Junior Christopher Collins-McNeil and sophomore Emily Nassir will be the next president and vice president in the Oswego State Student Association.
Students voted online via LakerLife March 10 and 11. In total, 551 students voted. Collins-McNeil, who ran unopposed, received 481 votes.
“I am very excited about being the next SA president,” Collins-McNeil said. “I have been involved in SA my entire college career and felt that this was the next logical step. I have been a director for two years now, and I have been able to accomplish a lot and I cannot wait to reach a new level of progress at SUNY Oswego. I hope to continue to develop a conscious and vibrant campus community for all students, faculty and staff to be proud of and see themselves in.”
Collins-McNeil is currently the director of civic engagement for SA. Nassir, who has been a senator for two years and senate secretary for one, won the vice presidency with 342 votes.
“I am honored to have been elected as vice president,” Nassir said. “I have been dreaming of this moment since I first joined Senate two years ago. With everything changing in the world and on campus I feel so excited to be a part of the changes in Senate on a higher level, and I can’t wait to see what opportunities and changes lie ahead.”
Marlon Calliste, who is the current vice president of the Black Student Union, also ran on the ticket for SA vice president, but fell short to Nassir with only 197 votes.
“I would like to congratulate Emily on her victory,” Calliste said. “I’m sure she will be an excellent vice president who will work hard to improve the campus. Overall, I am very pleased with how the election was handled and with how many students participated.”
According to SA, the voter turnout, 551 students, is double the amount of last year’s voter turnout. Collins-McNeil said he hopes to triple the numbers for the 2016-2017 presidential and vice presidential elections.
“I’m thrilled about the number of people that voted in the election,” Nassir said. “While it isn’t a great number when you look at how many students there are on campus, it’s over double the amount of people that voted in last year’s election. Looking at it from a growth perspective it’s a great accomplishment, but there’s still clearly a lot of work to be done and hopefully by the next election we will be able to double or even triple the numbers again.”
Collins-McNeil said his initiatives, once taking office, includes restructuring the SA executive board.
“Many colleges and universities have a congress speaker that is the presiding officer over the student senate, similar to the structure of the United States Congress,” Collins-McNeil said. “Currently, the SA vice president is the presiding officer over the Senate. Generally speaking, the role of a vice president in student governance is to assist the president in their roles and responsibilities as well as take on their own initiatives. I would like to see the SA vice president separate from the student Senate and take on a more prominent role in serious decision making in SA and on our campus.”
Vice President-elect Nassir said her first task will be to have a smooth transition between current Vice President Jillian Kranz and herself. Kranz was promoted to vice president at the beginning of this semester after former Vice President Neely Laufer resigned. Kranz considered running for a term of her own but decided against it and is unsure where her future in SA lies.
“I think our organization is in great hands with Chris and Emily and I look forward to seeing all that they can accomplish,” Kranz said. “I’m currently talking to Emily about how she sees me playing a role in SA next year. I don’t plan to stop being a part of SA, but my role is definitely going to change and I look forward to continuing my work in SA.”
Nassir, as vice president, presides as president of the Senate and runs the SA meetings on Tuesday evenings. She said she is preparing herself for that task as well as promoting the student government organization.
“My main focus for the end of this semester is to start working on spreading SA’s name out to the campus,” Nassir said. “So many students don’t really understand what SA is and what it provides for the campus, and it’s really important that it’s spread more so that students can be more aware and more encouraged to be involved.”
Nassir also wants to increase tabling and surveys to see what students are interested in changing.
“Getting a glimpse of what students want to see changed will help us have an idea of new projects or initiatives that can be drawn up and will help us all as a Senate have a more successful term,” Nassir said.
Collins-McNeil and Nassir will be sworn in on April 1.