Eleven percent turnout for SGA Spring Election

FSU students selected the members of the SGA eBoard, senators, class officers and recipients of the Faculty, Staff and Administrator of the Year awards on Wednesday, April 13.

Four hundred and thirty-two votes were cast in this year’s SGA election, according to current SGA President Dan Costello in an email.

He added, “While this may seem like a small number, it was an increase of 61 voters from the last spring election despite fewer contested races that typically drive voter turnout. Also, the American Student Government Association puts the national average of SGA Elections nationwide at 4 percent. Overall, it was an impressive turnout, and I was excited to see more students active and engaged in our election process compared to the past few years.”

The following students were elected to the SGA eBoard for the 2016-17 academic year:

President Ezequiel De Leon,
a junior

Vice President Patrick O’Connor, a sophomore

Secretary Dayna Marchant,
a sophomore

Student Activities Treasurer
Sarah Horwitz, a sophomore

Class and Club Treasurer
Maddie Alper, a junior

Social Events Coordinator
JT Manozzi, a junior

The Student Trustee is sophomore Karl Bryan. This position is no longer considered a part of the SGA eBoard, but will still report to the senate and eBoard weekly, according to SGA’s Constitution.

The ballot for eBoard positions was uncontested, except for the position of student activities treasurer, won by Horwitz over sophomore Bridget Green by nine votes.

Secretary for the Class of 2018 was won by Dayna Marchant, who also won the position of SGA secretary, over incumbent Alexandra Brower by 41 votes.

Jennifer Noel won the position of vice president for the Class of 2019 as a write-in candidate.

De Leon said in an email he is “honored that the Framingham State community has trusted me with this amazing opportunity” of being SGA president.

He added, “When I got the call informing me that I had been elected, I truly felt what being SGA president means. It’s a feeling for which words can do no justice. I look forward to representing and advocating for the entire FSU community in this coming year alongside an incredible eBoard and senate. Greater access and opportunity is my mission, and I hope to make you all proud.”

De Leon also encouraged students to email SGA at sga@framingham.edu with any ideas about how SGA can better serve the FSU community.

Marchant, the incumbent secretary, said in an email she is “excited to have been re-elected as SGA secretary for the 2016-17 academic year.” Her goal is to involve students in SGA by advertising the SGA open forum more.

Horwitz, who was previously the SGA parliamentarian, said in an email she is “more than ecstatic to have been elected,” and she thanks everyone who voted for her. “I look forward to working with the clubs and organizations of FSU, and I look forward to a great year!”

Next year’s vice president, Patrick O’Connor, said in a Facebook post he is “very excited to learn and grow in this new and challenging position. Being a member of this organization has been one of the best experiences of my life and I feel beyond honored to be able to represent such an incredible student body. I look forward to working with a new executive board and the great things we will accomplish next year!”

Referendum Questions

There were three questions on the SGA election ballot.

Question 1 asked whether students should have the right to vote on University governance committees. It passed 397 to 11 votes. Costello said the committees that next year’s president, Ezequiel De Leon, will appoint students to are the All University Committee, Academic Policies Committee, University Curriculum Committee and Student Affairs Committee.

Question 2 asked whether students would want Greek Life to come to FSU. According to Costello, 224 students voted yes and 190 voted no. Of the 224 students, 86 supported a potential fee increase to support Greek Life funds.

Costello said in an email, “The decision on how to use this feedback will ultimately be left to the new Senate. However, based off of this non-binding question and other feedback that I have heard from students, I do not see sufficient student interest in bringing social Greek Life to FSU.”

Question 3 asked how students wanted to spend surplus funds. It received 622 votes for two potential items for SGA to purchase – 273 students voted for a water bottle-filling station and 218 voted for purchasing Adirondack chairs for Larned Beach. Additionally, 69 students voted for purchasing a new digital scale for the Athletic Center, 46 voted for a new Sam the Ram costume and 16 did not support spending any surplus funds.

According to Costello, SGA might not be able to purchase a water bottle-filling station because of factors such as construction projects already in place for the summer.

“Even if we are unable to make this purchase, it is still valuable feedback to consider in the future. There is a strong possibility that we may be able to purchase the Adirondack chairs,” he added.

Faculty, Staff and Administrator of the Year awards

The Cindy Santomassimo Faculty Member and Administrator of the Year awards are given to faculty and administrators who were nominated by students, according to SGA’s bylaws.

FSU President F. Javier Cevallos won the Administrator of the Year Award, and Professor Christopher Bowen of the communication arts department won the Faculty Member of the Year Award.

In an email, Cevallos said, “I am deeply honored by this award, and thankful to the students who selected me. I am also very humbled by it, as I know so many administrators on campus who work so hard for our students and who deserve to be recognized for all they do.”

Bowen said in an email he is “simultaneously stunned, surprised and extremely appreciative. Receiving this award from the SGA and the greater FSU student body is especially significant for me because the highlight of each day is getting to work with and among so many wonderful FSU students. This truly is an unexpected honor and I thank everyone involved.”

ISO for the Security Division Carl Bergstrom won the Karen A. McCarthy Support Staff of the Year Award. According to SGA’s bylaws, this award is given “to a member of the staff who represents outstanding dedication and exceptional care in diversifying and supporting the social and academic life of the students of Framingham State University.”

He said, “I’m very appreciative. I’m very happy to work with a number of students on campus and I’m glad that I’ve had an effect on people and people kind of see the work I do behind the scenes. It’s very humbling. I’m kind of surprised at the same time. … I’m very happy to see people understand that there’s a lot of work to go on and during my rounds and everything like that. So I’m very happy that happened, and very proud.”