After this year's elections, the Class of 2018 is missing student representatives in both the Richmond College Student Government Association and the Westhampton College Government Association. The RCSGA Class of 2018 currently lacks two out of seven senators, and the WCGA Class of 2018 does not have a president or three out of six senator seats filled.
The absence of rising juniors running for student government positions is not new to the RCSGA or the WCGA. It is mainly due to the amount of students going abroad in the fall, because students are not eligible to run if they are going away for a whole semester, Mia Hagerty, the newly elected WCGA president and former junior class president, said.
RCSGA’s new president, Ken Anderson, believes that another potential factor is the rising juniors’ concern with their future careers.
“It’s definitely not about a lack of interest or care of the school. Sometimes people just change their focus," Anderson said. "I guess it’s better to have a senator who wants to be there and is going to do the full job rather than somebody who has other things on their mind.”
Hagerty said that the junior class president would have a lot on their plate.
“The junior class president is mainly responsible for organizing Ring Dance with the dean’s office, so that is a really big responsibility and a big time commitment," Hagerty said.
The seats will not be vacant for long, according to Joe Boehman, the dean of Richmond College.
“The RCSGA constitution provides that for any vacancy the current members of the senate fill that vacancy through a nomination process," Boehman said. "I know that Ken Anderson, the new RCSGA president, is hoping to have these positions filled within the next two weeks.”
Anderson explained that the RCSGA nomination process has involved senators suggesting students that they feel would be excellent candidates, and giving the prospective senators an opportunity to give a two-minute speech to the RCSGA on why they would make the best candidate.
Hagerty aspires to have the WCGA junior class president and senators chosen by April 13. The WCGA will also go through a formal selection process similar to the RCSGA's to select the president.
“We solicited nominations from the junior class, and some students actually nominated themselves as well," Hagerty said. "We have an application process that we will be doing and that will be completed by next week’s meeting."
The WCGA senators will be chosen between the remaining candidates for junior class president because the WCGA now has a fair amount of prospective presidents running.
All of the missing positions have always been filled in the past by both the RCSGA and the WCGA under the student governments’ constitutions, Boehman said.
Senior Rebecca Fradkin, a former senator, attests to the importance of having all the senators present.
“I don’t really think you could get the job done with three, because it’s of a lot of responsibility," Fradkin said. "There’s supposed to be a representative with each committee, and I don’t think it would be ideal.”
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