Jones, Ash elected to pilot next SGA

The voting on the Student Government Association (SGA) election closed Wednesday afternoon resulting in the appointments of sophomore Bryce Jones as president and junior Kate Ash as vice president. ?SGA Elections Chair Seth Corthell said that Jones received 524 votes to junior Kevin Issadore’s 260. Ash took in 467  votes to junior Amanda Wong’s 360.According to an e-mail from current SGA President Jay Taylor, Jones and Ash will be sworn into office at the April 14 meeting.”Between now and April 14, I will be including Bryce in as many of my meetings as his schedule will allow, and helping Bryce put together his goals and expectations as much as he’d like me to,” Taylor said.President Jones has been on the SGA senate for a year and a half, and was previously the Chair of the Committee of Diversity, Equity and Environmental Ethics (CODEE).”I am really excited that the students voted me in, and I am ready to return the favor back to the students by providing the leadership that is needed for this role,” Jones said.Including solving various internal issues, Jones said he will focus his attention to communication between the SGA and UVM students.”The president has opportunities to communicate with many prominent folks on campus and I want to make sure that the vital information that is produced from those conversations is passed onto the students in a manner that is easily accessible,” Jones said.This will be vice president Ash’s second year with the SGA, with her previous service as a senator on the Student Action Committee.”This election process has been exhilarating and optimistic,” Ash said. “[This] has been a wonderful learning experience for me in understanding the diverse needs of students and has also given me great motivation to take on this position.”Ash said her first business will be to establish a strong and effective executive committee.”I feel that openness between the executive and senators has been lacking on the part of the executive committee, and this type of relationship is vital to a strong SGA body,” Ash said.Jones said he feels the budget crisis is an important issue for UVM students.”I would like to see more support in the leaders of this campus because I feel that they are here for us,” Jones said. “But that doesn’t mean we allow decisions to be made that are detrimental to the University without being held accountable.”Ash agrees with Jones, adding that she is disappointed that there has not been as much visibility about some community concerns.”There is no doubt that students are confused, distrusting and frustrated by our economic situation,” Ash said. “We must be patient in working toward long term economic solutions versus short term goals, which will ultimately be more beneficial for all of us.”Jones and Ash said they believe opening communication between the SGA and students will be beneficial, especially during the current budget crisis.”It’s all about communicating,” Jones said. “I will be working toward figuring out the means for which students can access pertinent information quickly and express their comments or concerns about specific issues.”Both Jones and Ash said there are internal corrections needing to be made within the SGA.”Next year the role of SGA, the SGA senator and the presence of SGA will be reevaluated,” Ash said. “Improvements can be made, and at this point I am working to fill in the gaps where SGA can work more effectively.”The first course of action for the newly-elected candidates will be to appoint and approve the treasurer position and chairpersons of the various committees for next year, Jones said.As Jones prepares to enter office, current SGA President Taylor prepares to leave.”I have had a blast in this role,” Taylor said. “I’m so thankful for all of the wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and I’m looking forward to watching from the sidelines and seeing what Bryce and his team are capable of.”