SGA holds fall 2022 elections

Cat Murphy, Staff Writer

Students voted in the fall 2022 Quinnipiac University Student Government Association elections at more than twice the rate than in the spring, according to a Sept. 20 SGA press release.

A total of 1,305 students cast votes in the SGA election on Sept. 20, according to the release. This figure accounts for under 20% of the university’s approximately 6,800 undergraduate students, according to fall 2020 data from the university’s website.

Although less than one in five undergraduate students voted in the election, the 19.2% voter turnout rate this semester is a marked increase from the 8.6% turnout rate in the spring 2022 election.

“The Student Government Association would like to thank everyone who participated in this fall’s election, and encourage all students to find their passions and become involved on campus during their time at Quinnipiac,” SGA wrote in the release.

Sixteen students were appointed to serve on the SGA judicial and ethics board, in individual class cabinets and in the specialized representation cabinet. None of the five positions on the SGA executive board was on the ballot, as each position was filled in the spring 2022 election.

After leaving all four senator positions vacant in the spring, the class of 2023 elected nursing major Gio Kanter, accounting major Delnaz Amroliwalla and finance major Jacob Wigington to serve in the class cabinet. The fourth senior senator position is currently vacant.

The final junior senator position also remains unoccupied. The class of 2024 did not elect a senator to fill the vacancy, as there were no candidates on the ballot.

The class of 2025 elected two new senators to the sophomore cabinet: accounting major Elyssa Finkel and marketing major Gia Iwanec.

With 322 votes, the class of 2026 elected J.P. DiDonato, a political science major in the accelerated 3+3 dual-degree juris doctor program, as president. Six first-year senators were also elected: Kaitlyn Sternhardt, a psychology major; Grant Smith, a health science studies major; Alex Ramnarine, a 3+3 criminal justice major; Youssef Hammoud, a biochemistry major; Anna Villineau, a political science and mathematics double major and Carla Guirguis, a 3+1 biology major.

Class of 2026 President J.P. DiDonato said he wants to address safety concerns on campus. (Jack Spiegel)

DiDonato hopes to work with the first-year senators to “address various issues relating to campus safety and the reliability of school services,” he wrote in a statement to the Chronicle.

“From expanding the current blue light system on campus, to improving and adding water fountains in dorm halls and academic buildings, there is a lot that we are looking to do to add to the student experience,” DiDonato wrote.

Political science major Nick Pestritto, who is a contributing writer for the Chronicle, and criminal justice major Paige Pray were elected to the SGA judicial and ethics board, with 612 and 560 votes, respectively.

“I hope to be as impartial and professional as possible while handling SGA matters,” Pray wrote in an email to the Chronicle on Sept. 26.

“I’ll handle cases and their issues as they come, and do my best to resolve them in a way that is beneficial to all parties.”

First-year health science studies major Nicholas Lofgren was elected with nearly 1,100 votes to fill the vacant veteran senator position.

Lofgren ran for the position “to represent those who make the greatest commitments to our country,” he wrote in an email to the Chronicle.

“I grew up surrounded by veterans,” Lofgren wrote. “I knew the second I saw the position that it was the one for me.”

First-year health science studies major Nicholas Lofgren was elected to represent veterans as SGA veteran senator. (Jack Spiegel)

Lofgren, who is not a veteran himself but is from a military family, will represent the veteran community at Quinnipiac, which was recently ranked third among over 300 universities for military students.

“I feel honored and privileged to fulfill the veteran senator position and can’t wait to start representing veterans and military students at Quinnipiac,” Lofgren wrote. “I hope to bring the voice of veterans to decisions made by SGA and represent them the best I can.”

Sophomore Melissa Martins, a health science studies major, was elected to the commuter senator position with nearly 85% of the vote. Martins, who commutes from Beacon Falls, is the first student to fill the position since the previous commuter senator resigned in November 2021.

“Seeing this role was vacant, I knew it would be a great opportunity to run and express the hardships that we commuters face,” Martins wrote in an email statement to the Chronicle. “I am ready to make a change for commuters.”

Martins is aiming to address the “issues commuters face on a day-to-day basis,” she wrote.

“As a commuter, I have experienced many issues and students have brought issues to my attention, such as the difficulty of parking and commuter meal plan situations,” Martins wrote. “I want to find the solutions to fix these issues for students and myself so Quinnipiac University will feel like our home away from home.”