By Noelia Veras and Thomas Holmes
The Student Government Association (SGA) at the Catholic University of America officially had its elections for next year’s president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and head of Program Board. On Tuesday, April 2, students voted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the Nest.
The “Unite. Serve. Lead” ticket ended up winning the vote, making Brendan Dillon president, Kaitlin Shanahan vice president, Monica Wallace treasurer, and Meghan Walsh secretary. This is the third consecutive team to run and win as a group.
Running against the “Unite. Serve. Lead.” ticket were Marie Kottenstette and Benjamin Shields. They turned their ironic campaign into a serious one after receiving overwhelming support from the student body.
“Transparency for me means constantly engaging with the student body. It means giving everyone a clear picture of what’s going on, as well as how each person can get involved” said Benjamin Shields on their campaign Instagram account.
William Deatherage ran for SGA Treasurer on the idea that students should be “a P.A.R.T of treasury board.” Participation, assistance, reform, and transparency made up the core values of his campaign.
Tuesday was certainly a day full of excitement, not just for the winning ticket, but for the entire student body. Students were tabling outside of the Pryzbyla Center, as well as outside the residence halls, handing out stickers and flyers, encouraging everyone to vote. Some flyers even had Snapchat QR codes which lead directly to the link to vote, making it accessible to everyone, even those walking to class.
This election marks a huge leap for Catholic University because it revealed the involvement and energy of the student body.
“The biggest thing that says so much about the future of SGA is that over 1100 students voted,” said current SGA president Jimmy Harrington. “So many students had their voice be heard and showed their commitment to this school.”
Many students, both in SGA and not, were heavily involved in the election and voting process.
“Today was a testament to the team we had. We had an amazing group of volunteers,” said Senator Cavan Hagerty who helped with the “Unite. Serve. Lead.” campaign. “Over 60 students came out today in the cold and in the rain to help us out. It was unbelievable, we could not have done it without their help.”
As for the candidates themselves, they are all very hopeful for their future in SGA. Wallace hopes to strengthen the relationships within student organizations and treasury board to build trust and open dialogue. Walsh hopes to redefine the role of secretary by creating a new level of communication between the branches of SGA and also
“In my role as vice president, I’ll be able to help senators put through legislation that will be able to impact every corner of our Catholic University community, whether its students in the arts, or students in engineering, like myself, or athletes,” Shanahan said. “Brendan, Monica, and Meghan and I all have a very unified idea of where we want next year to go, and all of the positive things we want to do.”
Dillon is very optimistic for his role as president and the ideas he has in store.
Dillon said that the student body, “can expect exactly what we ran on, unity service and leadership, not just within ourselves but reaching out into every corner of this university.”
The four students elected have many plans in store for the university, and have a very optimistic attitude about their positions in SGA next year.