Student Government Association Holds Presidential Elections


Candidates have taken to social media to campaign for Student Government Association (SGA) presidential elections for the 2021-2022 school year, set to take place from April 27 to April 30. According to Election Commissioners seniors Jace DeMar and Shira Fischer, elections will take place on the GetInvolved voting platform, where all students are eligible to vote. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the election process will look different than in previous years, according to DeMar.

“Candidates in the past have always tabled in the Coop … but we decided to do away with that this year as a COVID-19 precaution and instead give candidates the option to do ‘Zoom tabling,’” DeMar said. 

Juniors Emma Darcy, Usman Ahmad and Elle Winter are the three candidates running for SGA President. SGA held a Town Hall meeting where students asked the candidates questions.

“Another thing that is going to look different this year is the town hall where students can ask questions of the candidates. This is usually held in person, but this year it [took] place on a Zoom webinar on Monday, April 19,” DeMar said.

The Town Hall meeting consisted of questions regarding various topics submitted by students. Some of the issues discussed include reforming Greek life, improving mental health resources on campus, revisiting student parking restrictions and more.

On the issue of Greek life, all three candidates spoke about the need for multicultural organizations on campus. According to Ahmad, students of color often feel uncomfortable in Greek Letter Organizations’ spaces, and proposed the adoption of more multicultural spaces on campus as a solution.

“It’s no secret that Greek life dominates the social hosting scene… people are actually interested in multicultural Greek life… I will be working with the entire student body to push for this in a more solid way,” Ahmad said.

Darcy has served on SGA for three years and is currently the Vice President of Advocacy. Her goals as SGA president include improving communication between the student body and SGA, as well as creating a more inclusive social environment for everyone on campus.

“My primary goal is to make SGA more receptive to the Student Body. I think SGA has a tendency to lose sight of what the Student Body generally cares about when it only focuses on internal projects,” Darcy said.

Ahmad has also served on SGA since his first-year and currently serves as the Vice President of Finance. Ahmad has been involved as an International Students Liaison, and his campaign highlights the need for minority groups on campus to have safe and comfortable spaces.

Winter has been a member of SGA Senate for three years, and currently serves as Speaker of the Senate. She hopes to create a more open conversation between students and SGA, as well as to focus on working with groups such as the Medusa Movement and the Shaw Wellness Institute’s Bystander Facilitators in order to change the culture of sexual assault on campus.

“It is very important to me that my platform contains concrete initiatives to prove I will have a plan as president. Saying you value buzzwords like ‘diversity’ and ‘equity’ is easy, but coming up with specific steps to put those values into motion can be difficult. As a campus, we need to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our students,” Winter said.

All candidates expressed hoping to take advantage of a more normal semester once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted during the 2021-2022 school year. Parliamentarian and first-year Grace Carter hopes to see a president that will take advantage of this opportunity to make students who have not been able to experience a “normal” Colgate feel more comfortable and included.

With the assumption of course that campus life will return to ‘normal’ next semester I think it would be great if the next SGA president worked to connect grades together that have felt very separate this year,” Carter said. “I would hope to see the president bridge the gap between the Senate, for example, and Colgate’s administration.”

According to Carter, this will likely be a close election due to all three candidates having long term experience working with SGA.