The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Government sees drastic increase in application numbers

Photo by Patrick Hansell for The Lafayette
A record number of freshmen applied to Student Government.

Student Government recently faced criticism for members’ lack of engagement and was accused of stagnation by a soon-to-be former member, but this election season participation in Student Government has drastically increased. Sixty applications for Student Government General Body were reported for this year’s cycle, the majority of which came from students who never served on the organization.

“The vast majority of these applications were brand new,” Director of Public Relations & Marketing and Parliamentarian-elect Trebor Maitin ‘24 said. “They never served in government before, and I think that’s excellent. A part of the new constitution is trying to really refresh Student Government from a lot of stagnation over the past couple of years.”

 The majority of new applications have come from the first-year class, with 34 students applying, a record number.

“A younger voice is important and by being in Student Government, they can see the change and a government that is in need of help,” Vice President-elect Thania Hernandez ‘25 said.

 Applications are usually not touched until the Executive Board election is complete. But because of the increased number of applications, General Body applications have already been read multiple times.

“We’re interviewing those with the top 10 average scores per class in each application, and us Executive Board members were really impressed with the applications,” Maitin said.

Hernandez stressed the importance of the first-year class for the college in the years ahead. The class of 2026 is one of Lafayette’s largest classes size at 761 students, though class year representation in the Student Government is limited to seven per class.

“I hope they can be advocates for their classes and for everyone that surrounds them as students,” Hernandez said. “To the people that unfortunately won’t get an interview, I thank you all for your engagement and encourage you to continue being an advocate for your class and go to the general body meetings which are all open to the public.”

General Body applications for the junior class were extended to Feb. 16. The class of 2024 was the only one to see a low number of students applying; only eight submitted applications.

The record numbers are also a pleasant surprise to the college administration, which closely works with the Student Government.

“A competitive election is a sign of a healthy democracy,” Dean of Students Brian Samble wrote in an email. “Engagement from first-years creates a more experienced and effective government; many of these first-year reps could go on to become members of the executive board in future years.”

Outside of the General Body applications, participation in Student Government has been dramatically increasing, as word of elections has echoed across campus in the past week.

With both a fresh start in the Executive Board and General Body, Student Government hopes to work towards a brighter future.

“My hope for the new government would be to build trust, form a new sense of camaraderie/teamwork, and set clear properties that the individuals elected and appointed serve with the wider student population,” Samble wrote. “Our administration continues to work closely with students to amplify their visibility and communications to be a representative government.”

Disclaimer: Managing Editor Trebor Maitin ’24 is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Student Government and News Editor Emma Chen ’24 is a representative on the Equity & Inclusion Committee. Neither contributed writing nor reporting to this story.

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About the Contributors
Andreas Pelekis
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.
Patrick Hansell
Patrick Hansell, Staff Photographer

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