By Sophie Foster
Concluding the Student Government Association’s election period this semester are the class officer elections, which were held on Tuesday, April 25.
According to SGA Parliamentarian freshman Kyaran Balin-Brooks, 14 students from the classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026 submitted class officer petitions this year.
The candidates for class of 2024 offices were juniors Jordan Fairchild and Hunter Ward for president, junior Rodger Ecker for vice president, juniors Silvana Tipson and Griffin Lofft for treasurer, and junior Ketia Kamali for secretary.
The class of 2025’s candidates were sophomore Stephen Hook for president, sophomore Maria Karavasilis for vice president, sophomore Quinlan Kaufmann for treasurer, and sophomore Lila Kenny for secretary.
Meanwhile, those who put their names in for the class of 2026 were freshman Cara Olivarez for president, freshman Keegan Enzor for vice president, freshman Lauren Paules for treasurer, and freshman Erin Helgerman for secretary.
When it comes to the work remaining for the rising seniors of the class of 2024, Lofft believes there is still a need for heightened connectedness and engagement among peers.
“Much of this can probably be attributed to the COVID-19 lockdowns,” Lofft said. “But now, several years later, we really need to double down on our efforts to return to normal.”
To Lofft, it is evident that rising seniors should know about the necessity of deep understandings of the SGA’s structure and the pursuit of effective change.
“I have done everything in my power to resurrect the clubs that I have served and to pursue SGA-wide changes,” Lofft said. “When I have had support, my efforts have paid off…I am confident that…I will be able to carry us to new heights.”
According to Hook, his priorities as class president for the rising juniors next year revolve around serving as spokesperson for his peers that are reflective of their wants and needs as a collective.
“The job is largely an advocacy-based position, so I, along with my fellow class officers, are tasked with representing our class in really important discussions that are happening at the collge right now — such as dining services, residential updates, and curriculum changes,” Hook said.
According to Hook, his graduating class stands at a crucial point in the conversation regarding student contentment and advocacy.
Hook intends to present increasingly engaging events and build student satisfaction for improved retention.
For Hook, the most important factor of the job is ensuring that students understand that he enters into advocacy work with the intention of accurate representation.
“It isn’t helpful for a class officer to only speak on their own experiences as we are often students who are kept in the loop and advantaged because of it,” Hook said. “It is essential that I, and my fellow class officers, connect with our respective classes and understand the true goals of our peers and use that information to motivate our work.”
Kaufmann further emphasized Hook’s passion for engagement and fostering class spirit.
As Vice President of Finance for Kappa Sigma, Kaufmann is experienced in managing budgets and wants to provide as many events as possible for his peers.
Kenny echoed this sentiment about engagement, as well.
In particular, Kenny intends to build up the social media presence of the class of 2025 to better ensure that students are fully informed on crucial updates.
“This is the first time I have ever run for class office and I’m excited to be a part of the SGA,” Kenny said. “I think it’s really valuable to have officers who are representatives of the ‘average student’ and I feel I fill that requirement.”
According to Kenny, her role as secretary is to be the primary point of contact and communication for the members of her graduating class.
“My priorities are to communicate our class goals effectively in advocating for the needs and wants of our class and the wider student body,” Kenny said.
As for the rising sophomores’ perspectives, Helgerman wants her classmates to know she is committed to efficient communication and working toward common goals with administration, as well as fun events for the student body that foster interaction with the Chestertown community at large.
“I would want students to know that I am always available to listen to their comments and concerns, regardless of what it may be,” Helgerman said.
These officers have now officially assumed their positions for the 2023-2024 academic year.