Last year Stephanie Kopko and Kyle Kelly, fought a fierce battle for the Student Government Association position of vice president.The yearly student government elections are coming up, but this year there will be only one contested race, pitting Nyamah Thomas against Bartholomew Kallgren for the position of vice president of activities.
Current SGA President Justin Garritt is running unopposed for a second term.
Rounding out the slate of unopposed candidates are Stephanie Terry for executive vice president, Ryan Baldinelli for treasurer, Dana Pulkinen for secretary.
No candidate has stepped forth for vice president of academics and the SGA is lacking the minimum five and six required people for delegates and the Campus Activity Board, respectively.
Four students, Corrine Keener, Laura Thomas, Steven Zotter, and Paul Zemba are signed up for delegate slots but only Andre Coutu has applied for the Campus Activity Board.
Why have so few people showed an interest in serving in the student government? It might be because they have no idea what it is or does.
“What is SGA anyway,” asked freshman Zach Motensen?
One student offered an answer.
“SGA is the Student Government Association, they do things like decide where funds are going to go and which clubs will be getting money,” said student Beth Sturgis.
Garritt said it’s even more important than that.
“SGA is a chance to make change within the Castleton community,” he said. “The biggest challenge is getting it out there, and letting people know what the SGA is, what they do and how to get involved.”
The SGA funds Safe Ride, bought the furniture, television and other cool things in the Campus Center, bought a new volleyball net for Ellis Hall to be put up in the spring and plans on “juicing up” the game room, Garritt said.
“SGA members have voted to purchase the bike racks and recycling bins around campus. They fund the bus and are involved in a lot of community service,” Garritt said. “Not only does SGA make a difference in the community, but the members involved grow leadership skills.”
The SGA has 22 members making up several groups including the Campus Activity Board and the judicial branch.
The CAB oversees and plans events like Monday movie night and Friday and Saturday events in Fireside. Members also recently put to together the Carolina Liar concert and are planning a trip to Fenway Park.
The judicial branch is a group of students who have hearings every Tuesday night dealing with major campus concerns like if a student was caught drinking at a Monday movie night, Garritt said. Those are situations that CA’s and RA’s don’t deal with.
It’s the idea of students dealing with students, Garritt said.
Every year there are new elections for all positions offering 22 ways to get involved.
“If you want to make a difference in the Castleton community and grow in leadership skills, be a part of the SGA,” Garritt advises!
Elections will be held the week of March 18 and Garritt is urging students to participate either by running to fill slots not yet filled or at least by voting in person or via e-mail.