nervous that I had my friend read it and then tell me what the email said,” she said.
Masterson said that her time serving as Chair of the Organizations Committee was a learning experience that will be useful in her new role.
“Learning about the committee and how it works is an important part of being vice president because you are the first person students go to with their ideas,” she said.
“I’m incredibly excited for Victoria and Savannah on their winning the SGA presidential and vice presidential elections,” said 2017-18 SGA President May Kiros, senior. “Victoria is no stranger to the SGA. She has nearly three years of experience under her belt, and that combined with Savannah’s fresh ideas and perspective is sure to propel the SGA forward to enact productive and meaningful changes on campus. I wish them the best in their newly elected positions, and I’m anticipating a very smooth transition.”
Working with SGA has been a bonus for President Kurt Landgraf, too, he said.
“Working with the SGA is part of my job. I try to go to every SGA meeting because I learn things; I learn what they’re doing. The SGA keeps me connected,” he said. “May has been extraordinary … [she has been] strong in representing what the students need from the College.”
Landgraf is looking forward to working with the new executive board, he said.
Cline, who has served in various branches of the SGA throughout her time at WC, said these positions have prepared her to enact her goals for the SGA.
“My experiences have also let me already establish relationships with College administration that will allow me to get right to work on following through with my platform initiatives,” she said.
One of Cline’s goals during her term in office is to connect WC students to the local community. She hopes to work with Chestertown mayor Chris Cerino to establish service and mentorship partnerships between students and Chestertown citizens.
“I want to have a ‘Welcome Back to WAC’ in downtown with local leaders and business owners for a fun celebration, as well as a networking opportunity to expose students to all our community has to offer,” she said.
Masterson expects to incorporate mentorship into next year’s Launchpad program. She said she wants to bring WC alumni back to campus to talk about their experiences after graduation.
To further improve Launchpad, Masterson wants to get student feedback.
“Something I want to try is sending out a survey to students who have gone to Launchpad. I want to see what they liked about the program, what worked [and] what didn’t,” she said.
Part of Masterson’s campaign platform involved getting feedback from within the SGA as well. She plans to establish continuity between the projects of current and former secretaries, and to talk with them one-on-one about what they want their committees to achieve.
Masterson plans to continue working on the manual started by the previous vice president, sophomore Brandon Gross.
“This will be a huge help for all clubs and special interest groups on campus. It is also a great tool for me to use to help the organizations on campus with any events they might have,” Masterson said.
Cline also emphasized reaching out to WC’s over 80 campus clubs for input during her campaign. She wants a more transparent budget process for the SGA.
“My proposed improvements to the budget process will work to educate student leaders more about the budget guidelines, and take a more individualized approach to funding clubs who have large scale events on campus,” she said.
Cline, who lived in the jungle of South America for four years in her childhood, also wants to use SGA involvement to improve the orientation experience for international students.
“I plan to increase SGA presence in International Student Orientation, and I already have meetings set up to decide exactly what that can look like,” she said.
To carry out the Mental Health initiative that was part of her platform, Cline said she plans to work with members of the Substance Abuse Education Task Force and analyze research and approaches from other institutions.
“I believe I can be a real catalyst for positive change, and I want to amplify all student voices on our campus to truly make a lasting difference for future WC students,” Cline said.