By ERICA WILLIAMS
For the past two years, the beginning of Block 4 has marked the election for Vice President (VP) positions for: Internal Affairs, Student Life, and Outreach. VPs lead their respective committees in the Colorado College Student Government Association (CCSGA).
This year’s election took place Thursday, Nov 30 by electronic ballot. The night before, CCSGA held a debate in Bemis Hall, though only one of the candidates, Sophia Skelly—running for VP of Student Life—had an opponent.
The next day, votes were cast via links sent to the email inboxes of each Colorado College student. Sophia Skelly was elected VP of Student Life, Norberto Orellana VP of Internal Affairs, and Lily Weissgold VP of Outreach.
Left: Sophia Skelly, VP of Student Life; photo courtesy of CCSGA | Middle: Norberto Orellana, VP of Internal Affairs; photo courtesy of CCSGA | Right: Lily Weissgold, VP of Outreach; photo by Daniel Sarché
Junior Sophia Skelly, newly elected VP of Student Life, says of her position, “I was already on the Student Life Committee, so I had a sense of what they were doing. We work with clubs (help to start them, etc.) and also relay student concerns to the administration. Specifically, I’ve been involved with Ditch Disposables, the initiative to eradicate disposable containers used and wasted by CC.”
Skelly ran for the position, in part, because of her, “experience in this sphere of CCSGA,” saying, “I’ve really enjoyed all of the work I’ve done because I’ve gotten to interact with the student body in a very unique way.”
When asked about her goals for the position, she noted the energy of this particular moment in student engagement saying, “Personally, I think that CC is in a transition period, and people are showing more of an interest in improving the school. My goal is to have CCSGA have an even stronger connection with the student body.”
Sophomore Norberto Orellana, new VP of Internal Affairs, is also no stranger to CCSGA, having served previously as a freshman representative. In his new role he will, “Oversee the process of electing students to the student government… [ensuring] the process is efficient, successful and effective.”
This has been a problem in the past, one that Orellana experienced first-hand in his campaign for Student Body President last year when students were asked to re-vote on two separate occasions.
Orellana adds, “In the event there is a vacancy the job of my committee is to fill these spots in an appropriate manner via the constitution of the student government (election or appointment process).”
When asked if he had any hopes for the position, Orellana responded, “I hope to work towards getting more students involved in the student government. I also want to fix the election system so that we can ensure voter turnout can be as high as it can possibly be so that [CC student goverment] can be as representative of the student body as it can possibly be.”
Lily Weissgold, who also ran uncontested, was elected VP of Outreach. Weissgold has plans to strengthen the relationship between CCSGA and Colorado Springs City Council in order to, “represent student voices and concerns [within] local politics to our elected officials.”
Weissgold also has plans to broaden the role of VP of Outreach to, “work with local non-profits to further community-wide goals, such as increased bike lanes and a potential city-wide bike sharing program.”
This is also a return to CCSGA for Weissgold who previously served as a freshman representative. Weissgold says, “I am excited to be back on CCSGA, I think that a lot of students don’t necessarily understand the scope and depth of student government but it is really both a fascinating learning experience and way to make change in the CC community.”
Weissgold views her biggest challenge as, “[Making] our voices heard in the Colorado Springs community in a way that challenges the notions of CC students as ‘stuck-up, liberal, hippies.’” All of the newly elected VPs are currently going through a transition period before they take office on the first day of Block 5.