SGA changes officer election process


Courtesy of Hamadi Belghachi

Andrew Dong

The Student Government Association (SGA) is removing certain grade level positions and requiring members to take a SGA class in an effort to increase productivity and bolster qualifications for office.

Natalie Zuravleff, SGA sponsor and future SGA class teacher, pushed for the class requirement after she found that a weekly meeting was insufficient. “We typically meet once a week at STEP for half an hour and you can’t get a lot done in that time,” said Zuravleff.

Zuravleff also thinks the class will change the function of SGA. “We went to a school in Virginia that currently has a class curriculum for student government and it has been a really transformative tool for their culture,” she said. “There were so many things we saw there that were truly mind-blowing about how students will engage and their decision making.”

This year, only rising seniors will be able to elect the student body president. Before this change, all grades could vote for and elect the student body president as well as a president for their grade.  “[Seniors] are sort of the wise owls of the school, they get a little bit more manpower in the election process,” Zuravleff explained.

In addition to this, campaign speeches from students participating in elections will be vetted, meaning some of what the candidate wants to say could be removed. The decision is in response to the possibility of candidates saying non-policy things in their campaign speech, such as when current Student Body President Leo Saunders talked about Fortnite. “We don’t want you to run based on things that make you popular over things that you actually want to do for the school,” Zuravleff said.

There will only be a student body secretary and student body treasurer next year, all class-level treasurer and secretary positions will be discontinued.

Zuravleff notes that while roles do have some defined responsibilities, a lot of brainstorming is done by SGA as a group. “Everyone ended up doing the same amount of work. So we ended up with a lot of ideas, a lot of minds in the same room. The roles are really blurry,” said Zuravleff.

Only rising seniors will be able to run for student body offices. However, all students will be able to run for their respective grade’s positions of president and vice president.

Saunders strongly supports the reforms. “I think that this next year the changes will benefit both the students and the officers,” he said. “The promise to make SGA more efficient and public in order to get the things the students want done [is very important.]”