The Colorado College student body will soon elect new leaders in an important vote that will likely impact the Strategic Planning and endowment discussions currently reverberating around campus.
The CC Student Government Association is holding elections to fill both executive and student trustee positions in the coming weeks. The timeline for the executive elections is still being finalized, but pending Full Council approval on the Feb. 7, the election will be held during the second week of block seven.
“We’ve had an extremely successful year so far as student government,” Elliot Mamet, Constitutional Vice President, said. “We’ve worked hard to sustain a lasting relationship with City Council, we’ve spearheaded student involvement in strategic planning, we’ve worked heavily on issues around mental health, we’ve created the Roundtable, a new forum for student group leaders.
“We’ve completely restructured SGA and improved our document retention policy, we’ve represented students to the administration on issues of endowment transparency, and we’ve successfully distributed funding to student groups for both operating budgets and special events funding.”
The election for Student Trustee is scheduled to take place on Monday, Feb. 25.
The position of Student Trustee is a new addition to the Board of Trustees and Sam Barlow, senior, is the first and incumbent Student Trustee.
Her role is to act as a liaison between the student body and the Board, giving the students a voice that wasn’t available before.
Her vote is weighed the same as any of her fellow Board members, and she currently sits on the investment standing committee and the strategic project team for “Liberal Arts in the Digital Age.”
Barlow has the difficult task of representing CC’s student perspectives and also representing the board’s intentions within the student body. Because the Board of Trustees carries the responsibility of the future of CC in terms of development, finances, and policies, it is crucial that the voices of students be taken into consideration.
For those interested in running for this position, there will be an information session in the WES room at 5 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 7, and a mandatory candidates meeting on Feb. 18 also at 5 p.m. in the WES room, by which time, all applications are due.
The election is conducted through the CCSGA on Feb. 25, although the position itself is not part of the CCSGA. The head of the CCSGA commission along with the Constitutional Vice President and the Dean of Students are in charge of counting the votes.
The election, however, is not the sole determiner of the new Student Trustee. Rather, the election serves to identify the top three finalists, and those three will then be interviewed and selected by the current Board of Trustees Governance Committee after considering each resume and application.
Last year’s election was shrouded in some controversy after the vote tallies were leaked to The Catalyst despite an agreement between CCSGA and the board.
The current CCSGA executive office is comprised of President Nathan Lee, Constitutional Vice President Elliot Mamet, Finance Vice President Stanley Sigalov, Student Concerns Vice President Charis Whitnah, and Executive Vice President Pat Knecht.
With a budget of $268,000 each year, the CCSGA assists student organizations or events and acts as a forum for cooperative action and progress. In other words, the full council meetings, open to all students, address issues from how to provide nutritional services on campus to how to provide transportation to the Macklemore concert.
“This year has been a particularly exciting year for CCSGA with Strategic Planning. I feel like we’ve been in the midst of a lot of interesting dialogue surrounding CC’s future. During my time as Vice President for Student Concerns, I’ve worked closely with the CCSGA Transportation Task Force to provide additional transportation options to students,” said Whitnah.
Whitnah also stated that the council hopes to create more options for transportation to and from the DIA airport during breaks, and agrees with Mamet that restructuring the CCSGA has been a large accomplishment this year since it provided for a more democratic system.
Furthermore, she mentioned that the executive council has been exploring the topic of providing all workers with a living wage, and the challenge lies in strengthening and continuing these initiatives into the following year.
“I’ve loved working with Sam as the new student trustee, and I am looking forward to the upcoming elections. As elections are approaching, I hope to see a large number of students run for positions,” Whitnah said, turning her attention to the upcoming elections.
Although the candidates have not yet been announced, all applications will be posted on the CCSGA website. There will additionally be an election e-mail circulated so that students remain informed of who the candidates are, their idea, and the progression of the election.
For further information, students are highly encouraged to attend the candidate debates to fully understand the perspective of each candidate.
Looking to the future, Mamet hopes that the upcoming elections will not only include participation from the majority of students, but also instigate dialogue about Colorado College. Both the executive council of the CCSGA and the Student Trustee are crucial positions to representing student opinions and bringing those opinions to action.