UVM Gears Up for SGA Presidential Election

Student Government President and Vice President elections are coming up, March 9th and 10th to be exact, and with the petitions due this Tuesday candidates as starting to plug themselves more than Fox during the World Series.

So what does this mean for the average student? In the past, not a whole lot because on average only 14% of the entire student body at UVM votes for the President and Vice President. But with the national presidential elections looming in our future the getting involved with the SGA elections can be a good way to show how to make an educated vote, or to just vote at all.

So why vote for president or vice president? What have they done for you lately? Well, current President Joe Thibault is working on making this year’s Spring Fest bigger and better than he, or anyone, thought possible. He also has the final say as to where a little over $800,000 of student organization money gets distributed to.

Last year’s SGA President, John Bodaracco instituted the off-campus bus that runs in a loop near students’ off campus houses. This year Thibault is working on having the bus switch directions after a certain hour so those who are at the end of the route don’t have to ride it for a half hour everytime they ride the bus.

The President oversees the Finance, Legislative Action, Student Action, Student Activites, Public Affairs, Executive, Constitution, and Student Appointment Committees while distributing an even and appropriate workload to all of these committees.

Thibault’s role as the Activites Chair in 2002-’03 helped him gain a good relationship and understanding with the clubs at UVM which now helps him a great deal as President. “(To be president) You need a good understand of what the issues are going to be in the coming year.”

You will also need to be willing to commit a good portion of time to being president. Thibault spent all of last summer at UVM learning the ropes and organizing projects such as Alcohol Amnesty. After the summer is over though, don’t expect the time commitment to end there. Thibault also spends an average of eight to ten hours a week in meetings. Ontop of that he has the individual work as president. He is also a full-time student and a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

As president, one needs to be able to wear many hats and do their best to please everyone. Finding a common ground between greeks and non-greeks, liberals and conservatives, drinkers and non-drinkers on the UVM campus can often be a difficult thing to do.

While much of this sounds tedious, according to Thibault, there are perks too. “As the president, you are in the unique position where you’re the voice of the students, so you have to be conscious as to what the students want, and base your decisions on that.”

Along with personally knowing many of UVM’s administrators, the President position can earn three credits towards the final tally and is a paid position with a fairly livable wage.