In a heated three-way Student Government Association (SGA) Presidential race, Sarah Hilton ’16 emerged victorious last Thursday, overtaking candidates Michael Ratliff ’16 and Adam Kilduff ’16. According to current SGA Vice President Alicia Alvarez ’15, there was a “significant difference” between the first and third candidates, but the race between the top two contenders remained relatively close throughout.
Hilton, who emphasized that she wants to bring increased accountability to SGA, has had no shortage of leadership roles during her time at Wheaton. As a sophomore, she was the co-president of Roosevelt Institute and served as an SGA senator. Both positions taught her how to speak to Wheaton’s administration, work with funding, and efficiently run a meeting.
In her junior year, Hilton studied abroad and joined a debating society, an activity that helped her decide to enter the Presidential race for this year’s election. “Having to form an opinion and defend it so vigorously gave me the confidence I needed,” Hilton explained.
Now that Hilton has won the election, she is already focused on next year. The president-elect is currently serving as part of an ad-hoc in SGA Senate responsible for researching the methods of nearby colleges with regard to funding distribution, and how those strategies could be applied to Wheaton’s current procedure. “SGA has a huge array of responsibilities,” Hilton said. “I think the only way to make our mark is to focus and start early.”
Unlike Hilton, many SGA Executive Board candidates ran this year’s election unopposed. Katie Elliot ’17, who is the current SGA Secretary, is set to take over as SGA Vice President. Bjorg Texel, the Class of 2018 Senator, will move into Eliot’s SGA Secretary spot. In addition, Arielle Klopsis ’18 will be the new SGA Treasurer, Kweku Ampem-Darko ’17 will become the Intercultural Board Chair, Clare Prober is set to be the Hearing Board Chair, Amanda Brazell ’17 will be the Hearing Board Vice Chair, and Avi Anshika ’16 will be the Educational Council Chair. The only contested race of the bunch was for Programming Council Chair, where Jacob Horowitz ’16 overtook Karissa Vincent ’16.
Hilton hopes that with the help of her new executive board, she’ll be able to create more student-run events to showcase Wheaton pride. As co-president of the Roosevelt Institute, Hilton oversaw the popular WheaTalks—a spin-off of TedTalks—that selects 10 students every year to give 10 minute presentations on topics of their choice. Hilton says this event “highlights strengths that students have which generally don’t have as much of a chance to be shown,” and she would like similar events to become more common.
Regardless of what goals next year’s SGA decides to pursue, Hilton has emphasized the importance of starting projects early and remaining organized. She said, “We have to decide what we want to get done at the beginning of the semester and then re-evaluate those targets to make sure we’re making progress and are on track.”