By Taylor Patterson
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College’s new Student Government Association board members are now in office, and they are excited to be in their new roles for the coming academic year.
Victoria Cline, junior, is stepping in to the role of president. She is aiming to increase and amplify student voices on campus to create an open environment where students can interact with SGA, whether that be through athletics, cultural experiences, or within the SGA, she said.
“I am so excited to use the position of president to really further our students’ diverse interests and opinions on campus. Linking students to College administration is so vital to what WC is all about, and these relationships will only continue to grow as the new SGA team begins working. We will be passing our new platform in senate in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait to see what we decide to tackle and achieve next,” she said.
Vice President Savannah Masterson, sophomore, shares Cline’s enthusiasm for encouraging student voices on campus.
“Since becoming vice president, I have felt nothing but excitement. Directly working with students is one of my favorite things to do because of their enthusiasm when it comes to creating special interest groups and clubs. Being able to help them achieve their goals and hold events is great because I get to see first-hand the impact students have on campus,” she said.
The campus is full of students who are very active outside of the classroom, and SGA officers are no different. Caitlyn Creasy, the new secretary of social life, knows this very well as a sophomore who is a member of several clubs.
“I think one thing that I really love is seeing students engage outside the classroom. What we learn in the classroom is so crucial to our futures and where we go but we’ll never be able to relive these college years. I’m a big fan of experience and making memories so my goal is to encourage our students to make memories here that we’ll remember forever. We have such an amazing community here at WC and each and every one of us have something different to offer,” she said.
Newly elected Secretary of Diversity Calisa Gayle, sophomore, said she is honored to step into this role.
“One goal I have is to expand the events that we have, so that we not only celebrate our ethnic and cultural differences, but to also celebrate women, religions, sexuality, and other minorities group,” she said.
As a freshman at the College, Douglas Kurtz has been elected as the secretary of academics. He will be working closely with his fellow SGA members to create a diverse perspective on the SGA board.
“In my term, I hope to improve community relations by providing students with a means to voice their academic concerns to the faculty and administration. I believe there is a need for greater transparency and student representation outside of the body. Other areas of particular concern to me include first year advising and education regarding distribution requirements. While the academics at WC are incredible, I believe everyone’s opinion is inherently valuable and deserves to be taken into consideration,” he said.
Junior Lisa Hamilton, the new director of communications and office manager, is most concerned with making the SGA office a welcoming space.
“During my term, I plan to engage more with the student body using the SGA website and social media platforms by creating and maintaining a new strategic marketing plan. I also will aim to meet and fulfill all necessary office needs and tasks to help provide a productive working environment,” she said.
Brandon Gross, sophomore, is the new secretary of service and community relations. He would like to better connect with the Chestertown community.
“Our student community has pride in our little Eastern Shore town… Connecting to Chestertown through service opportunities or local businesses would provide a whole new layer to the WC experience. I would also like to see our SGA team here at the College develop a connection to the SGA at Kent County High School. I would want to start a program that would build leadership skills within the younger community,” he said.
Samantha Howell, sophomore, has been re-elected as the secretary of the environment. During her second term, Howell plans to improve several standing initiatives, such as Bike Share and water bottle refill stations. In addition to the new Bee Campus USA certification WC received, she will be working with the Tree Campus USA committee to earn that certification.
“These certifications are an enormous step towards sustainability and will promote a more eco-friendly mindset at WC. I am also continuing the first-year reusable water bottle tradition, encouraging each new student to conserve water,” she said.
As the financial controller, sophomore Nicole Certesio plans to help enable clubs to be more active on campus in line with her fellow board members.
“I think, as an SGA, we always room for improvement and I’m excited for us to continue to grow and increase campus involvement this year. As the financial controller, I hope to continue to improve the budgeting process to make it as easy as possible for clubs and organizations,” she said.
Nicholas Gottemoller, sophomore, is the new parlimentarian. His responsibilities include: enforcing Robert’s Rules of Order in the SGA Senate, maintaining and interpreting all SGA governing documents, and running all student government elections.
“As for my own personal goals, I intend on using the Constitutional Review Committee in senate to review and update outdated by-laws in order to help the SGA run more smoothly as an organization,” he said.
Elizabeth Lilly has been elected to fill the Honor Board chair position as a freshman. Her goals are to make the College’s policies more transparent.
“My overall goal is in promoting the safety and positivity of all members of the community, especially students so the Honor Code becomes less of an obligation and more of a mutual agreement of respect and promotion of other positive values,” she said.