SGA Elections Results
Aaron Krish
akris821@uwsp.edu

Following a month of campaigning for presidential and senatorial elections and months of discussion to discover the views of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus concerning the Green Fund and Tobacco Referendum, the Student Government Association election process has come to a close.

The team of current SGA executive members Ryan Specht and David Boardman received the majority vote and will be taking office for the upcoming academic year as president and vice president of SGA respectively.

“It’s a privilege for us to continue serving the students and university, and we are honored to do so in our new roles as president and vice president,” Specht said. “We want to actively represent all students and student organizations, through continually gathering feedback.”

As of now the team is focusing on training for their new roles in the organization and starting conversations with leaders across campus asking what to work on over the next year. Working with the current SGA leadership to ensure a smooth transition is the main concern for the rest of the semester.

“Much of our platform is the continuation of many projects we have been working on and we are honored the student body is giving us the opportunity to see these through,” Boardman said.

Such projects include work with the Green Fund, seeing the completion of the Health and Wellness Study, institutionalizing support for diversity and inclusivity, and the Tobacco Referendum.

With 73 percent of the vote, the Green Fund referendum passed and $12 will be allocated from segregated fees towards that fund according to the SGA Election Committee.

“The new structure and bylaws will go into effect next semester. Between now and then the focus is on hiring our Environmental and Sustainability Director, who will then start outreach and more education on the new fund,” Specht said.

Currently no substantial projects can begin this semester. The funding students voted to allocate will officially begin in the fall of 2013. The new director position will oversee the allocation of funds and SGA is looking for students who are interested in sustainability to fill the position.

The total number of respondents for the Tobacco Policy Preferential Referendum was 1118. Students were given four options for the referendum and the result is based on the opinion of the student body. With regard to tobacco policies on campus, the student body preferences are, in order: tobacco free campus, smoke free campus, designated smoking areas on campus, and maintain current policies.

“The referendum is considered the binding opinion of the students, so SGA need not pass any further legislation through the Senate,” Boardman said. “We are now waiting on the referendum that will go through faculty and staff which will be happening in the coming weeks.”

Once the referendum goes through faculty and staff, the results of both the student and faculty vote will be sent to Chancellor Bernie Patterson, who will determine the final policy and timeline. His decision will greatly be influenced by the recommendations of the student body and faculty members.

According to each team, the election experience for both Specht and Boardman and their opponents Michael Howard and David Rawley was beneficial both personally and professionally.

“It was great meeting so many new and interesting people, providing me with a better understanding of this campus as a whole. I feel a lot more connected with the school and its students,” Rawley said.

Rawley explained that he is unsure if he will run for office again. Both Rawley and Howard wish Boardman and Specht the best as they take office, leading UWSP into the future.

“One of the biggest things we enjoyed was going to the student organizations and residence halls and hearing what the concerns of these groups are. This is something we plan on making a part of SGA culture is to do more outreach to represent the students,” Specht said. “The experience was great and we are really excited to get to work.”

Students with questions concerning the results of the election, Green Fund, or Tobacco Referendum can email SGA at sga@uwsp.edu.