VSA fall elections results: New VSA members speak on future

Image courtesy of @VassarVSA via Twitter.

After years of COVID-19 disrupting the election process, Vassar College hoped to return to normalcy in this year’s election cycle. As a means of facilitating this transition, the Vassar Board of Elections and Appointments (BoEA)—the governing body on all Vassar electoral matters—instituted a significant change in the voting system, which relaxed formerly stringent election policies. An important new aspect of elections allows for in-person campaigning in key public areas, namely Gordon Commons. 

“We can totally see elections shifting from more online-based back to what used to be the norm,” said Chair of the BoEA Rey Claro ’24 in an email correspondence. He added, “We hope that everyone gets a reboot in this election to feel how it normally used to be. That is the main hope—to feel like everything is back to normal!” 

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the ability for in-person voting and normal electoral processes, and thus the BoEA hoped to run regular elections this year and a “reboot” for the entire college community. Elections were mostly held online throughout the height of the pandemic, and this year’s elections featured a majority of campaigning which was heartening to the entire community as it signaled a return to normalcy in more aspects of campus life. Every year, the BoEA decides upon a constitutional package with which to base the elections that year, to allow for fairness and efficiency in electoral processes. This year, the changes that have been implemented will only affect spring voting and not this fall’s voting cycle. But nevertheless, the BoEA is excited to return the College to pre-COVID-19 routines. 

The Miscellany News reached out to all newly-elected officials to look into their plans for the upcoming semester. Here is what some of them said:

 

 

Terrace Apartments President

To be appointed by BoEA

 

Terrace Apartments Vice President

To be appointed by BoEA

 

Town Houses President

To be appointed by BoEA

 

Town Houses Vice President

To be appointed by BoEA

 

South Commons Vice President

To be appointed by BoEA

 

Apartment Areas Treasurer

To be appointed by BoEA

 

Student Athlete Representative (2)

Isabella Tawney (she/her): I took a large role in student government in highschool and decided that I wasn’t going to run for anything in college. Upon getting onto campus, however, I began to miss the connection I had with all the other students, and one of the hardest parts of the transition for me into college was now being a committed student athlete. While I’d like to be like everything was all sunshine and rainbows, as many know I’m a strong supporter of rainbows, it was one of the toughest things I had to deal with while being away from home. It’s not solely about the physical toll it takes on your body, but also mentally. While I’m so grateful for this position, I simply want to be a familiar face and someone to listen to your stories who can really relate with the words. The countless workouts and conditioning on top of practice and finding time to just breathe can be a lot. No one should feel as though they are alone. I strive to work in an integrated and supportive athletic community, no matter the sport you practice.

 

Heidi Compton (she/her)

 

Class of 2026 Senator (4)

Darianna Reyes Marquez (she/they):  I plan to convey the needs and wants of first-year students at Vassar to the best of my abilities by passing legislation that will support the ideals of first-years. I want my peers to see me as someone they can communicate their issues with that they see within the school system as a senator, with the goal of solving these problems, as well as pushing for the needs and wants conveyed to me. I am active in many organizations, such as LSU, Outing Club, debate and more, as well as volunteering in the Poughkeepsie community. This allows me to interact with a variety of the Poughkeepsie community and Vassar student body, thus allowing me to represent a large swathe of our Vassar community. 

 

Karolina Naidon (she/her): With the selection as the Senator of the Class 2026, I would like to focus more on the connection between domestic and international students by facilitating the events dedicated to promoting the international community and spirit on campus. I would love to contribute to making a space for students with opposite cultural backgrounds to coexist on campus, encouraging them to leave their comfortable bubbles and explore the new realm.

Despite various ecological policies on campus, I hope to promote deepening awareness of environmental problems and initiate new ones that would help preserve nature in our community by applying the knowledge from my culture. 

Moreover, as a researcher from Ukraine, I plan to promote research opportunities on campus and encourage students to participate in these opportunities. After all, my main priority is ensuring everyone on campus has a safe space to express their interests and identities.

 

Sophia Greene (she/her)

 

Matthew Tavarez (he/him): Thank you so much for putting your trust in me. I look forward to connecting with the community and helping you present your bright ideas to people who will listen. I’m motivated to start my work as a senator and ready to push my colleagues as we work towards the never-ending fight, making the student experience fantastic.  

 

Class of 2026 Justice

Brian Chun (he/him)

 

Cushing House First Year Representative

Marianny Garcia

 

Davison House First Year Representative

Caroline Lewis (she/her)

 

Jewett House First Year Representative

Alli Lowe (she/her)

 

Josselyn House First Year Representative

Ulysses Bergel (he/him): My thoughts are pretty simple regarding my new role as Josselyn’s First Year Representative. My hope is to really foster a sense of community and appreciation in Josselyn (and hopefully on the broader campus as well) by trying to encourage critique, commentary and open discussion on ways to really make Joss boss. Whether it’s the fabled water fountain or more interpersonal goals, I hope to provide the voice that my fellow first-years hope for and deserve.

 

Lathrop House First Year Representative

Yaksha Gummadapu (she/her): Thank you so much for reaching out. My statement is as follows: As a first-year, being in a new environment can be daunting. I am passionate about ensuring that Lathrop can serve as a safe haven for all honey badgers going through this novel experience. Through open hours and community-building activities, I want to create a family for all of us to rely on. With your support, input and feedback I am looking forward to making the transition to college life easier for those of us who are new to calling Lathrop “home.”’. Live Lath Love!

 

Main House First Year Representative

Claire Gallion (she/her)

 

Noyes House First Year Representative

Calder Beasley (he/him)

 

Raymond House First Year Representative

Mason Rowe (he/him)

I am honored to be elected as Raymond’s first-year rep. I look forward to voicing the concerns of my fellow Raymonders as I work with the rest of the house team to address specific problems within Raymond, such as the state of the bathrooms. I love Raymond and its community, and I believe we can utilize its strength to create a better Raymond. Yar Yar!

 

Strong House First Year Representative

Manoush Pajouh (she/her)

 

BoEA Class of 2023 Representative

To be appointed by BoEA

 

BoEA Class of 2024 Representative

Kishan Patel (he/him)

 

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