Tuesday’s SGA elections produced a tie for the secretary position contested by sophomore Megan Fuller and freshman Kaylee Brazell.
Current SGA President Larry Liuzzo explained that their constitution says in the case of a tie, there will be a meeting where members of both the standing senate and the newly elected senate will cast their votes after each candidate states her case. It won’t be considered an official senate meeting in order to allow the newly elected senators to cast their votes.
The new senate members, Liuzzo explained, don’t have voting powers yet, but because the issue being voted on is an internal matter, “They’re able to vote in the person that they think would best serve the position.”
Brazell said the tie surprised her, but “taught me the lesson to expect the unexpected.”
She added, “If elected, I want to make our student government atmosphere always positive.”
Fuller said she was also surprised, but that she was “honored that as many people voted for me as they did. … I also want to get more involved with campus happenings, learn more of what keeps SGA and events running and to represent the student body.”
“About 250” students voted, which is fewer than hoped, according to Liuzzo. He added the low voter turnout may be attributable to the fact that many of the candidates were unopposed.
Only three positions, in fact, were contested, which were social events coordinator, which was won by sophomore Sarah Cowdell; student trustee, which was won by sophomore Brandon Martinez; and secretary, for which Fuller and Brazell each received 114 votes.
Four SGA e-Board positions were uncontested, including president, which was won by junior Kendall Valente; vice president, to which sophomore Dan Costello was re-elected; class and club treasurer, which was won by junior Kaylan Gibbons; and SATF treasurer, to which junior Cassandra Zullo was re-elected.
Liuzzo said he thinks Valente will be able to bring “a wide variety of other areas of campus that she’s been involved with” to SGA next year and help “senators get to know a little more about campus in general and what goes on behind the scenes in other parts of how other departments and offices work.”
While Valente hasn’t served on SGA before, she said, “I think that’s actually a really positive thing that I can bring something new to the table.”
She added that she was approached with the idea, “and it was something I thought a lot about for several months and something that I talked out with people.”
She said she is more excited than nervous about working with both returning and new senate members.
Costello said he came into his role last year without being “heavily involved” with SGA before, bringing a different perspective to the organization, similar to the way Valente will next year.
He said when he heard of her interest in running for president, he was “absolutely on board … because Kendall is very involved on campus. She is someone who knows the club perspective. She’s been a club president.”
He added that the race was “clean,” meaning everyone was very polite and respectful while campaigning.
Costello said that in his role as vice president next year, he’s looking forward to improving communication on campus among SGA, administration and the student body. “We should be easily accessible. Maybe not every student wants to come and let us know, ‘I don’t like this, this and that,’ but the information should be right there for every student if they want it.”
Sophomore Brandon Martinez was elected student trustee in his race against sophomore Ben Martin. He said while campaigning was a challenge, “I just wanted the opportunity and honor to represent those people [students] at the Board of Trustee meetings.”
He added, “My main goal as student trustee is to allow the students on campus feel like their voice has been heard.”
Cowdell, who won the position of social events coordinator in her race against freshman Shannon O’Malley. Cowdell said, “I have a passion for instilling the campus with pride for FSU and creating and supporting an inclusive community.”w
Zullo hopes to hold meetings with clubs to assist them in requesting funds more smoothly. Because 12 new clubs formed this year, she said it would be useful to make sure at least someone in each club knows how to request funds correctly.
Newly elected Class and Club Treasurer Gibbons said she thinks the e-Board will “do great things next year.”
She added that she will try to continue the types of fundraisers SGA has done in the past, like musical performances, elaborating on ideas SGA “did this year, and I want to incorporate a few of my own.”
The newly elected class of 2015 president is Valente, the vice president is Carla Mungovan, the treasurer is Zullo and the secretary is Michelle McGonagle.
The newly elected class of 2016 president is Martin, the vice president is Caitlin Murray, the secretary is Cowdell and the treasurer is Carolyn Mase.
Finally, the newly elected class of 2017 president is Mary Nee, the vice president is Tom Fahey, the treasurer is Brazell and the secretary is Michaela Lombardo.
[Editor’s Note: Shannon O’Malley is a staff writer for The Gatepost.]