A new Student Government Association (SGA) executive board of all women was announced at the SGA full body meeting on April 4.
The new board consists of Serafina Genise as president, Emma Rush as vice president and Jillian Royal as executive secretary. There were no campaigns for the executive treasurer position, so it will be determined in a special election next school year.
Outgoing SGA President Yousef Al-Khudairi, commented on his support for the new e-board and how it exemplifies women empowerment.
“We’ve never, I don’t think, had this many women on the executive board before and we are just completely excited to see women taking the initiative and going into these leadership positions with their heads held high,” Al-Khudairi said. “I have nothing but good wishes and high expectations for next year, and I think they’re going to knock it out of the park.”
The new leaders have emphasized in their campaigns and at the election debate that the SGA is in need of new focus, specifically building their connection with the student body and resolving social justice issues on campus. At the meeting, it was mentioned that there was a 10 percent decrease in voter turnout from last year and efforts will be made to increase participation for 2019.
Rush, the new vice president with a double major in justice studies and Italian, believes that the new executive board’s shared passion for social justice will increase campuswide involvement within the SGA.
“Having issues being brought to the floor that mean something to people is what gets the student body involved,” Rush said.
The passion for this new focus of the SGA is not limited to the executive board candidates.
Along with the new administrative positions, Nikita Williams will serve as a new representative on the board of trustees and Jillian Floyd will serve as one of the seven justices on the SGA Committee of Justice. At the SGA debate last week, both specified their intentions to make the responsibilities of their positions and the SGA as a whole more visible and understood by the larger student body.
“The candidates for the executive board for the following academic year are excited, are energetic and they’re ready to see a new face for the SGA,” Rush said. “We’re evolving as a campus, and now the SGA needs to evolve.”
Genise, who has made one of her main campaign goals increasing accessibility for disabled people on campus, discussed her excitement for next year.
“We’re going to do big things,” Genise said. “I can just feel it, and we’re all really determined women, and I’m super excited to get going.”