Student Government Association elects commissioners, sets election dates

by Kathryn Bennett / Beacon Staff • September 12, 2013

Christine Hayes, a senior journalism major, stepped down from her position as Journalism Senator.
Christine Hayes, a senior journalism major, stepped down from her position as Journalism Senator.

The Student Government Association determined dates for the upcoming special elections and appointed new commissioners Tuesday during the first SGA meeting of the year. 

This semester’s special elections will be held to choose senators — student representatives from various departments in the college — to represent journalism, visual and media arts, performing arts, and communication disorders students.  They will also choose a treasurer and a secretary for the class of 2014. 

Christine Hayes, first elected as the journalism senator in spring 2012 and re-elected in spring 2013, sent a letter of resignation to the group, which was read at the meeting.

“My summer internship asked me to stay on through the fall, but I need to accommodate 18 hours a week of interning during business hours,” Hayes, a senior journalism major, wrote in the letter. “Because of that, I won’t have the amount of time that the student body deserves from a senator.”

Election packets were made available on the SGA website to those interested in running for a position on Wednesday, Sept. 11, and are due back to the Office of Student Life by Tuesday, Sept. 17. The 12-page document outlines each available position and serves as an application for those wishing to run.

Students approved to run will have 12 days to campaign, and will have the opportunity to participate in Candidate Speech Night on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Students can vote online at vote.emerson.edu starting at midnight on Monday, Sept. 30. Polls close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and the winners will be announced the next day. 

The newly-elected senators will then take their positions during the SGA meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

SGA commissioners are appointed through an application and voting process within SGA, instead of a school-wide election. Each commissioner represents a different area of need among the student body, but are not associated with a particular organization. These positions were granted during Tuesday’s meeting, which was presided over by the new SGA president, Paul Almeida, a junior political communication major. 

A secretary and chief justice were also selected through this process. Amanda Cordero, a junior journalism major, and Shekinah-Glory Beepat, a sophomore marketing communication major, will fill these roles respectively. 

Jasmine Reyes, a sophomore journalism major, was reinstated as elections commissioner. 

New to commissioner positions were Dennis Connors, a junior performing arts major, who will serve as the external programs commissioner; Leigha Morris, a junior marketing communication major, who will work as the public relations commissioner; and Sarah Tedesco, a sophomore journalism major, who was appointed service learning commissioner. 

Some of the newly-appointed commissioners expressed interest in getting more of the student population engaged in the affairs of SGA. Members said they hope to do this by encouraging students to vote in elections, work with the senators and commissioners who represent them, and attend SGA-sponsored events. 

“I want the student body to be informed about what is going on with Emerson and to be familiar with those who are a part of the organization,” said Morris. “I plan to use more of Emerson’s tools as a communication school to spread the word on SGA’s activities and to provide more of a voice for the student body as a whole.”

While some of the commissioners have held these positions during previous semesters, the majority are new to SGA. All of the applicants were voted in without contest.