SGA election results end with a shift in officers for next year

The Lion’s Roar / Ian Fischer
Senior political science major Erin Fernandez was elected president of the Student Government Association for the 2016-2017 year while standing in the Student Union Mall crosswalk. Friends embrace Fernandez as she celebrates the news.

Just before Spring Break, the Student Government Association election polls closed resulting in a new constitution and new leadership including President-Elect and senior political science major Erin Fernandez. 

At 5 p.m. on the Thursday evening before Spring Break, the SGA election polls closed. At 5:30 p.m. the Office of Student Engagement Administrative Assistant Alice Peltier announced the results to the candidates and supporters from the Student Union Mall’s crosswalk. Sophomore kinesiology major Gabrielle Reynolds won Vice President and sophomore political science major Caleb Kerstens won Chief Justice.  

Fernandez won 43.40% of the vote. Fernandez said she was still processing the victory shortly after she heard the results and commented on SGA Senator and sophomore political science major Seth Leto’s campaign. 

“I know that Seth ran a great campaign and I feel like we were pretty evenly matched,” said Fernandez. 

Leto was optimistic about the results.

“I’m proud of Erin,” said Leto. “I know SGA will be in really good hands.”

Also running for president was incumbent President and senior political science major Alexis Quackenbush.

Fernandez currently serves as Senator and will be made President after the official convocation along with the newly elected candidates. Top items on her 2016-2017 SGA Presidential Platform included transparency, an increased presence on social media and student engagement with the SGA. 

Reynolds also said she also wants to increase the SGA presence. 

“I’ve been campaigning so hard this week and I’ve heard a lot from the student body,” said Reynolds. “I feel like SGA can make a big difference and become more prominent throughout Southeastern.”

Fernandez also plans to address student parking which is something Kerstens supports.

Kerstens said he wants to increase the parking and would like to see the Administration create a plan to build a parking garage within the next five years.

“We’re trying to help with the parking around here,” said Kerstens.

The new Constitution of the Student Government Association achieved 87.90% of the vote with a for of 741 and against of 102 votes. It changed various aspects of student government and the SGA posted a copy on the university website. 

Among  the changes, the new SGA Constitution requires the Senate to approve members of the presidential Cabinet. The last constitution which the SGA ratified in 2010, did not contain a similar requirement. 

The President of the University has authority to modify any part of the SGA constitution. 

The new Senate Canidates were also mentioned at Thursday's event. 

Sitting in the College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences is Neil Bourgeois, Cedric Dent and Brittany Calecas. New candidates in the College of Nursing and Health Studies is Savannah Joseph, Kate Brown and Lacey Medeiros. For the College of Business, the new canidates are Kelsey Johnson and Raymond Paul. For the College of Education and Human Development Richard O'Connell took up canidicy. New canidates for the College of Science and Technology are Richard Davis Jr., Daniel Cuevas and Aabishkar Timalsina. 


Editor's Note 04/12/2016:  This story has been corrected to provide all new Senete Candidates.