Class of 2019 elects SGA representatives

For The News-Letter

The Committee on Student Elections (CSE) released the results of the Freshman Class Council election for this school year on Monday night, Oct. 12. The winner of the presidential race is Noh Mebrahtu and the six winners of the Senatorial race are Jennifer Baron, Akshay Bhamidipati, Nina D’Amiano, Ting Fang, AJ Tsang and Mi Tu.

A total of 443 freshmen voted in the elections, an increase compared to the number of students who have voted in previous years.

Mebratu said that he primarily used Facebook for campaigning because he thought it was the fastest and least expensive way to share his vision and agenda with others.

“I ran on a unification platform to break the apathetic environment of Hopkins,” Mebratu said. “This year’s voter turnout was much higher, which is an indication of what our campaign was trying to do.”

Mebratu said that one of his main goals for the year is to establish an annual class service project, exclusively for the Class of 2019. He is unsure of the details of the project, but said he has already begun brainstorming with freshman class senators.

“We are trying to get opinions from our fellow classmates and see what the majority want,” Mebratu said. “The main goal is to get as many people as people involved in order to make a close-knit community.”

Mebratu said that along with his big goals, he is also hoping to fix some “minor tedious problems” this year. He believes that the job of SGA is to protect students and enhance student life and therefore includes listening to minor complaints.

“A lot of students have been talking to me about how the grilled chicken at the FFC is pinkish on the inside or about how there is not enough ethnic or vegetarian food,” Mebratu said. “Though these seem like small problems, I still would like to address them.”

Both Mebratu and Tu said that campaigning was a positive process because they got to meet many of their peers.

“I met a lot of new students and got a lot of opinions of what they want SGA to achieve this year,” Tu said. “It was a really fulfilling and interesting process, and I made tons of friends with the same ambition and values.”

Tu’s goals for the year include improving campus safety, academic affairs and student activities. Tu added that she is open to all ideas and wants input from her classmates.

Fang said that one of her goals is to get students more involved with student government.

“The reason I campaigned and wanted to run is because I wanted to represent the grade and be approachable,” Fang said. “I noticed that there [weren’t] that many people that actually voted, and I want to spread the awareness of student government. I’m passionate about it and want other people to be interested in it too.”

Many freshmen said that the most effective method of campaigning was through social media, particularly Facebook.

Mebratu and two of the senatorial candidates, Bhamidipati and Tsang, created a Facebook event and campaigned together to reach all of their Facebook friends.

Tu and Fang changed their profile pictures and added captions with their agendas. Tu also made a video to spread her message and paid Facebook $15 to promote her posts.

“Social media worked for campaigning because candidates were able to reach a lot of people,” freshman Constanza Mayz said. “I also read the description for each candidate on the ballot and to find out what each person’s platform was.”

Mayz added that she hopes the candidates maintain their platforms and work to make their ideas a reality. Freshman Abigail Pearse echoed Mayz’s concern of living up to campaign promises.

“I want the candidates to represent the interests of the entire freshman class and listen to what we want from student government,” Pearse said.

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