Villanova’s campus this week will be transformed into a political zoo for the upcoming Student Government Association, or SGA, elections. Four pairs of dedicated Villanova students—(Pres.) James Capurro & (VP) Juliana Moccio, (Pres.) Justin Knoebel & (VP) Marla Mollenkamp, (Pres.) Chris Major & (VP) Gabrielle Bruno, (Pres.) Thomas Soussou & (VP) Sean Dolan—will compete to win your vote for the positions of president and vice president for Villanova’s Student Government Association.
There are also positions of sophomore, junior and senior Class Council, as well as engineering and VSB Senators will also be up for grabs.
Voting begins today at noon and end tomorrow, March 22, at noon. The election process is simple. Voting takes place online after Tom Mogan, the director of student development, sends an email to the student body with a link to vote.
The winners will be announced tomorrow at 1 p.m. outside of Dougherty Hall. If any ticket for Student Body President and Vice President does not receive 51 percent of the vote, then the top two tickets will enter into a runoff election post Easter break.
SGA is an organization made up of elected officers and senators as well as committee members who work to represent and advocate for students.
SGA makes an impact through voicing student concerns to members of the University administration, facility and staff as well as representing Villanova students within the township community.
SGA has tackled many important issues regarding the student body here on campus. Last year, the representatives focused internally on making the organization run as efficiently and effectively as possible. SGA adopted a new structure two years ago and they have worked this year to finalize its implementation.
They worked with Radnor Township staff, police department and community members to help improve student relations with the township and at the end of the year SGA is sponsoring a Community Dinner, inviting the community to campus.
As senior and current SGA president Chris Marroletti explains, SGA’s main concern is students.
“We have advocated for students on many issues and have co-sponsored two major events with the Campus Activities Team, the first being ‘Ignite Change Go Vote,’ which registered over 400 students to vote.
“We also hosted the first ever Dining Services, Facilities and Public Safety Appreciation Day in April to thank those folks who have made our Villanova experience great.” Marroletti says.
“The Mission and Social Justice Committee sponsored the Random Acts of Kindness Week this year and the Junior Class Council sponsored a Valentine’s Day Candy Gram Sale and a benefit concern this month, which raised funds for The Supply Education Group.”
The issues SGA has undertaken this past year were led by leadership positions that the student body voted for last year. The president and vice president who win these positions this year will be responsible for running the day-to-day functions of the SGA. Each college also elects Senators who serve on committees through the University Senate as well as work with their individual colleges and deans on improving student experiences.
In addition to those representatives, each class has a president, vice president and class representative who work to promote class unity and advocate for issues concerning their specific class.
For Marroletti, the campaign process last year was more than just a sweet victory.
“The campaign experience for Lael and me last year was an amazing experience and a lot of fun,” Marroletti says. “Having the opportunity to meet so many people, hear their thoughts on Villanova and what needs to be changed was great for us. We were both touched by how many people helped with our campaign and how many people we knew and did not know supported us.”
For the current candidates, Marroletti offers advice.
“Our goal was to meet as many people as we could and listen,” Marroletti says. “Someone once explained to me the values of ‘listening and learning,’ things we both often did during the campaign. It was a great experience for us. One of the most rewarding things was when people came up to us and said, ‘I voted for you’.”
Marroletti says students can get more involved with SGA by applying in the fall semester to serve on one of SGA’s seven committees as well as to run for office. Candidates do not have to have previously partaken in Student Government in order to run for a position. The organization is structured so that any individual who feels inclined to be involved can be in whatever capacity they desire.
Several positions will be open for the upcoming year. All students are more than welcome to attend an SGA full-body meeting or committee meeting to hear what SGA is doing.