The Student Government Association (SGA) was forced to call an emergency meeting on Wednesday, April 18 after the results of the elections for the SGA Executive Board were called into question. Dobromir Trifonov ’13’s election as next year’s SGA President was contested after he was accused of allegedly violating the SGA’s Constitution by tabling for votes in the library and sending a mass email to a portion of the student body. At the meeting on Wednesday, charges were brought against Trifonov for these violations, and also against runner-up Alexa Mehraban ’13 for allegedly covering opponents’ posters and also sending a mass email. After a heated discussion, it was decided that the results would remain unchanged, and Trifonov would retain his victory.
The results in the race for Vice President of Entertainment were also declared invalid. The popular vote winner William Cha ’13 was disqualified because the e-board allegedly waived the constitutional requirement that the candidate for VP of Entertainment must first be a member of the SGA, and that the incumbent Carlos Velazquez ’14 was not formally informed that Cha would be running. As a result, Velazquez was declared the winner. However, Cha has decided to conduct a formal appeal, which he will present to the SGA on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m.
In the week prior to the election, Trinity’s campus was filled with the campaigns of enthusiastic candidates running for the five coveted positions on the SGA Executive Board. The elections were kicked off by a common hour event that was open to all students entitled, “Participating in Democracy” on April 5, where the history of voting rights and suggestions on ways to become more civically engaged were discussed. However, the most anticipated event of the week came on April 10 in the Mather dining hall, where candidates took part in a debate that addressed various issues on campus and their thoughts for improvement. This was the candidates’ opportunity to allow students to get to know them and hear their ideas for the upcoming year. The debate focused on current issues on campus as well as candidates’ personal aspirations. Food from First and Last Tavern was provided by the SGA and students were able to enjoy it while listening to the prospective candidates’ ideas.
Elections took place online between Wed, April 11 and Thurs, April 12 until 12 pm and showed a remarkable student turnout. Over a third of the student population voted, with a total of 894 votes. The revised and final results were as follows: President Dobromir Trifonov ’13, Executive Vice President Preston W. Haxo ’14, Vice President of Finance Shawna Burk ’13, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs Juan Hernandez ’13 and Vice President of Entertainment Carlos Velazquez ’14. According to Trifonov, “President Jones shared with me that this must have been the highest voter turn out for his entire time at Trinity,” and he continued by stating, “It is great that we had so many people participate and I thank everybody who supported me in winning the elections.” The four newest members will replace Panida Pollawit ’12, Tariq Islam ’12, Adrian Jul ’12, Brandon Lewis ’13, and Carlos Velazquez ’14, who served on the Executive Board during the 2011-2012 academic year.
This upcoming 2012-2013 year is sure to bring with it some major changes and improvements to overall campus life. Something that Trifonov hopes to address immediately is the functionality of the Mather basement. He plans to turn it into a more social place, while also serving as a student center where students would feel comfortable going to for information on upcoming events around campus. This is just the first improvement of many that Trifonov is adamant on making during his upcoming term. He went on to say that, “other goals of mine include creating a scholarship fund to sponsor students’ academic endeavors and innovating technology on campus. I am hoping to install digital signage in the library that will show updated information about events on campus, news, the shuttle tracker and other helpful applications.” His ideas will no doubt be received with the same excitement and encouragement the Trinity community showed during elections.
Despite the immense amount of time and effort every candidate dedicated to their campaign, Trifonov thought it was well worth it. From decorating the campus with posters to setting up campaign tables to participating in a debate in front of hundreds of students, running in the election was a time commitment for all candidates. Trifonov, however, was able to maintain a positive outlook throughout the entire experience. He said, “I am extremely happy that I dedicated myself to my campaign as I got to meet many new faces and create some new friends among the people I talked to during the elections.”
Elections for Senate Representatives will occur within the upcoming week and serve to give each year equal representation in the SGA. There are five open Senate positions, as well as one class president, vice president, and secretary for every year. For more information on upcoming SGA events, visit the website http://trinitysga.com/cms/.