By Julia Fuchs
Elm Staff Writer
On Tuesday, March 5, the Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual election. This year’s elected candidates for SGA cabinet are junior Nick Gottemoller, the new president, and junior Caitlyn Creasy, the new vice president.
Current President senior Victoria Cline, looked back on her involvement with SGA.
“I have pretty much been involved in the SGA since day one on campus — so all four years. My first year, I became a senator and served on the Social Life Committee and served as First Year Class Secretary. From there, I became Secretary of Social Life, then Honor Bard Chair, then President,” Cline said.
Cline had goals to completely change SGA’s role on campus.
“I wanted to create a more productive SGA that spoke out about student needs and concerns while also providing more avenues for students to directly communicate their concerns as well,” she said.
This was one of Cline’s biggest goals in running for SGA President, one that she has tried to implement throughout this past year. Students and staff were able to discuss concerns, for example, at the meeting with Dining Hall Director Prince Johnson in late February.
“I think we definitely accomplished this by giving class officers more opportunity to speak with college administration, allowing senators to write and pass their own resolutions, and I worked to gather student feedback to bring to my meetings with President Landgraf, the Board of Visitors and Governors and Student Affairs,” Cline said.
Gottemoller wants to build upon Cline’s platform by bringing in new ideas and goals make the SGA more productive.
Gottemoller started in the SGA in spring 2018 on the Constitutional Review Committee. Gottemoller plans to focus on the student experience, more specifically mental health of students. There are four main goals Gottemoller has in store for his term as President.
“The first is mental health. The mental health of the student body is of the utmost importance. I would like to see the school take a step back and evaluate what things could be done to better meet the mental health needs of the student body,” Gottemoller said.
Another area of the student experience he wishes to improve upon is dining.
“Right now, there are limited options outside of the dining hall and no options after 11 p.m. I am planning on working with dining services to explore ways this could be improved,” Gottemoller said.
Gottemoller also has plans to improve residence hall conditions and get clubs more involved with community service. Gottemoller wants all clubs to be involved with community service, not just organizations dedicated to service, such as Caring for Kids, Habitat for Humanity, and Greek Life.
Vice President elect junior Caitlyn Creasy has a lot of plans to improve the life of clubs on campus. Creasy is an actively involved member of the campus community being the vice president of Habitat for Humanity, the Treasurer of Alpha Chi Omega, a student admissions blogger and member of the Dance Club. Creasy hopes to prevent more clubs from becoming inactive and to encourage more involvement in clubs.
“The biggest goal that I am aiming to achieve is to make clubs more goal-oriented. So, my goal is to make goals. I want to utilize the President’s Council to do that as well as the adviser,” Creasy said.
In order to achieve this goal, Creasy finds it important to make sure club advisers understand their role in the club and have a good understanding in the goal’s members set out.
“I want to help create a more cohesive community, which will be a goal in every position I am in. Since I have more of a say in things with this, I really want students to feel supported in everything they do, and I want their passions to be heard. That creates a more open community, and having students support other students,” Creasy said.
Creasy also wants to celebrate more of the work students do outside of class, and make sure these are conveyed to administration and staff.
“I really want them to recognize the awesome work students are doing outside of classes and work. We all work really hard in our clubs and organizations and on these research projects we are doing. We deserve to have the best experience possible because we are doing such amazing things outside of the classroom,” Creasy said.
All of the elected candidates will begin their terms in the fall 2019 semester. Students are always welcome and encouraged to become SGA senators. Meetings are Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. in Goldstein 100. Students interested in becoming senators can email junior Savannah Masterson, the speaker of the senate.