College had the highest voter turnout in a Scripps Associated Students (SAS) election in its history this year, with 613 voters, an increase of 183 from last year. Election campaigns continued discussions of topics that have recently been prominent at Scripps: the new LASPA Center for Leadership, the “We Want More” campaign, administrative transparency, and the representation of minority voices by SAS.
If the number of students who voted in this election was encouragingly high, however, the number of runoff elections was unhelpfully so: There were runoffs for five positions during the election, some with multiple rounds of additional voting.
Cherish Molezion SC ’17 was elected SAS secretary after an initial round of voting and two runoffs against Ari Gushue SC ’15.
“Twenty-three people abstained the first time and 23 people abstained the second time, so that was what kept throwing off the count,” Molezion said. “So in the final election they told people that if they chose to abstain, their vote would not be counted in the final runoffs.”
The new SAS team, headed by newly elected SAS President Alex Frumkin SC ’15, is now working to rewrite the bylaws to ensure more efficient elections in the future.
“We had bad election rules that the runoffs kept happening, and I don’t think it reflects anything on the candidates,” Frumkin said. “I think the rule of having an absolute majority is silly and a simple majority in a two-person race is satisfactory.”
Frumkin said that the role of SAS, especially its role in representing the student body, has been at the forefront of discussions leading up to the election.
One topic that has contributed to such discussions is the LASPA Center. The center’s goals and the Scripps administration’s decision in February to restart the search for the center’s director sparked a student demonstration and Be Heard forums.
“It was partly LASPA, but I think that LASPA ignited a lot of
really necessary discussions that had to occur, and that it helped engage the
student body in how SAS was representing them and demanding more transparency
and more accessibility,” Frumkin said.
Sarah Chung SC ’15, the newly elected SAS vice president, said that leading up to the elections, discussions of Scripps’ “We Want More” fundraising campaign were important.
“The way the campaign was branded kind of set off some fire
in terms of what we actually wanted,” Chung said. “People said, ‘We want more opportunities. We
want more leadership. We want more women.’ At the core people were confused about what
we actually wanted.”
Another much-discussed topic that Frumkin mentioned was the concern that minority students on campus do not feel represented by SAS. In addition, she said that there is
not much communication between the student body president and other leaders, including the SAS diversity and inclusion chair.
“In the past, SAS presidents have made more of a space for
those discussion, both meeting one on one with the CLORG [club and organization] board leaders and just
different leaders on campus,” Frumkin said.
Frumkin said that she hopes to hold the administration accountable, facilitate bonding among SAS members, and increase
communication with the student body. She is also considering creating a leadership council composed of resident advisers,
CLORG board leaders, and SAS members.
Frumkin hopes to hold forums with the other 5C student body presidents.
“I would love to have those more often, especially
addressing sexual assault,” Frumkin said. “I think that it is really important to have all the
5C presidents to be on a similar page and sending a similar message and
pressuring our administrations in the same ways. I am looking forward to seeing
who is elected on the other campuses.”
Frumkin said that the high voter turnout is largely due to the size and active participation of the class of 2017.
“They just apply
for everything, sign up to run for everything, vote in every election, which is
really helpful because they are the largest class that we have had at Scripps
ever,” she said.
“The incoming freshman
class has been so engaged and active,” she said. “I believe students have become more
engaged and active through the years I have been here.”
Seven first-years were elected to office, including Molezion, the new secretary, out of a total of 21 positions.
“I am still young and I can grow with the position and see
it transform that was something unique to my platform,” Molezion said.
President: Alex Frumkin SC ’15
Vice President: Sarah Chung SC ’15
Student Activities Chair: Tori Sepand SC ’15
CLORGs Chair: Nicole Rufus SC ’16
Co-Treasurers: Michelle Guan SC ’15 and
Caroline Hu SC ’15
Student Union Chair: Minjoo Kim SC ’16
Diversity and Inclusivity Chair: Nereida Montes SC ’17
Sustainability Chair: Jessica Ng SC ’15
Media Relations Chair: Alison Kibe SC ’15
Dorm Activities Chair: Haley
Godtfredsen SC ’16
Campus Activities Chair: Rebecca
Milberg SC ’17
Faculty-Staff Relations: Anna Cechony SC ’17
Senior Class Rep: Sarah Owens SC ’15 and
Vaishali Ravi SC ’15
Junior Class Rep: Jennie Xu SC ’16
Secretary: Cherish Molezion SC ’17
Judicial and Academic Review
Chair: Alex April SC ’17
Sophomore Class Representative: Morgan Weidner SC ’17
5C Events Chair: Jewels Tambone SC ’17
Recent Graduate Trustee: Maddy Ruvolo SC ’14