By Jonathan Moniz, Staff Writer
On Monday October 17, the Student Government Association held an internal election as part of its routine meetings and voted within the body to welcome two new students to their ranks.
Jasmine Kelly, representing the College of Nursing, and Silavong Phimmasone, a Business Management major, representing the Class of 2019.
While Kelly had no other prospective candidates for her seat and thus won by default, first years Phimmasone and Rabiet Dasher both entered the election for the class of 2019.
The internal elections began with the running through of the various positions up for entry within the Student Government Association, or those that had become open as various members had left and as new classes, such as the class of 2019, entered into the college and needed representation.
Once all positions had been throughougly reviewed and all potential candidates selected, the formal election process began.
The elections were conducted as follows, with first the introduction and opening speeches of the candidates, with up to five minutes being allotted for each candidate, Phimmasone and Dasher.
Then, after endorsements from supporters, two questions would be asked, the same for each, fielded from the members of the body.
In this opening part of the speech, each of the candidates highlighted their backgrounds, introduced themselves, touched upon the issues and problems they would like to fix or address around campus, and then finally why they would be the best fit for candidate.
Phimmasone capitalized on his background in Business Management and ROTC training while Dasher chose to focuse on interpersonal skills and community outreach through traditional platforms and also with marketing and appealing to fellow students via social media. Phimmasone structured his approach based on three goals: increasing presence, awareness, and responsibility.
He detailed the need for students to become more active in the SGA, as well as for more people to be aware of and engage in the process.
“I’d like to see a lot of changes, but the most important one would be involvement” he stated when asked what issues he would prioritize.
When asked the same question, Dasher responded with “I would like to see increased freshman enrollment on campus.” She continued on specifically with community outreach, stressing the importance of clubs and getting people more involved in the community with clubs and programs to enhance their experience at UMass Dartmouth.
After making their speeches, and the candidates had made each their own individual outreach, there was the opportunity for two members of the Student Government Association or outside individuals or colleagues that the candidates had known or worked with to come forward and speak on their behalf.
Two members of SGA came forward for Dasher, commenting on how they had known her personally and had been impressed by her work ethic and her outgoing, inviting nature with people and how she would bring that to benefit the SGA.
One member came forward for Phimmasone and commented on his ROTC experience, noting how exacting and rigorous it was, as well as the candidate’s organizational and management skills that made him qualified for the job.
After the final speeches were given, and endorsements had been made by the candidate’s supporters, the candidates themselves were asked to leave the room and the voting commenced, with papers being collected from the members of the room and then being counted by the heads of the SGA.
When the final results came in, Phimmasone had won the senator seat for the class of 2019. Dasher congratulated the candidate and promised to work hard regardless of the outcome and to continue to be an active participant of the Association.
After their various elections, the 2019 class senator Phimmasone and College of Nursing senator Kelly both made their acceptance speeches, highlighting on what they’d like to see for the upcoming year and resolutions for the new semester.
The Student Government Association meets bi-weekly on Monday nights in Library room 206.
For more information on getting involved with student government, visit their Facebook or MyOrgs pages. You can also stay connected with the SGA on Twitter and Instagram.
The SGA president can be reached via email at SGApres@umassd.edu