Ithaca College senior class council elections will now be held separately from the Student Governance Council (SGC) elections.
The only team running for senior class council is IC Us Together. IC Us Together is composed of juniors Reed Pollard as president, Anna Costa as vice president, Mark Scaglione as chief of staff, Jill Choinski as director of finance, Cat Fox as director of marketing and Erika Liberati as director of communications. Voting for the senior council elections will be held April 21 and 22 on Engage.
In previous years, senior council elections were included in the SGC spring semester elections. This meant the SGC executive board would provide funding for the senior council campaigning budget, senior Connor Shea, president of the SGC, said. The SGC Organizational Review Committee decided to discontinue this partnership and funding when amending the SGC Elections Act.
“Other than facilitating elections and financially supporting their tickets, we are two separate organizations and decided to update our policy to allow for both organizations to facilitate their own elections,” Shea said.
The SGC held platform presentations April 12 for the prospective SGC executive board and senate for the 2021–22 academic year. IC Revival is the only group running for the incoming SGC executive board. SGC elections for the incoming executive board and senate will be held from April 23 to 24 on IC Engage.
Ali Kelley, Class of 2021 president, said she fought to keep the elections together to make it easier for students to vote for both elections.
“Since I was made aware of this decision late into the academic year, forcing us to reinvent our elections process, I made sure to work closely with Patti Banfield, senior class adviser, and Brittany Watros, the Office of Student Engagement administrative assistant, to ensure a fair, unbiased elections process for the senior class executive board,” Kelley said via email.
Pollard said IC Us Together’s goals are to create a normal senior year experience while being mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure that seniors’ voices are heard and appreciated and encourage the senior class to continue to contribute to the college community.
“Our main concerns center around the current state of the world and its health,” Pollard said via email. “We are extremely proud that IC is mandating students to have the vaccine to return to school this upcoming year. With this, as well as ordinances from the state, we hope to bring back elements of normalcy to the school and events that are geared towards seniors.”
The team formed over the past few weeks, but Pollard, Costa and Scaglione have been talking about running for council since their freshman year, Pollard said.
“Being involved on campus has always been one of the most important aspects about my time at IC,” Pollard said via email. “When thinking about who I wanted to run with, I pulled people who I knew were extremely involved across the school.”
Choinski, an accounting major, said she wanted to run for director of finance to be more involved in the senior class and to get more experience in finance.
“If I’m elected director of finance, I hope to gain hands-on experience with the accounting practices I learned, such as managing the financial statements and analyzing our budgets,” she said.
Pollard said he wants to help students be more engaged at the college following the COVID-19 pandemic if he is elected to the council. He said he hopes to restore some of the senior traditions that were not possible due to the pandemic. The in-person commencement for the Class of 2020 was canceled and replaced by five virtual ceremonies. The Class of 2021 is expected to have an in-person commencement ceremony that will follow COVID-19 precautions.
“What truly inspired me was the fact that IC students need engagement with the campus and are missing out on some of the things that are unique to a traditional Ithaca College experience,” Pollard said via email. “I hope, as president, to be able to build bridges with students and the campus once again and help facilitate a memorable and exciting senior year.”
Fox said she has wanted to run for the senior class council since her sophomore year. She said that she looked up to the Class of 2020 senior council and the Class of 2021 senior council and that they inspired her to get involved.
“I really think it’s amazing that you can be the voice of the senior class and advocate for them to get them the tools to have an amazing senior year,” Fox said. “Especially after the past year we’ve had, I know how important it is to have this last year be fun and engaging and memorable, especially since it seems things are getting back to normal, or at least our new normal.”
Voting will be held on Engage, and all students who are in the Class of 2022 are able to vote.
Editor’s note: Costa is the managing editor of The Ithacan.