SGA Presidential and Vice Presidential Election

Every year, around early to mid February whispers echo throughout the halls of Billings Student Center, many concerning SGA Presidential elections. 2004 has proved, if nothing else, no different from previous years in this respect.

With only three presidential candidates and two vice presidential candidates running this year, the nuances between the candidates are few and far between. Many candidates identified the need for better communication between the administration and the students. A second area of consideration for many candidates was the food service provider on campus. Sodhexo, UVM’s current food service provider, was seen in a distinctly unfavorable light. There were many aspects of their service

Campus police, campus safety, and registration gripes, were mentioned by all of the candidates. The transition from cafeteria to bar will be an easy one, as The Round Room was first established as a bar. There have already been several dates identified as

Traditionally there has been poor voter turnout with approximately only 14% of UVM students voting in the SGA Presidential election last year, a majority of these voters being affiliated with the Greek system. The SGA Presidential debates have focused largely around each candidates’ ideas on how they plan on implementing and achieving the goals outlined in their platforms.

While many within SGA stress a need for increased student involvement and awareness of SGA activities, many students question the role played by SGA in their lives and on campus. “The only reason any students should care about SGA is because they control a lot of money,” said a senior member of the Fogel administration who wished to remain anonymous. It is precisely this reason that makes the SGA President’s seat a particularly coveted one.

The SGA President is a key player in all campus events and activities, with a noticeable profile at many sporting and club events. This year’s Presidential race, with only five candidates (down from nine the previous year), may prove to be the tightest in recent memory.

In the past many elections have been determined by the Greek turnout on election day, with Greek Presidential candidates excersizeing an unsophisticated form of block voting, controlling those houses they are affiliated with. This year’s election threatens to divide the Greek vote between Lee Souter, Inter-Fraternity Council President, and SGA Vice President David Laman.

With the Greek vote highly contested, and a lack of an identifiable opposition vote, this election will come down to the swing vote (the swing vote consists of those students who unwittingly happen upon SGA elections while walking through the library) to determine next year’s SGA president.