By Bhagat Rizal, Staff Writer
Truman President Dr. Reagan Romali appointed Student Government Association (SGA) officers on April 14 based on leading vote numbers. Oluwadamilola Oyaluade won the president position, while Faith Hines is the vice president, with Safa Slote as secretary and Adesijibomi Owoseni as treasurer.
The 2016 SGA election, originally planned from April 4-8, was extended to April 14 with a 3:00 p.m. deadline. As of April 8, only 355 students out of 4,687 had voted, totaling only 7.5 percent. Because the SGA constitution requires at least a 10 percent voting rate, the election committee extended the deadline.
Subsequently, 418 students voted in the second polling, making the final percentage only 8.9. SGA guidelines permit the college president to appoint the candidates who received the highest number of votes.
A total of seven candidates ran for office: three for president, two for vice president and two candidates each one for the secretary and treasurer positions. They debated March 31 at the Student Activities Center to garner votes from the audience. “One of the weaknesses is communication,” said vice-presidential candidate Faith Hines, when explaining the agenda on what needed to be improved, a belief stated again and again by all of the SGA candidates.
An hour before polls closed, presidential candidate Krishna Lamichhane stood outside of the main entrance with his 34” x 17” campaign poster directly asking for votes.
Another presidential nominee, Sterling Burnett carried a huge bag of snacks, accompanied by a campaign flyer that he gave out with the snacks requesting to vote for him. Burnett explained it’s challenging to stop people for 15 seconds just to ask for a vote, hence the treats.
During his term at Truman, SGA Adviser Tony Kwiatkowski has experienced extended voting in three out of four elections. Other City Colleges are also going through the same process, and “We tend to get more votes than other campuses,” says Kwiatkowski.
City Colleges waive tuition for the SGA President, vice president, secretary and treasurer. New president Oyaluade says his biggest motivation is to help people academically, emotionally and financially. “This office is going to grant me the opportunity to do as much as I can,” he says.
The newly elected officials will begin their term on May 1.