New president Josh Foerst ’15 says SGA will focus on budget, presence on campus

Wyatt Smith

News Editor

Last week, Wooster’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual elections. Josh Foerst ’15 was elected SGA president, replacing Molly McCartt ’14.

Vice President Kelsey Schreck ’15, Secretary Kristina Schiavone ’15 and Treasurer DJ Sullivan ’15 round out SGA’s newly elected Executive Board. Senators — five from each class and five at-large seats — were also elected. All terms run for one calendar year.

This year’s election was slightly more competitive than last year’s, when no one ran opposed.

“Every year since 2011, there has been a slight, steady increase in the amount of people that run,” explained McCartt. “This year we had competition in the Class of 2017 with seven people running for five seats, and competition for every cabinet position except President. While this is good, I would really love to have even more competition for future SGA elections. … The more competition, the more SGA can solidify itself as a true representation of the student body, which I think is something we are moving towards.”

In order to become a candidate in an SGA election, students must have submitted petitions with at least 40 signatures — 65 for Executive Board.

Foerst predicts that the student groups’ budget and SGA’s presence on campus will be central issues during his term as president.

“Right now, we’re looking at improving on the budget approval process,” he said. “Last year, things got a little hectic … [and] there were a few groups that were extremely upset with their budgets. … We are going to improve on the process and make sure that we don’t repeat any of our mistakes.”

Foerst also highlighted the importance of continuing improvements to the airport shuttle and summer storage programs.

“There’s issues that don’t really go away,” Jordan McNickle ’14, former SGA vice president, added. “We find that we end up discussing parking and things like that pretty much on a year-to-year basis, but there’s other things that you can’t really expect.”

McNickle also hopes that the involvement of Schreck — his replacement as vice president — who is in student green groups, such as Greenhouse, signals a greater commitment on the part of SGA towards environmental initiatives.

SGA collected election results via an online survey. Standing senators tabled in Lowry and posted links to the poll on Facebook to encourage participation.

Foerst, who had previously been chair of the PR Committee, is the first SGA president in three years not involved in Greek life, although he downplays the importance of this discontinuity.

“The fact that [former presidents] were involved in Greek Life really had nothing to do with their respective presidencies,” Foerst said. “They were all extremely involved in student groups just as I am. The only difference is that I did not find a home in Greek Life whereas they did.”

SGA seeks to be Wooster’s principal student advocacy group, liaising with the administration on behalf of the student body. SGA primarily interacts with the administration through their adviser, Dean of Students Kurt Holmes, who attends most SGA meetings. Senators also influence policy through membership in other organizations and committees, as well as personal meetings with administrators. SGA also has the unique privilege of sitting in on trustee meetings.

The entire SGA holds a weekly general meeting. Additionally, each senator must sit on committees, which also meet weekly. Current committees include academic affairs, student services, student advocacy and PR.

“We get a lot of people who sometimes feel that they’re disconnected from SGA,” said McNickle. “But we have open meetings, so people are more than welcome to come. Ideally, we want to know what the students want, or what they care about, because that’s our job.”

The date and time for this semester’s SGA meetings have not yet been decided.