The Student Government Association (SGA) announced the fall 2018 election results Tuesday, Sept. 18 in a press release email.
The results are as followed: chief justice, Jack Onofrio; justices, Matthew Forcino, Zaya Oshana and Kyra Angileri; student experience reps, Barbora Hrinakova and Hannah Ellis; junior class senators, Joshua Sprague-Oliveira and Julia Suesser, freshman class president, Alec Williams; freshman class vice president, Drake Marchese; freshmen class senators, Matthew Bruin, Eric Kerr, Nicholas Ciampanelli, Niamh Condon, Noah Gilbert, Jeremy Gustafson, Paige Osborn and Caroline Mello.
The annual fall elections were open from Monday, Sept. 17 until Tuesday Sept. 18. The structure of the council has changed to include positions in the judicial branch.
Unlike previous elections, SGA decided to open the polls to students on Monday at 12 p.m. until Tuesday at 12 p.m, rather than opening on Tuesday. In previous years, polls opened from midnight to midnight, but SGA felt that students would be more likely to vote on a noon to noon schedule, Vice President of SGA, Luke Ahearn said.
“The judicial branch is to hold the rest of student government accountable, to hold us up to our bylaws and constitution as well as all of our other governing documents,” Ahearn said. “The chief justice shares a judicial committee that consists of three members within SGA and three members that have never been on SGA. That way, there’s supposed to be people who understand the way our practices are and people that have no bias and don’t know any other members on SGA.”
Jack Onofrio was the only candidate to run for the chief justice position and won respectively with 1,079 votes. As to why he would make a great fit for the job, Onofrio highlighted the responsibility within this position of working with newly elected justices to establish the judicial branch. He also underscored his past experiences of being inwardly critical with the standards at which student government is held.
The justices elected will aid the chief justice, in ensuring the accountability of SGA so that students will see a more productive implementation of policies within the organization.
“There were issues that happened last year and those were the catalyst for the creation of this position,” Ahearn said. “We were looking at creating this position for a few years now, but [those issues] happened, and that was really the spark that got it all going.”
Ahearn explained the goal going into this semester with new representatives is to increase the number and diversity of student voices speaking up on campus so that everyone feels heard.
“We have three student experience senators now which are representatives that are led by the Multicultural Student Leadership Council (MSLC) so they’re supposed to represent the voice of the minority students, first generation college students, international students, anybody who’s really represented by that council,” Ahearn said. “Going forward, we’re trying to get more representation from more organizations on campus whether that be commuters, different resident halls, different schools. The idea is that every voice on campus has somebody who’s representing them.”
Samir Mahmud, one of the students who ran for freshman class vice president, exhibited this similar need for change and action amongst SGA and its policies. Mahmud was the first candidate to be backed by a United States congresswoman in the running for freshmen vice president in Quinnipiac’s student government.
“We’ve never seen somebody get endorsements from politicians, especially at that level,” Ahearn said. “He also has amazing experiences with politics based on his family life. SGA is used to working with things that impact students from an internal point of view. We’ve never really branched out to voicing students concerns on a political level, whether its national or local. That’s something cool that Samir also wants to do.”