Sophia Wirth wins presidency in first all-female SG executive board
AU students elected the first all-female Student Government executive board on April 2, with Sophia Wirth selected as president.
There has not been an all-female executive board since the creation of the current SG in 2007. No all-female executive board existed in any similar organization since at least 1996, according to Student Trustee-Elect Joe Ste.Marie.
Wirth, the current SG executive director of Communications and Marketing, won with 38.4 percent of the vote against competitors Poulami Banerji, Alex Hoffman and Tyler Bowders.
“We have a wonderful group of people, and I look forward to working with everybody who ran in this race,” Wirth, School of Public Affairs sophomore, said. “A lot of these issues that came to the forefront are issues that we all care about very deeply, and I look forward to working together with everyone.”
Junior Banerji came in second place with 24.1 percent of the vote and said she hopes to work with Wirth in the future and continue reaching out to students.
“I’m really happy for her and excited for the future ahead,” Banerji said. “Moving forward, I definitely hope that I get a chance to work with Sophia and get a chance to continue sitting down with clubs and working on issues that give students representation.”
Junior Molly Kepner won the vice presidential race with 61 percent of the vote over junior Caroline Ladzinski, who received 33.3 percent.
“Caroline ran a great campaign. [Alex Hoffman and her] ticket was just awesome,” Kepner said. “I had great competition, we had to fight the whole way, but I’m ready to get to work.”
Abby Dunn was elected as the next comptroller in an uncontested race. Dunn, a junior in School of Public Affairs, said the first thing she wanted to do was work to increase funding for the Wellness Center.
“I’m excited. I’m glad it went the way we wanted it to,” Dunn said. “For me it was a pretty positive experience overall.”
Sarah Preston, a sophomore in the School of Communication and SPA, was elected secretary with 92.7 percent in another uncontested race. The first issue she plans on addressing is communications reform within SG, she said.
Student Activity Fee referendum passes with over 80 percent
The Student Activity Fee referendum also passed, with 82.6 percent of the vote. If passed by the Board of Trustees, the fee will increase by $15 and be redistributed among AU Club Council, Student Media Board and SG, The Eagle previously reported.
The passage of the Student Activity Fee referendum signified the changing opinions of SG, according to Mike Wang, the chair of the Student Activity Leadership Commission.
“I think the student body is saying that they would like a more vibrant club life and a more vibrant media board and that [SG] does some things that they agree with and does other things that they don’t,” Wang said.
Wang said he was pleased with the cooperation of all the student groups and the hard work they put into the campaign together. The referendum is also a reflection of the increased number of student groups in the last 10 years, he said.
“There have been double the amount of clubs since 2002,” Wang said. “That those clubs can finally get money, I think, means that there will be a broader variety of clubs that cater to student interests more realistically.”
Disclosure: The Eagle receives funding from the Student Activity Fee and is a member of the Student Media Board, of which Mike Wang is the co-chair.