SGA senator selected to represent students and Burlington residents



SGA senator Hannah King, a sophomore, participates in an SGA meeting, Nov. 19. King now sits on the Ward 8 steering committee.

An SGA senator will now represent both UVM students and other Burlingtontonians as a member of the Ward 8 Steering Committee. 

Sophomore Hannah King, senator on the Committee on Legislative and Community Affairs, was the second elected member from Ward 8.

“Each ward has their own Neighborhood Planning Assembly,” King said. “It’s a neighborhood meeting every [second] Wednesday of the month where you can come out for a few hours and the steering committee makes the agenda.”

Ward 1 and Ward 8 have their NPA meetings together, creating important discussions, King said. The steering committees from Ward 1 and Ward 8 meet together. 

Burlington’s Ward 8 consists mostly of UVM’s students who live on Redstone, Athletic Campus and off-campus. Half of UVM’s campus is in Ward 8, while Central Campus is in Ward 1.

“It opens up the opportunity for important dialogue between stakeholders in the community,” King said. “In our NPA, it’s really unique because Ward 1 has a lot of permanent residents and Ward 8 is mostly students.”

The committee has seven members, including Jonathan Chapple-Sokol who is on the Ward 1 Steering Committee.

“There are quite a few students, and more generally people under 25 years old, who live in Wards 1 and 8,” Chapple-Sokol said in a Dec. 1 email. “Without their voice in our planning and our meetings, we miss a lot of what may be important to folks who live in the wards.”

Chapple-Sokol is looking forward to King bringing a student perception. 

“The University alone has different voices, each of interest to the wards,” Chapple-Sokol said. “The student body, who as residents of the Wards, on and off campus, are very important to the health and vibrancy of the community.”

King decided she wanted to run for steering committee in October. In order to be elected, she needed to get nominated and then needed a second. 

Elections usually take place in the spring, but since there is only one other committee member, the committee was much more open to getting others, King said. 

Adam Roof, Burlington’s Ward 8 City Councilor has worked with King on several projects.

“Hannah’s presence is an indicator to young people and students that they are welcomed and that is a good thing and I’m hopeful for that to be the case,” Roof said. 

King hopes that joining the steering committee will allow for a greater dialogue between permanent residents and students. 

“A lot of the time, the dialogue is very negative in the meetings, so switching that and having everyone understand that we are community members too,” King said. 

Roof has been trying for years to get students involved.

 “Given the demographics of Ward 8, my constituents, it’s important for me to bring young people and students into the dialogue,” Roof said. “Hannah has shown, more so than any other person or student that I’ve worked with over the past five years a real gravity toward this work.” 

Roof is hoping that King’s election will show students that they can get involved in politics

“Students and young people have an important perspective on these things and to not have them at the table is a problem,” Roof said. “10,000 young people that go to UVM, you don’t always see them in city meetings.