Voter turnout at 6.3 percent for SGA election

(Two students vote at the McCarthy Center voting tables in this year’s SGA elections. Photo by Alexandra Gomes)

FSU students cast their votes for SGA e-Board, senators, class officers and recipients of the Faculty, Staff and Administrator of the Year awards on Tuesday, April 18.

Four-hunded-and-one students voted and the results were counted the next day. This year, SGA changed its constitution to allow graduate student to vote in its election.

Current SGA President Ezequiel De Leon said the constitutional change was made “to better represent the whole campus.”

He added, “Last year, the voter turnout was around 11.3 percent. This year with the grad students, its 6.3 percent. … So without the grad students, it was 9.3 percent.”

According to De Leon, the average American Student Government Association turner turnout for SGA elections across the country is around 10 percent.

He added, “We are right on par with other universities.”

SGA President, Student Trustee and Class and Club Treasurer were all contested.

Junior Kyle Rosa was elected SGA president for the 2017-18 academic year. Rosa was elected over Fallon Soye by 129 votes.

De Leon said, “I think Kyle will do that very well. It’s a unique role and I don’t know what it was like until I got into it. Its sometimes very hard but you have to trust people.”

Rosa said in an email, “It is thrilling to be elected SGA President. I am very involved with the organization and was elected because my passion showed. It is encouraging to know the student body feels that I am a good representative for FSU.”

He added, “I plan to make big changes. We are going to work with the offices on campus to make a more student-friendly environment. There is going to be a push for more diverse programming and funding. Additionally, we are aiming to get more student’s voices heard to address the problems that matter most. Whether this be with more student involvement on campus governance committees, or having more open forums with the community, we plan on getting the underrepresented voice heard.”

He hopes SGA can “move away from being known as the organization that strictly provides funds, to a group that incites change. We want to provide useful feedback and suggestions to help make every club and organization the best it can possibly be.”

Junior Jack Capello was elected SGA vice president for the 2017-18 academic year.

Capello said, “Being elected as vice-president was a humbling moment. I’m happy the student body feels I am a representative for FSU and to help guide change on campus.”

He added, “We hope to leave a lasting legacy, one of positive change, more diverse programing and one that has created a motivated community here at FSU.”

Karl Bryan was reelected as Student Trustee for the 2017-18 academic year. Bryan was elected over Ben Carrington and Mike O’Brien by 76 votes.

Bryan said in an email, “It feel honored that the students choose to re-elect me to this position for next year.

He added, “I plan on focusing on trying to revitalize service on this campus to maintain it to the levels it has been at in the past. I also want to continue on trying to lower the fees the students pay to come here to keep Framingham as affordable as it is advertised. I think that next year we have a very strong e-Board and we are all extremely committed to bringing a much needed positive change to campus in various areas as we all have different areas we want to focus on.”

Junior Bridget Green was elected SGA secretary, Junior Sarah Horwitz was elected SGA SATF treasurer, Molly Fennessey was elected SGA class & club treasurer –winning by 119 votes – and Hailey Small was elected SGA’s social events coordinator.

Senator class of 2018, Class of 2019 Vice President, Class of 2020 Vice President and Class of 2020 Secretary were all won by write-ins.

According to David Baldwin, associate dean of students, write-in votes won with standard numbers of “five, six and maybe seven at the most.”

De Leon said, “In general, I’m happy with the turnout. The contested positions always make for good election turnouts.”

Capello said, “Being elected as vice-president was a humbling moment. I’m happy the student body feels I am a representative for FSU and to help guide change on campus.”

He added, “We hope to leave a lasting legacy, one of positive change, more diverse programing and one that has created a motivated community here at FSU.”

Bryan said in an email, “It feel honored that the students choose to re-elect me to this position for next year.

Faculty, Staff and Administrator of the Year awards

According to SGA bylaws, the Cindy Santomassimo Faculty Member and Administrator of the Year awards are given to faculty and administrators who were nominated and voted by students. The recipients of the award will be ineligible to win again for two consecutive years.

Lorretta Holloway, vice president for enrollment and student development, won Administrator of the Year and sociology professor  Patricia Sánchez-Connally won the Faculty Member of the Year Award.

Sodexo employee Clara J. De Moya Grullon received the Support Staff Member of the Year Award.

Holloway said in an email she was “very honored” to win administrator of the year. She thanked fellow administrators and staff.

She added, “The people who know me, and know the job, know that I am not always giving out good news. Thus, to me the award is an acknowledgment that students, hopefully, understand that I’m doing my best to make equitable decisions for student success here and in their futures. I also hope this means that student groups will keep asking me to chaperone trips.”

In an email, Sánchez-Connally said she “was surprised” and thanked her students.

She added, “My students are a huge motivation to me. My work with them, whether it’s in the classroom or as part of diversity and inclusion initiatives, is super rewarding to me. I appreciate the effort you [students] all make to speak up, educate and advocate for what you believe in. I see you. I am blessed to be a small part of your journey.”

De Leon said, “I’m very happy when I think back at this year because we really broke the norm. We didn’t just do things because that’s the way it’s been done before. We really tried to stop that type of mentality. That lead to really great, both external and internal, reflections.

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