Student voter turnout for SGA elections breaks record

By Payton Clark, Assistant News Editor 

screenshot-2016-09-15-22-09-06In a record breaking voter turnout, the results are in and your newest SGA senators and freshman representatives have been elected.

Last Wednesday, over 600 students voted in the Fall SGA election, sending 10 students into freshman senator, president and vice president positions, as well as senator at large positions for upperclassmen. The winners were sworn into SGA at the meeting Wednesday night and results were released Thursday.

“I don’t know specifics as of now but I know that no institution can ever be perfect,” newly elected freshman class president Chad Johnson said. “I hope to get OBU a little bit closer as I continue to be a part of SGA and continue to learn specifics of how I can help better this place for all of us.”

Johnson and Megan Kalinowski were elected to the highest freshman SGA positions, president and vice president.

“I chose to get involved in SGA because I really want to be able to help people,” Johnson said. “I’m fairly new here being a freshman, but I believe that as members of my class start having problems I can be the person they come to in order to help fix those problems.”

Both Johnson and Kalinowski believe that while OBU is a very well-rounded community, there can always be improvements, and they hope to help start them.

“I would like to see the community of our school continue to remain strong, and perhaps even grow stronger,” Kalinowski said. “I really want to be someone that people can come to and express their thoughts and ideas about how campus life can improve, and be a person that gets those things done for my peers.”

Although this is her first time participating in student government, Kalinowski is honored and eager for the opportunities given to her through SGA.

“I chose to get involved with SGA because government is something that I find intriguing and interesting,” Kalinowski said. “I know I will learn so much from those older and more experienced in SGA, and I hope to continue on as a member of SGA for the duration of my time here on Bison Hill.”

Johnson also hopes to grow from his experience in student government.

“I am incredibly excited to be a part of SGA,” Johnson said. “I think that through being involved in this organization I will become a better leader and hopefully learn a little about serving a group of people better.”

Along with Johnson and Kalinowski, freshmen Emily Justice, Tim Duncan and Seongmin “Moonie” Moon were elected as class senators.

“I was impressed with the freshman in particular during our first Senate meeting and their ability to ask the right questions and suggest amendments that ensure the proper allocation of funds,” SGA president Hunter Doucette said.

“The executives of SGA are also thrilled with the Committee Chairs appointed for this year, Quentessa Garraway, Abigail Lea, Lyndsey Kalinowski, and Erica Watkins,” Doucette said. “We expect them to lead their committees with great zeal and originality.”

Five students were also elected into upperclassmen positions. Casey House, Clayton Myers, Blaine Whitson and Truett Ross were elected to be senators at large, while Kysha Miller was chosen to fill the vacant senior senator position.

“I am optimistic about this year and the new, innovative ideas and solutions SGA will propose,” Doucette said.

Through internal SGA improvements Doucette hopes to give students more knowledge about SGA affairs as well as to receive more feedback from students.

“We are aiming to fortify our social media/PR presence in order for students to have better insight,” Doucette said.

Students can continue to get involved in SGA through communication with their fellow classmates and representatives.

“Even though the elections are over, students can still be involved with SGA by sharing their ideas and expressing their concerns to their representatives,” Doucette said. “After all, our students are the best source of new ideas.”

Following the elections, one of the next orders of business for SGA is to address student parking.

“OBU’s police department believes the parking situation on campus has bettered with the added stickers in accordance to housing assignments,” Doucette said. “That being said, we know there is lack of convenient spots on campus.”

Doucette wants to remind students that not only can they park in the Noble parking lot at all times, but that OBU is in the process of creating new lots.

“A new parking lot will be installed behind Bailey Business Center in the coming months, which will provide more convenient parking spots,” Doucette said. “SGA is also working with George Haines, the Director of Facilities Management, to find a clear way to communicate with students about where they can park so there is no confusion and fewer tickets given.”

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