Castleton student voters helped set a new campus record in the March Student Government Association election. More than 600 Castleton students showed up to support their preferred candidates, trumping the previous high of 415 voters set in 2009. Also, this election marked one of the first in which two candidates had competition.”I think it was great to have two people who wanted the position [of president],” said Stephanie Terry, Castleton’s newly elected SGA President. “I think it’s a sign that good things are to come.”
Terry said she is excited to take part in shaping Castleton’s future.
“I think something people don’t know is that being a good leader involves a lot of listening,” she said. “It’s all about listening, getting ideas and doing something about those ideas.”
As for the challenge of taking over the reins of current SGA President Justin Garritt, Terry is enthusiastic about getting started.
“I’m going to utilize some of the things that Justin put into place, but put my own twist on it and run meetings a little differently,” she said.
Terry also stressed that it is important for every student to share his or her concerns and ideas with the SGA.
“Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, the SGA wants to hear from every student,” she said. “Stand up for what you believe in, that’s what the SGA is all about.”
Allison Mockler, recently elected SGA Treasurer, was the other candidate running against an opponent.
“It’s more exciting to have competition than just win,” she said of her victory. “The main reason I wanted to do it was to help people and be involved on campus.”
Although Mockler admits she still has a lot to learn about her freshly obtained position, she too is ready to commence her duties.
“It seems like a shame losing a ton of people this year and I know we are going to have a lot of shoes to fill, but I’m eager to fill them,” she said.
Brittany Lafirira, Castleton College Court delegate, was responsible for planning the entire election.
“I did everything from getting the application ready, sending out e-mails and deciding deadlines to sitting at the table and trying to get people to vote,” she said.
Lafirira said the SGA used new techniques this year to get students more excited about voting.
“This year we gave out three kinds of big prizes. The College Court sat down and decided what to give out and we all thought those were good prizes,” she said.
An iPod, a $75 gift card to the college store and 50 Fireside points were given out to three lucky voters at the conclusion of the election.
Lafirira added that she is anxious to see what the next academic year will bring for the new SGA members.
“I think knowing the new people have big shoes to fill will motivate them to live up to those big expectations,” she said.
Winning candidates included Stephanie Terry, president, Brendan Silkey, executive vice president, Erica Bilodeau, vice president of academics, Allison Mockler, treasurer and Laura Thomas, student director of Campus Activities Board.