The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

First-Years Flood SGA Senator Elections

By Joe Wlos

This SGA election cycle, a remarkable number of first years declared their candidacy for senator, dominating senator elections and potentially changing the dynamics of Joint Board politics. First-years are not constitutionally allowed to be senators in their first semester, so there is always an uptick in the spring, but this year’s class is exceptionally large.

In Spring 2011, there were five first-year senators. Although the final results of the Spring 2012 election are not yet known, Joint Board will likely include a larger number of fresh faces. Of the 31 candidates for senator, 10 were first years—more than from any other class. The biggest bloc will be concentrated on East Campus—all three of their senators will be first years.

“Ope Awe [’15] and Bonnie Brooks [’15] have been elected so far, and either Riley Mangan [’15] or James Tiffany [’15] will win the third spot up for grabs in today’s runoff [for East senator],” SGA Administrative Coordinator Alex White ’12 wrote in an email. “All four candidates were first-years. That is certainly unusual. In a completely unscientific fashion, I’d say first-years were more involved than usual.”

“It’s great to see first years getting so involved,” said Ron Chiu ’13, Loosehead Senator. “It will be interesting to see how they interact with the other senators and Cabinet.”

Those interactions will likely be positive. Peter Aldrich ’15 joined Joint Board as Presiding Officer halfway through the semester, and despite some initial opposition, his tenure has proven to be successful. Now, Aldrich will not be the only first year in the room.

Some of the first years running for senate reported that their personal connections to current members of SGA encouraged them to run.

“Basically, I saw a bunch of my friends run for SGA last semester, and they did really well,” said Varun Nayar ’15, who was on the ballot for JaMaLand’s run-off election. “I decided to attend a bunch of Joint Board meetings at the beginning of the year. I realized that it is good place to start, if I want to be involved in SGA in the future.”

While many of the candidates may be new to Grinnell, they are very familiar with the concepts and workings of student government.

“I was involved in my high school, as secretary for one year,” said Nayar. “It was one thing that I knew that I wanted to do when I came to this school.”

In their campaigns, the first years focused on most of the issues that have been discussed in Joint Board in the past. Concerts, Bob’s Underground, and the Dining Hall were common topics on posters. However, SGA President Gabe Schechter ’12 hopes that the large number of first years indicates an influx of “new and creative ideas.”

“It’s always good to see a balance between experienced senators and first years,” said Schechter, who started in SGA as a freshman senator himself. “I look forward to seeing how they will contribute to SGA, and what changes they will help make on campus during this semester.

Full Election Results:

East (3):
Bonnie Brooks ’15 Elected
Ope Awe ’15 Elected
James Tiffany ’15 Run-Off
Riley Mangan ’15 Run-Off

CND (3):
Max Farrell ’12 Run-Off
Molly Miller ’13 Run-Off
Natalie Pace ’14 Run-Off
Nathan Forman ’15 Run-Off
Pat Comparin ’13 Run-Off
Sam Offenberg ’14 Run-Off

Clangrala (2):
Cynthia Amezcua ’14 Run-Off
Dylan Gray ’14 Run-Off
Tom Van Heeke ’12 Run-Off

Smounker (2):
Jacob Washington ’15 Elected
Sam Mulopolous ’14 Elected

Loosehead (3):
Alex Krempely ’13 Elected
Christian Loggins ’12 Elected
Ron Chiu ’13 Elected

Jamaland (2):
Brian Silberberg ’14 Run-Off
Douglas Anderson ’15 Run-Off
Varun Nayar ’15 Run-Off
Will Jackson ’13 Run-Off

Tyler Banas ’13 Elected
Kelsey Scott ’13 Elected
Robin Wetherill ’12 Elected

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *