On Sunday, March 25, 2018, the Saint Anselm community gathered in the auditorium of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for the annual Student Government Association Inauguration. The ceremony was significant because it marked the end of the two-year administration of President Emma Bishop and Vice President Brandon Pratt. Sophomores Joshua Hughes and Jacob Ethier were sworn-in to replace Bishop and Pratt.
The auditorium was standing room only as event organizers added new tables at the last minute to accommodate the larger-than-anticipated audience. Prior to Hughes and Ethier’s swearing-in, Dean of Students Alicia Finn made her remarks, comparing leadership to the experience of flying a kite. There were also several award winners. Matthew Masur of the History Department was awarded Professor of the Year. Wayne Currie of the Multicultural Center was awarded Administrator of the Year. Lorie Cochran, the administrative assistant in the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, received the award for Staff Member of the Year for the second time in her career.
In their remarks, President Emma Bishop and Vice President Brandon Pratt thanked the student body for the opportunity to serve the school community. Pratt called on the new Student Government Association to continue efforts for including all students in the Association. In the upcoming SGA term, three of the four vice presidents will be students of color – a first in the Association’s history. One of them, Class of 2021 Vice President Sashoy Powell, was honest about what she expects. “Having a couple more minorities in [the] Senate doesn’t really change much rather than the obvious fact that it’s a little diverse now,” she said. “Us as minorities now have a platform to voice our opinions and bring forth issues that other minorities face on our campus,” Powell continued. She also hopes that the increased diversity of the Senate will encourage more students of color to run.
For senior Vice President Sheila Ramirez, the increased presence of students of color is welcomed. After working with Wayne Currie and directly encouraging students to seek office in SGA, Ramirez said she is proud of the new makeup of SGA. “I’m really happy to see more diverse students on SGA. It breaks the stereotype that its only certain kinds of people [who] run,” she said. “I’m really honored that I had a hand in that.” As a graduating senior, the moment caps Ramirez’s three years of dedication to the Association. “I’m glad I’m leaving [SGA] better than I found it,” she concluded.
After Pratt’s speech, Ethier was sworn-in as the new student body vice president. After, Josh Hughes was sworn-in as the new president. In his speech, Hughes talked about being humbled by the confidence students placed in him. He also used his speech to affirm some campaign promises he had made. The new president signaled that his administration intends to revisit resolutions already passed by SGA to make sure that the college is implementing them. Additionally, Hughes, a computer science major, said he hopes that SGA can develop a phone application that will provide information about “hilltop happenings, varsity sporting events, club sporting events, a live feed of cameras that view the length of lines for the grill and the coffee shop, and many more features.”
Hughes closed his speech with a nod to a saying he repeated throughout the campaign. “I want to end with a quote I said in my campaign speech and a quote that I have really started to live by, a quote that has really motivated me to take chances in every aspect of life chances I never knew I would have the guts to take. The quote is: ‘Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.’”
After thanking everyone who organized the event, Hughes told The Hilltopper he liked “that so many people from the St. A’s community came out to inauguration, not just people involved with it.”
Now, the Hughes/Ethier administration will guide their executive board nominations through confirmation by the SGA Senate. Among the nominations are Kerrin Norton, a junior who served as the Room & Board Chair in the second term of the Bishop/Pratt administration, for Chief of Staff. Norton has been spearheading SGA’s effort to improve campus handicap accessibility. Hughes and Ethier affirmed their administration’s support for Norton’s work and said they are prioritizing handicap accessibility in their year in office.