Taylor and Gutow Win SGO Election, Pledge Improved Student Life and Communication

On Wednesday, April 10, Student Government Organization (SGO) President Liv Mederios-Sakimoto ’24.5 and Vice President Danika Grieser ’26, shared the results of the 2024-25 Presidential Election through a school-wide email.

Current Chair of Student Organizations Grace Taylor ’25 and current senator and member of the Student Life Committee Matt Gutow ’25 will serve as the next president and vice president of SGO, respectively. Taylor and Gutow received 70.6% while their opponents, Wyatt Brannon ’26 and Bradley Holland ’27, received 29.4% of the 289 votes. 

In an interview with The Phoenix, Taylor explained her and Gutow’s motivations for running for SGO leadership and outlined their goals for their term. 

Having been a part of the SGO for three years, running for president “seemed like a great next step,” Taylor said. “I’ve seen it working through different leadership and I was just really excited to take a new step up, especially stepping in as a senior. I’ve been around the block a little bit, I really love it here, and I think that there are some amazing changes and things that can be put in place.” 

Knowing Taylor’s years of experience in the SGO, Gutow reached out to her, asking if they could team up for this year’s presidential election. Gutow has worked with the administration, but this was his first year in the SGO: 

“Through SGO this past year, I got a different take on the inner workings, the tweaks, and the things we can augment that will hopefully reduce pain points and make our experiences a little bit smoother and better for many folks,” he said. 

Taylor and Gutow’s platform was largely based on peer assessment and feedback from students within the Swarthmore community. 

“I think we just really tried to get as much input as possible from not only our friends, but our peers and people around us,” Taylor said. “We tried to be more in person and ask, ‘What are your concerns? What issues do you see on campus that you’d like to improve?’” 

Taylor and Gutow’s goals are centered around improving campus life. 

Some of the main things were increasing late-night dining options, especially for people with dietary issues or other health concerns, extending the Garnet or Swat Points to vendors in addition to the ones already on campus, dorm improvements, and just improving the overall quality of life for students on campus,” Taylor said. 

Gutow added, “There are some other things, like getting [more] blocking reinstated in Mary Lyons Hall and Worth Hall, adding a couple more blocks next fall or spring, and credit for labs because they’re a fair amount of work. But that’s a longer-term project because it would honestly require a lot of reworking of how we track credit hours and graduation projects.”

Gutow affirmed his intentions to continue his predecessors’ work on bridging the communication gap between the SGO and student body. 

“I think Liv and Danika did an exceptional job on communicating and giving an honest breakdown of what SGO is doing. The newsletters were helpful to read. Any goal here about how we want to run things is with a focus on clear communication.”

Regarding the ongoing discussion around dissolving the SGO and Student Budgeting Committee (SBC), Taylor expressed that instead of dissolving them altogether, it would be better to constantly have discussions and perhaps have structural changes if needed. 

She explained, “The proposal that was presented by Gaven Green ’24 and members of the [First-Generation/Low-Income (FLI)] Council is definitely a step in the right direction, and I look forward to future conversations about it. I see SGO improving entirely for the students. We’re cultivating conversations between the student body and administration and we are a liaison between the two, but I definitely see us needing to take more of an emphasis on the student [voice]. I think that’s definitely not going to be improved by eliminating the groups altogether but by finding a great balance and a great solution that will benefit everyone.”

Looking ahead, Taylor expressed eagerness to tackle challenges and make meaningful campus changes while ensuring the SGO’s effectiveness. 

“I think we have big shoes to fill, but I’m really looking forward to  making some great changes on campus this upcoming year.. If we determine that there are some changes that need to be made internally, we can do that in an efficient manner where everyone can be more successful and have a great school year.” 

On Wednesday, April 17, the results of the Executive Board votes were released: Luca Campiani ’26 will be the Chair of Academic Affairs, Darby Creegan ’26 is Chair of Internal Affairs, Jade Buan ’27 is Chair of Student Organizations, A. Brandon ’27 is Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Abby Guise ’26 is Chair of Student Life, and Audrey Levenson ’27 is Chair of Outreach. All candidates ran unopposed, except for Campiani who won by a margin of 1.4% to  candidate Bradley Holland ’27. 

The voting process for the Senate will finish on Wednesday, April 24. 

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