By Erica Quinones
Editor in Chief
The Class of 2025 elected their class officers on Tuesday, Sept. 28, selecting freshmen Stephen Hooks, Justus Williams, Noah Gentry, and Joey Bonacci as class president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary, respectively.
Candidates included freshmen Mirranda Forney and Hooks for president; Alaina Ochoa and Williams for vice president; Gentry running unopposed for treasurer; and Blaine Hibbert and Bonacci for secretary.
A candidate meet-and-greet was hosted on Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. for freshmen, according to the Sept. 21 Student Government Association Minutes.
Voting occurred on the following Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Campus Groups with 112 of about 270 freshmen voting, approximating a 41.48% voter turnout rate, according to SGA Parliamentarian and sophomore Natalie Wisnoski.
The presidential race saw Forney and Hooks challenging each other on platforms that emphasized student experience on campus.
Forney said she decided to run because she wanted to “make our voices heard on the campus, and make sure that what’s happening also aligns with what we want to happen, and that we just don’t get pushed over for the upperclassmen.”
Forney’s platform emphasized concerns such as improving living conditions with water filters in residential halls and addressing technical difficulties such as Wi-Fi and printing problems.
Hooks said he did not arrive at Washington College with the intent of running for class officer.
After joining SGA Senate, he saw how the executive board ran and the amount of influence that class boards had on the College. After witnessing their operations, Hooks said he became eager to get on the ballot.
“It’s just not something I’m used to seeing, just students actually being involved in big decision making. So, I was definitely attracted to that,” Hooks said.
While Hooks said his position as president of the Class of 2025 is unique because freshmen only know each other for five weeks before they’re expected to elect a trusted leader, this challenge made the election “the most rewarding one I’ve ever been part of.”
Hooks ran on a platform that emphasized concerns he heard from fellow students, such as addressing the condition of residential halls and what he called a “disconnect” between Public Safety and students.
He said that he plans to address these issues by being the bridge between students and administration, faculty, and staff. He hopes to do so by opening communication between parties: addressing rumors and misinformation while increasing transparency.
“Communication is key to everything that Student Government does on campus. I’ve already seen with Senate that — as open as we are, as welcoming as Senate is — there’s still a disconnect between students and the senators themselves … so, I think we really need to explore different ways to communicate, because obviously it’s being overlooked somewhere,” Hooks said.
Bonacci also focused his platform for class secretary on communication.
According to Bonacci, he decided to run for class secretary because he wants to help his class, believes that providing people with the information needed to formulate opinions is important, and “thought it was something I could do, and I can manage.”
“I’m all about finding what you think you can do and doing it,” Bonacci said.
Because the secretary position focuses on communicating information to students, Bonacci said he wanted to facilitate that transfer of knowledge to students, both in the more generalized sense of what the Class of 2025 needs to know, and what individual students need to know in order to cultivate their ideas.
“I think I said in my campaign, ‘flag me down, come up, jump up behind me, like just come right up to me and ask me questions, and I’ll get you the answers,’” Bonacci said. “What do you need to know and let me help you find that.”
Gentry introduced a class treasurer platform that emphasized providing students with a quality educational and recreational life through fiscal responsibility.
According to Gentry, he decided to run for class treasurer because he enjoys “controlling money in the sense that I feel like there’s a lot of fiscal irresponsibility that exists in terms of how budgets are managed.”
As such, Gentry hopes to bring a sense of fiscal responsibility to student budgets, assuring that money is allocated toward appropriate items without being wasteful.
In guarding this responsibility, Gentry said he wants to ensure the Class of 2025 has enough money to accomplish their large-scale endeavors in a way that is sustainable.
“This school is a very expensive school to attend, and I want to make sure that we’re really getting an enhanced education experience, and just a student life experience too,” Gentry said.
Photos by Lorna Cunnings