The ballots have been cast and the votes are in.
Community advisor and next year senior Michael Shalginewicz will be the new Student Government Association president and his running mates Corrie Keener and Erica Bilodeau will serve as vice president and vice president of academics, respectively.
Despite a campaign barrage flyers and e-mails from his opponent Steve Reilly, student voters chose the less vocal Shalginewicz
“I’m pleased with the results,” he said after learning of his victory. “It was a tough race and I had worthy competition.”
In an email to the students, John Aellig, advisor to SGA, praised not only the candidates, but students for their enthusiasm in choosing the next leaders for the school.
“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who ran in this year’s election. I would especially like to thank all of the students who came out to vote for the candidates. Your support of these candidates speaks volumes about their character and how you believe they will be active contributors to the Castleton Community.”
Presidential hopeful Steve Reilly said he was pleased for the experience he had and the friends gained, but he said he believes the election process could be altered to make the candidates more visible.
“I have already spoken with Michael. I congratulated him on being elected president of both the senior class and of student government. He has put his time in at Castleton as a student leader, and in turn, has made many great friends. Being the president will likely prove to be great amount of responsibility, but I’m sure he will do well,” Reilly said.
Among the changes Reilly said he’d like to see are presidential debates, information tables and mandatory campaigning.
He also said there needs to better communication between administration and the candidates to ensure that the hopeful student leaders can get their names out as much and as possible.
“I was unable to do many things around campus, merely because administration wouldn’t get back to me to give me permission. I would have loved to set up an information table to speak to students about their concerns, but I was unable to even get ahold of the faculty member that grants permission,” he said.
Shalginewicz, Keener and Bilodeau also won positions as class president, vice president and treasurer, respectively. There were no candidates for the position of class secretary.
Student reactions to the results were mixed. Senior Ethan Garhartt suggested it wasn’t the election he was disappointed in, but the lack of involvement, despite the number of ballots cast. “Well for me, I think that we need more people involved with elections, and for me the candidates weren’t that immersive,” he said.
One student, a junior, Jarrod Sammis agreed.
“I’d have to say … my initial reaction is one of disappointment. It’s sad that students have to get enticed with the opportunity of winning free stuff in order to just get involved in campus elections,” he said.
Other students were pleased with the election process and have become an active part of the yearly voting. Junior Stanti Schonbachler stated that the campaigning strategies this year were for the most part thorough and effective. He also thought that having ballet boxes in Huden was an extremely efficient way to cater to students and make the voting process more convenient for them.
Schonbachler was a strong supporter of Keener and Shalginewicz and was happy to see their hard work and dedication finally pay off.
“Mike is a great guy,” said Schonbachler adding that Shalginewiczhas long been involved in SGA and is well suited for his new position. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders and might make some well needed improvements around campus.”
Shalginewiczhas many plans for his upcoming presidency and anticipates making a real difference.
“I hope to work hard in my new role for the year,” he said.