By Sophie Foster
On Monday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m., Washington College’s Student Government Association held elections for its cabinet, a new subgroup of the SGA in which individuals campaign and are elected to represent a specific group or issue on campus.
According to SGA Parliamentarian senior Maegan White in previous Elm coverage, the cabinet positions, which may be different each year, were established based on feedback received from the campus community about issues in need of more direct addressing.
“We recognized that there were other areas of concern that needed more attention from student leaders who could dedicate more of their time to [a] sole issue,” White said.
There were four of such positions created for this academic year: Americans with Disabilities Act Chair, Dining Services Chair, Facilities Liaison, and, returning following the success of its implementation last year, Public Safety Liaison.
The elections for these positions were opened by Speaker of the Senate senior Nick Splendoria, who introduced each position and the candidates nominated for them.
According to Splendoria’s introduction, each role will constitute looking deeply into an issue on campus, meeting with departments and individuals at the College with the potential to make necessary changes, and evaluating students’ needs and interests in their area of focus.
Each candidate was given the opportunity to accept their nomination, then deliver an opening statement outlining their ideas, their goals, and their connections to the role at hand. After the delivery of these openings, time was extended to those present at the senate meeting to present questions to the candidates to better understand their lines of thinking, before they moved forward with their closing statements.
Once each position and the potential candidates were showcased and senators were given time to evaluate their arguments, each voting member present filled out an anonymous ballot with their selections, and senate broke to count the votes and deliberate.
This year’s cabinet will be composed of freshman Kyaran Balin-Brooks as Public Safety Liaison, junior Grace Apostol as ADA Chair, junior Keira Anderson as Dining Services Chair, and junior Sam Mobley as Facilities Liaison.
According to Balin-Brooks, the priority for each of them should be “to address student concerns on campus,” be it through survey or the acquisition of direct, conversational feedback. “I want there to be a lot of transparency,” she said.
Balin-Brooks, who will now meet biweekly with Public Safety, said that her position in particular was unique, as the only one of the four with a past at the College, but that she’s confident the transition over to her will be done smoothly and effectively.
“I have a great mentor,” Balin-Brooks said, adding that Secretary of Service and Community Relations and former Public Safety Liaison sophomore Stephen Hook is going to fill her in on everything she needs to know about the role.
In general, the new cabinet will be focused going forward on “keeping in touch regularly [and] making sure that [they] can work together to address all the concerns,” Balin-Brooks said.
To remain up to date with the work pursued by the cabinet and SGA on the whole, students can attend senate meetings each Monday at 8 p.m. in Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall.