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Student Government Association Holds Elections

Finn Courtney
An overview of the results and aftermath from the SGA elections.

Villanova’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual election last week, determining the student body’s representatives for the 2024-2025 academic year. Students were able cast their votes in this election last Tuesday and Wednesday through the link sent to their emails or through the SGA website.

While voting, however, students may have noticed something unusual about this year’s election: the candidates in every contest ran unopposed. This meant that students had the option of voting for the listed officer(s) on the ballot, who were essentially guaranteed their positions, or abstaining from voting in that contest. Despite the input students contributed last week, then, the outcome of the election was solidified before voting even opened.

SGA acknowledged this fact in its email inviting students to cast their votes last week. 

“Even though there are no contested races within SGA this spring semester, which means all students on the ballot will be members of SGA, it is still important for students to be a part of and become familiar with the election process, as students can still vote for the candidate or abstain if there are no open positions on the ballot,” the organization noted.

What does this reality mean for the SGA? Evidently, there is not an overwhelming interest in student government among students at Villanova. However, considering the University’s pervasive culture of overachievement and involvement, this fact is surprising. Nonetheless, the unopposed nature of the races did not affect the spirits of the newly elected SGA officers. 

“Running uncontested did not change my experience or focus with the election,” incoming Student Body President Dean Millard said. “My running mate and I prioritized meeting students and listening to the initiatives they would like to see implemented to improve their Villanova experience overall.”

Incoming Student Body Vice President Aleko Zeppos agreed with his running mate. 

“Even with our names being the only ones on the ballot, myself and Dean made sure it would change nothing with our campaign process,” he said. “Making sure everyone executed their right to vote was a priority and we were happy with the overall turnout in the end.”

Some SGA officials felt that running uncontested was an indication of their peers’ assurance in these candidates. 

“Although running unopposed may suggest a lack of competition, I’m confident that it reflects the confidence my classmates have in Brian and my ability to serve effectively as their class senators,” rising Class of 2025 senator Simran Mishra said about herself and fellow senator Brian Messalti.

All SGA officials voiced their excitement and gratitude associated with their recent victories. Additionally, they all noted their aspirations for the upcoming school year.

Many of the newly-elected officials look forward to acting as a voice for the student population. 

“I am planning to be a resource for my peers in the Class of 2027 and make sure that their interests are heard and considered,” incoming Class of 2027 senator Cristina McNish said.

Mike Whaley, the recently elected Sciences Senator, has similar goals. 

“In this role, my priority is really to represent the students within my college,” he said. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with and hearing from my peers as we endeavor together to promote positive change within our school.”

The SGA officials expressed their commitment to act as liaisons between students and administration in order to communicate their peers’ concerns. 

“I am most looking forward to attending meetings with faculty and administrators to collaborate with them in an effort to improve the student experience at Villanova,” Kara McGoldrick, incoming Arts Senator, said. “My ultimate goal is just to represent our student community as well as possible, and to make my classmates feel seen and heard.”

Furthermore, the officials noted the specific issues that they aim to address during the time they hold their positions.

“My goal is to create legislation aimed at improving student lives that align with Villanova’s values of inclusion and unity, while actively working to enact positive change,” incoming Arts Senator Jenna Angelini said. “I will fight against systemic injustices, striving for a more equal and supportive academic environment.”

Incoming Engineering Senator Chris Koobatian expressed his aim to advocate for students within the Engineering College. 

“My aim is to advocate for the College of Engineering as a whole, and those who perceive a need for enhancements in curriculum structure, policy and open dialogue between students and staff,” Koobatian said. 

Congratulations to all those who won their contests and will assume positions within Villanova’s Student Government Association next year. As the newly-elected representatives prepare to embark on their journey of leadership, it is critical that they embrace inclusivity, transparency and accountability to successfully serve the needs and interests of their fellow students. With their dedication to and their support of the overall Villanova student body, we can look forward to a year filled with progress, collaboration and effective changes.

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About the Contributor
Finn Courtney
Finn Courtney, Co-News Editor
Finn Courtney is a freshman Communications and Political Science double major and is entering his first year as one of the Co-News editors for 2024. With a passion for politics and sports, Finn's been a writer for as long as he can remember, was a four-year editor and leader on his high school paper and as a freshman has covered a variety of stories for The Villanovan, City of Basketball Love, and has been reposted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. When he's not typing up a story or filming with Villanova Television, you can surely catch him procrastinating on something, watching a Mets game (it's their year!) or trying to just live life to the fullest.
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