This year’s Meredith College elections stirred excitement and mixed feelings all around campus. While many candidates were running unopposed, others had fierce competitors, and the outcomes were unpredictable. A few of the biggest winners include Naomi Hill as SGA President, Lindsey Lewis as the Class of 2021’s President and Taryn McKenrick and Madison Parker as the Class of 2022’s Cornhuskin’ Co-Chairs.
Voter turnout is an important topic of discussion this year. According to Emma Lampe, Elections Board Chair, voter turnout was higher this year than last. Lampe credits this to the implementation of interactive reminders about voting across campus and the ballot’s referendum. What Lampe hopes will be different next year is the voter turnout for contested races, which she says were strangely lower than for uncontested races. It’s important that students be sure to vote in all races that are relevant to them, and democracy works best with active citizens, she says. Lampe also addressed the rumors about contestants’ campaign materials being tampered with, saying that it was “not quite tampering, but some things were being moved and there was no evidence who had done it.” Lampe wants students to know that winning an election does not mean they will not face consequences for breaking rules, and there is now a system in place to deal with these types of situations in the future.
One of the biggest contested races Meredith students saw this year was Naomi Hill and Lexie Bennett, running for the crucial position of SGA President. Since Hill is currently studying abroad, Bennett had the advantage of on-campus campaigning, so Hill’s win was somewhat of a surprise. Hill is extremely excited about her big win and comments, “It was so wonderful that I could run from being abroad and it shows the community at Meredith is always with you. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be in this position and serve Meredith.” Hill added, “It was such an honor to run against Lexie,” and she hopes they can work together honor the things that Lexie wanted to accomplish. As SGA President, Hill says she “wants to make sure things are inclusive and people feel both accepted and encouraged.
Newly elected 2022 Cornhuskin’ Co-Chairs McKenrick and Parker won against their freshman-year co-chairs (Madison Sholar and Olivia Slack) and against one of their sophomore-year co-chairs (Jeanine Carryl). "Winning the positions was extremely humbling," says McKenrick; "we are so thankful our class is trusting us with this task." Newly elected 2021 Class President Lindsey Lewis will succeed incumbent Ashlynn Davis. Lewis and Davis both declined to comment.
Even though the official elections are over, there are still many positions open that need filling. As Elections Board Chair, Emma Lampe wants to strongly stress this to students who may be interested in holding a leadership position. A few of the campus-wide positions that still need to be filled are vice president, treasurer/SAF chair, secretary and honor council chair. There are also several class positions that need to be filled. The complete list of positions can be found in Article 1, Section 4.1 of the bylaws of the SGA Constitution. Emma Lampe wants to remind you that “running is not as scary as you think and can be a very positive experience!”
By Katelyn Wiszowaty, Staff Writer