The Student Government Association held their elections from Apr. 6 through Apr. 12, seeing a total voter turnout of 375.
Rosie Red, Michael Foster and Stephen Chang have been elected SGA President, Vice President and Treasurer, respectively.
None of the races were close, Red won by 230 votes, Foster by 162 and Chang by 249 votes.
The SGA election saw a drop in voters from the previous year’s 592 cast votes. According to the student body election results, there were 375 votes from this election account which accounts for 8.6 percent of the possible students available to vote. Voting was open to undergraduate and graduate students at the Melbourne campus according to The Supervisor of Elections, Jacob Chesslo. Based on 2019 enrollment data from Florida Tech’s Office of Institutional Research, 4,349 students were eligible to vote in the 2020 SGA election.
Despite her victory, Red called the current COVID-19 situation “detrimental” to the campaigning process.
“Running a campaign using an online platform has made it much more difficult for candidates to connect with students and vice-versa,” Red said. “Which I believe is also part of the reason the election turnout was so much lower this year than in previous years.”
Chesslo said the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest reason why there were fewer votes this year.
Chang, Foster and current SGA President, Jace Petwroski, also attributed COVID-19 and Florida Tech’s transition to online classes as to why voting numbers decreased.
Petrowski will hold the president position until the end of summer 2020.
As Petrowski’s Vice President, Red has already laid the groundwork for projects she’d like to accomplish during her term, such as a renovation of Evans Hall and adding lights to the Southgate intramural fields.
Red added that due to the current circumstances it’s hard to say what physical projects will be accomplished.
Petrowski said he was “exceptionally pleased” with the results of the election and has come to see Red as family.
“In these uncertain times, Rosie is the President we need and the President who will march our university into a brighter, post-COVID era,” Petrowski said.
Red said one of the reasons she ran for SGA President was to carry out the goals of the current SGA.
Chang said he is confident in both Red and Foster in their newly elected positions.
“As a team, we have good communication and are good friends both in and outside of school,” Chang said.
One problem that Chang said drove his run for treasurer was that “there were many organizations that do not know how to request money from the Student Activities funding committee or know what is available to them.”
Foster said one of his main reasons for running for Vice President was because he believes in order to have a successful university structure, it is essential to have a well-run representation of the student body.
“I genuinely believe I can do the job very well,” Foster said. “And given the opportunity, I would work to the best of my ability to make my time in the position as productive as possible.”
20 senators were elected as well:
- Michaela Salazar
- Sasha Anguiano
- John Wu
- Pearson Kerchner
- Cody Cochran
- Carolynne Garutti
- Madison Ulvenes
- Tanner Crampton
- John O’Brien
- Jack Dennis
- Alexander Datillo
- Trent Linville
- Austin Sisinni
- Morgan Gray
- Eli Rines
- Spenser Gorenflo
- Luis Carlos Mantilla-Garcia
- Nicholas Assante
- Dylan Hammond
- Reese Van Putten
An amendment to replace the former constitution of SGA with an updated one was also passed. According to Chesslo, more than half the people that participate in voting are needed to pass the amendment. Based on the 2020 student body election results, 91 percent of students that participated in voting were in favor of the amendment. Chesslo said that some of the major changes within the new constitution provide for greater documentation of processes and procedures, and more analysis as to how SGA should operate.
“This allows for the house of delegates, student organizations, to have more say in SGA,” Chesslo said. “It also allows for a constitution of the student body rather than that of just the Student Government Association.”
This story was updated on April 15 at 6:40 p.m. to provide updates about the newly ratified amendment.