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Student Government Association moves elections to February

After four of Student Government Association’s cabinet members resigned, President Gavin Mummert and Vice President Mohansingh Udhwani Jr. are cutting their terms short.

A new president and vice president will be elected in February, as SGA transitions from fiscal year terms to calendar year terms.

Going forward, elections will be held in November, and SGA senators and executives will serve from January to December.

Dean of Students and Associate Provost Dr. John Delony, SGA’s faculty adviser, asked Mummert and Udhwani to make this change because the old system of holding elections in April is ineffective and leads to a lot of turnover halfway through the term.

Treasurer Jacob Hukill, Parliamentarian Haleema Shamshuddin, Chief of Staff Chloe Bidne and Director of Campus Outreach and Events Sarah Lancaster all resigned at the end of the fall semester, leaving Mummert and Udhwani as the only two remaining cabinet members.

Though he will miss out on getting to finish his full term as president, Mummert feels this decision is best for the future of SGA, he said.

“It means my term is a little shorter which is bittersweet. I know it’s a really good thing, and it’s for the best. But it does mean I won’t be able to do as much as I could have otherwise,” said Mummert. “We will be better off in the future.”

In order to make this shift to a new election cycle, the organization has suspended its constitution and plans to rewrite it.

“Our constitution, and I say ‘our’ because I’m the adviser, is not good. If you’ve read it, it’s got a lot of typos, it’s got a lot of vague stuff,” Delony said. “And then the new executive group’s first job starting Feb. 10 or whenever they start will be to rewrite the constitution. We have to get that done.”

This change should benefit both SGA and the university as a whole, Mummert said in a statement.

“This will allow an easier transition from one administration to another by providing a semester where a former president and vice president can show the new president and vice president the ropes,” Mummert said. “To top it off, I look forward to seeing more continuity between Student Government and Greek life now that our schedules will be more closely aligned.”

In a meeting on Monday, the new Election Commissioner Zaid Hatem announced the presidential candidates and their running mates.

Sophomore Meghan Hickok is running for president with junior Kristin Callahan as her running mate.

On the other ticket, junior Mia Delamar is running for president with senior Jenny O’Brien as her running mate.

The presidential elections will take place Feb. 6-8.

The senators who chose to remain in SGA have already filled out applications and will be allowed to stay on for the rest of 2019.

As for the empty Senate seats, applications are open now to anyone interested in running and will close on Feb. 11. Voting will begin at 8 a.m. on Feb. 13 and will close at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

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This article written by Abigail Bowen and Bronte Lebo.

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