The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Carter, Gallia secure victories in Student Government special election

Three more students voted in the special election than in the fall’s executive board election. (Photos courtesy of Sasha Carter ’27 and Ava Gallia ’26)

Student Government released the results of its special election on Tuesday. In the inclusivity officer race, Sasha Carter ’27 defeated Virginia Sacotingo ’25, the interim inclusivity officer, by a single vote. Ava Gallia ’26 won the race for parliamentarian over William Gutiérrez ‘27 by a comfortable nine-point margin.

A total of 364 students – approximately 13 percent of the student body – voted in the election, according to Student Government.

“I’m looking into office hours currently for students to come and directly express any concerns that they have,” Gallia said. “But the base of my campaign, looking to foster advocacy, transparency, accountability and fair representation for the student body, [is] still of the utmost importance.”

The election, the first to be contested since February 2023, was held to fill monthslong vacancies at the top of Student Government. With them filled, there remain three vacancies in the general body, one newly created by Gallia moving onto the executive board.

Despite controversy surrounding Sacotingo’s proposed benefits to Student Government executive board members, Carter remained focused on the issues in her platform: creating a more efficient Pard Pantry that caters better to the needs of international students, resurrecting the dormant Student Government Equity and Inclusion Committee Instagram account and creating an anonymous DEI issue reporting form.

Graphic by Trebor Maitin ’24 for The Lafayette

“I’m already getting really excited about different ideas in my campaign,” Carter said. “The fact that my ideas are coming to fruition is very exciting.”

Sacotingo declined to comment.

Gutiérrez, who ran on a platform of overhauling Student Government, said of the campaign that he is “glad it’s over.”

I have no regrets,” he said. “I think we definitely got the ball moving in regards to the necessity for reform of Student Government, and I think you’ll hear people talking about it a little more now.”

Gallia said that the executive board “has been super supportive” of her transition into her new role despite student concerns that she did not want to pursue change in Student Government.

“I know a lot of people felt as though my platform was [saying that] nothing’s going to change, which I’d like to kind of step away from, because that’s not exactly true,” she said.

Student Government President Thania Hernandez ‘25 said that she is looking forward to helping Carter and Gallia with their new roles.

“The candidates ran on very different platforms for each position,” Hernandez said. “I’m happy that the students made their choice and that they were able to have a choice in the representatives that they wanted.”

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Emma Li, Staff News Writer
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  • R

    Recent AlumMar 13, 2024 at 12:22 am

    Extremely disappointing turnout. Turnout used to be 600-800 for special elections and 900-1500 for general/presidential elections only a few years ago with a smaller student body.

    Time for Student Government to introspect why so few students are engaged or interested.