Medeiros-Sakimoto and Grieser Win SGO Presidential Election, Promise Increased Support for Student Groups  

In an email to Swarthmore students on Thursday, April 13th, current Student Government President and Vice President Connor Barrett ’24 and Deven Ayambem ’24 announced the results of Student Government Organization (SGO) presidential elections for the 2023-24 academic year.        

Current Chair of Outreach Liv Medeiros-Sakimoto ’25 and current Chair of Internal Affairs Danika Grieser ’26 will serve as the next President and Vice President of SGO, respectively. Medeiros-Sakimoto and Grieser received 59.6% of the total ballots cast, amounting to 239 votes. Wyatt Brannon ’26 and Sidra Muhammadi ’26 received 41.7% of the votes, or 178 votes. 2.3% of voters selected “no preference.” 

Medeiros-Sakimoto and Grieser’s platform emphasized candor, community, and cultivation. In their platform, Medeiros-Sakimoto cited experience promoting teamwork and communication. 

“I’m committed to rebuilding SGO into a reliable change-maker on campus that will not only amplify student voices and concerns, but also establish standard practices for future movements at Swarthmore,” she wrote. 

In an interview with The Phoenix, Grieser voiced a need for efficiency and efficacy within SGO itself and in communities on campus she believed were neglected by SGO this year. 

“Last year, I feel like SGO wasn’t as apt to connect with communities, affinity groups, and clubs on campus as we should have been. Next year, when Liv [Medeiros-Sakimoto] and I have more direction, we hope to reform some of the institutions and the structures within SGO. And that’s really what it boiled down to — we just wanted to see change. We wanted to see a better SGO next year,” she said. 

Grieser discussed how she plans to utilize both the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) and the Student Budgeting Committee (SBC) to achieve their goals of creating a more inclusive campus next year. 

“We will work closely with OSE and even more closely with SBC so that we can really prioritize the communities on campus that were neglected last semester and talk to students who feel like SGO wasn’t doing the job that they should have been doing last year, because we weren’t. Next year we will be, that’s a promise,” said Grieser. 

The disconnect between the student body and SGO can be evidenced by the lack of voter turnout during the presidential election, with approximately 25% of the student body participating.

“It is disappointing to not see the wide majority of students voting. I think compared to last year’s numbers, though, we did increase [voting] by around 100 votes, which is great. And I like to dedicate a lot of that to Wyatt [Brannon] and how he went out and campaigned and tabled and got people to vote every single day. I think that was really impactful,” Grieser said. 

Grieser discussed how SGO will focus on increasing voter turnout for next year’s election.

“I think increasing participation is definitely a goal because there’s not really a point of having an election if no one’s going to be running in it or voting in it,” Grieser said. “So next year, maybe having greater awareness for [the election] through tables in Parrish that are not necessarily geared to a certain campaign, but reminding students to vote, could be possible.”

Elections for the following positions during the 2023-24 academic year have yet to occur: Chair of Academic Affairs, Chair of Internal Affairs, Chair of Organizations, Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee (DICOM), Chair of Student Life, and Chair of Outreach. 

“Voting for the [SGO] Executive Board closes Wednesday, [April 19] at 11:59 p.m., and hopefully the results will be emailed out by Thursday [April 20] morning. There are also senators at large and senators for each grade, and you can start submitting platforms for those positions on Thursday, [April 20],” Grieser said. “Hopefully, we get a lot of people involved through the senator at large and class senator positions, because we want to see people representing their grades. If you feel like you weren’t represented well this year, you have got to step up.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Phoenix

Discover more from The Phoenix

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading