Christina Simon, sophomore English major and current secretary of the Student Government Association (SGA), was elected president of the organization on Mar. 29, after a highly contested campaign season.
Simon received 54.16 percent of the total vote, Adrian Orozco received 27.63 percent, Brooke Crawford received 7.88 percent, and the remaining votes went to Billy Toney, who was ultimately disqualified, according to Maggie Bach, assistant dean of Leadership Development.
Simon, who has been involved with SGA since she was a freshman, shared her thoughts via email on what she thinks contributed to her win.
“We owe a lot of our success to the outgoing senators who mentored us and molded us into the strong, compassionate leaders that we are,” Simon said. “I think that our experience and dedication shone through during the campaign, and I am honored that the student body trusts us to lead their Senate of student body representatives.”
Simon also went on to describe how she and her administration intend to serve the SHU community.
“The interest of the student body has motivated me throughout my years as an SGA representative, and it will continue to motivate my team during our term,” Simon said. “My team and I will be fully committed to the student body during our term.”
Some things that Simon intends on implementing as student body president include a parking app that will allow students to see where there are empty parking spaces on campus, securing a seat on the graduation committee and improving the overall food quality on campus.
Simon is ecstatic about her win, saying that she would like to thank the SHU student body for coming out to vote. This year had the biggest voter turnout with 1604 voters in recent SGA election history, she added.
She went on to describe the kind of leader she intends on being.
“I take pride in being a compassionate leader who empowers others and motivates them to work towards our common goal: to serve the student body,” Simon said.
SGA’s vice president-elect, Violet Reed, sophomore English major, also shared her thoughts on her win via email.
“I am thrilled and honored,” Reed said. “I loved being an ad hoc…but I’m also excited to contribute to SGA from a different position.”
Reed stated that she intends to serve the SHU student body by addressing its needs. She said that while that may be something that many have heard over the past few weeks, in this case, it is true.
“The Simon-Reed platform was crafted from actual feedback we received from students, so generally I will be working with my team to do our best to follow through with our platform ideas,” Reed said.
Reed also shared that as vice president, she would like to focus on increasing campus sustainability, so for the duration of her term, she will be looking into ways to do that.
Michael Roma, sophomore finance, economics and diplomacy major, shared via email why he feels he is qualified to take on the position of SGA treasurer.
“I ran for treasurer after having gained two years of experience on the Finance Committee, as well as serving as assistant treasurer for the past semester,” Roma said. “I believe that my experience has given me insight into how SGA works to fund clubs and organizations, as well as helped me identify areas where I believe I can add value.”
Roma added that as treasurer, he intends to appeal on both SGA and SAB’s (Student Activities Board) behalf for their budgets to be increased, so the two organizations can better serve SHU’s growing campus.
Josie Martinez, freshman political science major and secretary- elect, shared her thoughts on her win as well in an email interview.
“I’m really excited to have been elected by the student body to serve as secretary!” Martinez said. “I am really looking forward to working with the new e-board and senate to accomplish our initiatives and serve the students.”
Martinez then explained some of what she hopes to do as secretary of SGA.
“One of my plans as secretary is to create councils between similar clubs on campus,” Martinez said. “These councils will increase the collaborations between clubs and make the SHU community stronger and more united.”
Martinez also shared that she intends to create more opportunities for students to strengthen their leadership skills through workshops held on campus.
A few students offered their thoughts on why they voted the way they did in this election.
Emma Tobin, freshman diplomacy and international relations major, said that she voted for the entire Simon-Reed ticket.
“I felt they were the most qualified candidates with real plans and realistic expectations for what they could achieve,” Tobin said.
Tobin said that she hopes that the Simon-Reed administration continues to advocate for student’s rights and be a voice for the SHU student body.
Kevin Lagarenne, senior accounting major, also shared why he voted for the Simon-Reed administration.
“I attended the Meet the Candidates on March 15, spoke with many people campaigning for all positions, and interacted with supporters of every party as well,” Lagarenne said. “The most qualified in background, consistent in political stances, and noticeable in marketing was the Simon-Reed ticket.”
Lagarenne said that even though he will be an alumni of Seton Hall come May, he hopes that the Simon-Reed administration can grow the SHU community that the Teagan Sebba administration strived to achieve.
Allegra Berg, sophomore diplomacy and international relations major, said that she voted mostly for the reform party, who had Adrian Orozco running for president.
“I voted for the reform party generally because we shared similar views and I found it easier to go talk to them to suggest ideas,” Berg said.
Bach added her input on how she feels about the Simon-Reed ticket sweeping the election.
“Christina is a passionate and professional leader that has experience listening to the student voice and taking action to achieve change,” Bach said via email. “Everyone that was elected is qualified to lead the senate and continue the hard work put in by Teagan’s administration.”
Sebba, the current SGA president, expressed her excitement over Simon being her successor.
“I am so excited for Christina’s win because I know how special it feels to win this election for her and because I’m also excited for the student body to experience her leadership,” Sebba said via email. “I first met Christina when she was a freshman and she trekked into downtown South Orange to volunteer at SGA’s table during South Orange Play Day – she was not even in SGA at the time she just volunteered to be there.”
Sebba said that from that point on, Simon’s passion and work ethic helped her continue to succeed as a member of SGA.
Sebba then went on to comment on what the student body can expect from the Simon-Reed administration.
“The student body can expect a whole lot of heart, passionate leadership and hard work that is backed by experience from Christina Simon’s administration,” Sebba said. “Christina has a unique relationship with high level administrators, she has a whole year of executive board experience under her belt and she has the creativity and passion that can take SGA leadership to new heights.”
Isabel Soisson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.