Voting for the Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President for next academic year commenced on Monday, April 1. All Colgate students, including seniors, received an email with a link to submit their votes. Juniors Kate Bundy and Ayah Elarabi are running for the positions of President and Vice President, respectively, under the campaign slogan, “Our Campus. Our Community. Our Colgate.” Juniors Chris Johns and JJ Citron are running for the positions of President and Vice President, respectively, under the campaign slogan, “New Day, Better Colgate.”

The candidates organized social media campaigns to promote their platforms, creating Instagram accounts and Facebook pages. Both tickets received endorsements from various Greek letter organizations, sports teams, clubs and student associations.

Bundy and Elarabi’s ballot statement states their prioritization of representing all students, hearing all voices and repairing the relationship between SGA and the student body.

“We believe that changing residential life, creating safer spaces on campus and facilitating true community values are essential,” the ballot statement reads. “An all-female ticket is a first for Colgate student government, and we feel this first is symbolic of what we’re here to do: make change, make it inclusive and create a Colgate we can all be proud of.”

Johns and Citron’s ballot statement states their belief in creating a student government that advocates for every student.

“We believe in the promise of a new day with endless possibilities,” their ballot statement reads. “We must take advantage of this new day by pursuing policies such as creating a ResLife liaison to advocate for us, providing every student with a Career Services advisor from day one, pushing the registrar to allow approved study programs to count for course credit, fighting for a student position on the board of trustees and bringing together Greek Letter and non- Greek Letter communities.”

Sophomore Nikhil Rajavasireddy and junior Kate Lofgren serve as Election Commissioners for SGA. Rajavasireddy said that as Election Commissioners, the duo’s responsibilities include ensuring adherence to all election rules.

“I generally promoted interest in voting,” Rajavasireddy said. “I organized several aspects of the election, including a town hall where people could meet the candidates.”

The town hall, held on Tuesday, March 26 in Love Auditorium, allowed students to pose questions to the candidates and enabled the candidates to detail their plans as future leaders. Johns, who is currently studying abroad, Skyped in from Geneva to join the forum.

“The town hall had a great reception,” Rajavasireddy said. “In my opinion, the candidates were able to differentiate their platforms really well.”

Sophomore Jinui Thomas, who serves as an SGA Senator for the class of 2021, said she believed in the importance of voting and encouraged all students to cast their votes.

“We have two teams who both have incredible ideas for the future,” Thomas said. “As a Senator, I know just how much one vote can change everything.”

Students can find more information on the candidates’ platforms at https://www.colgatesga.com/elections. Students can also visit the candidates’ websites at our-colgate.com and newdaycolgate.com. Voting will conclude Friday at 11:59 p.m.

Contact Celine Turkyilmaz at cturkyilmaz@colgate.edu

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