Elections fill student government vacancies

William Gordon

After three student representatives and the vice president stepped down from student government, special elections were held this week to fill the vacant spots.

The elections were held for four student representative positions. Because only a student representative can be elected to the vice presidential position, the question of who would fill the former Vice President Scott Bradley’s spot remained unanswered until the Student Government of Lafayette College’s meeting Wednesday night.

Student representative Greg Ly ‘16 announced his candidacy for vice president and, because he was not contested, he assumed the role at the meeting.

“I’m very excited to serve as vice president this semester,” Ly said in an interview after the meeting. “I think we have a very solid group of representatives and our first meeting tonight went very well, and I think we have a lot of goals that are going to be accomplished, especially with making us more visible on campus to students.”

One of the ways Ly wants to make student government more visible and involved, he said, is having members of student government going to more events and using student government to help promote events.

Elections were held Monday through Wednesday for two representatives for the class of 2016, one for the class of 2017 and another for the class of 2018. Bradley left his position, along with did student representatives Nicolette Reilly ‘16, Chad Peterson ‘17 and Sohrab Pasikhani ‘18.

President Aaron Little ‘16 said that, to his knowledge, this is the first time in at least six years a vice president has left the office before completing the term.

Bradley declined to comment on his decision to leave student government.

The former vice president won the office on a split-ticket vote at the end of the 2014 fall semester. Bradley ran with Ricky Lanzilotti ‘16—who is now the treasurer of student government–running as president, and Little ran with Caroline Bitterly ‘17. The split-ticket vote resulted in a win for Little and Bradley.

In an executive committee meeting, Bradley cited last year’s split-ticket vote, not winning with his running mate, as the reason why he did not feel he could remain devoted to student government, Little said.

“It’s just a matter of he wasn’t really dedicated to student government,” Little said. “It wasn’t something that he had been passionate about.”

Lanzilotti also declined to comment on Bradley’s decision to leave.

The newly elected representatives are Alex Battisti ‘18, L’Eunice Faust ‘17, Jake Parrish ‘16 and Mike Smitelli ‘16.

With only one spot open for the junior class and two spots open for the senior class, Faust, Parrish and Smitelli won without contest.

Because of Faust’s experience as an assistant representative—a non-elected member of student government that can provide input on issues, but not vote—she said she is confident she can do well.

Smitelli said he feels he can represent athletes and students involved in Greek life well, because he is a member of the track team and a leader in Delta Upsilon.

The other newly elected representative for the senior class, Parrish, said he wants to use his position in student government to focus on environmental issues at the college and make Lafayette more sustainable.

Battisti won the only contested seat in the election—student representative for the class of 2018. Four others ran for the position. He did not respond in time for comment.

Pasikhani was asked to resign student government by the executive committee, because he missed meetings and did not meet the tasks required of a student representative.

Although he was asked to leave, Pasikhani said he is not “regretful or mad at [student government] in any way.”

He said he hopes to run again in November and wants to change student government to have more input from the student body.

Pasikhani added that this was a learning experience, and now that he fully understands the student representative position, he feels he can make the change he wants to see happen.

Reilly and Peterson both declined to comment on their reasons for leaving student government.

Little said usually a few student representatives leave student government before completing their term every year.