Over fifty students ran for Student Government Association’s senate positions with the new challenge of campaigning on fully virtual platforms.
The elections committee for SGA decided in an executive ruling that all campaigning will be done virtually during the fall semester.
“Because we are in different times, we didn’t want to have anything in person,” Executive Vice President of SGA Lexi Potter said. “We wanted to have all of the campaigning virtually just to be completely fair to the students who are remote.”
Remote students ran alongside their on-campus counterparts, looking to gain support amongst their peers over social media platforms such as Instagram.
“That was the biggest struggle for me, initially,” elected first-year senator Justin Kelleher said. “I was already planning on where to campaign strategically. But now, it’s honestly just word of mouth. Personally, I have a few connections, but because my connections have connections, I can reach more people.”
Remote student Rashida Blair, elected as a Senator of Arts and Sciences, is also an executive for the Black Student Union at Florida Southern.
“Originally, I wasn’t going to run, but I wanted to see change on this campus and to facilitate change I need to be more involved,” remote student Blair said. “If I have to make pretty posts and talk to everyone I can, then that’s what I’ll do.”
Some candidates had no trouble adjusting to the rule change. Students already prominent on social media advocated for their election using their school-wide followings. Grace Elwood, who ran for a School of Arts and Sciences senator position, owns the student-run @FSC2024 Instagram account. Elwood took to her platform and endorsed her own campaign and the campaigns of other candidates.
“I ran as a freshman for a position open to all grades, so it was important for me to have a platform that was not only limited to freshman,” Elwood said.
The polls narrowed in on candidates competing for the space on eachother’s timelines up until the final night of voting. Election polls closed the night of Sept. 16.
First Year Senators:
Scott Huger, Reagan Orr, Justin Kelleher and Emery Roth
Second Year Senators:
Carter Webb and Bella Suarez
Second Year Greek Senators:
Kyle Herbers and Natalie McGinniss
Third Year Greek Senators:
Jessie Joyner and Jack Wilkens
Third Year Senator:
Fourth Year Greek Senators:
Sophie Talbert and Sierra Dye
Fourth Year Senators:
Sarah Tomlinson and Kaitlyn Swanbeck
Hannah Fleming and KaylaMay Dumon
Arts and Sciences Senators:
Emma Edgar, Kiersten Bowser, Rashida Blair, Natasha Gomez and Sean Baz
Manny Vacarez and Emma Field
School of Education Senator:
Jack Foley, Hannah Garcia and Michael Finkelstein
Honors Program Senators:
Linlee Franklin and Phillip Rodriguez
Aiden Starr and Ashlee Wilson
Off Campus College Owned Housing Senators:
Chris Valentino and Lauren Morhard