After fall elections, SGA eyes initiatives on campus life, and diversity and inclusion

Large group photo inside Rinker Auditorium
large group photo in Rinker Auditorium
The Student Government Association’s senators and officers gather for a group photo during their September 2021 retreat.

Campus life and diversity and inclusion will be at the top of the Student Government Association’s agenda for the 2021-22 academic year, now that the body is at full strength with 12 senators winning seats in the fall elections.

SGA will be discussing those initiatives face to face – with COVID-19 safety protocols in place – as it resumes in-person sessions again for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

portrait outside
Lana Kolchinsky

Fall elections were held Sept. 3, but a technical glitch in the voting process necessitated a second round of voting on Sept. 10, said SGA President Lana Kolchinsky, a senior political science major.

The SGA holds spring elections to vote for the president, vice president and the majority of senators, while the fall election allows incoming freshmen to run for seats and participate in the process. Also, Senate seats that have been vacated for any reason are added to the fall ballot.

Following the Sept. 10 voting, the SGA held a weekend retreat for all of its 30-plus members, including Kolchinsky and SGA Vice President Joshua Finkelstein.

“It was so wonderful for the first time in so long to have a really great, in-person SGA experience,” Kolchinsky said. “It was held mostly on campus. It was such a great chance for our senators to get to know each other and to bond, which has not happened in a very long time because of the pandemic. The passion and the ideas that came out of this were really inspiring.”

Those ideas included “a number of ways to work on campus life and diversity and inclusion this year,” she said. “Whether it be smaller initiatives to make our campus more comfortable and accessible to students, or larger efforts to improve campus communications between staff, faculty and students, we are in for a number of opportunities.

SGA logo“As for diversity and inclusion, we hope to make our campus more accessible and welcoming for all identities, abilities and communities. We will work to be responsible stewards of our positions, to direct our resources and efforts toward taking steps to understand all the communities that make up the Stetson community – to learn their needs and act and make change accordingly. I can’t wait to see all that we do.”

Here’s the list of the senators who won seats during the SGA’s fall elections:

  • Senators for the Class of 2025: Christina Smith, Madelyn Rodriguez, Erik Eisold and Emily Blizzard.
  • Class of 2023: Luke Singleton.
  • Class of 2022: Jimmy Stempien and Connor Bradt.
  • Senators at Large: Cayla Skeete, El Luchs, Victoria Ramon, Rachel Harrison and Valentina Laverde.

Rick de Yampert