Sofia Lombardi is also a copy editor on the Catalyst.
The Fall 2020 emergency elections are over. The New College Student Alliance (NCSA) welcomed its new members after voting ended on Friday, Sept. 11 and results were announced on Saturday, Sept. 12.Students can breathe easy knowing they will have a working student government to navigate the unique challenges of this year’s fall and spring semesters.
At the presidential debate on Thursday, Sept. 10,candidates second-year Sofia Lombardi, third-year Izaya Garret Miles and third-year Rhys Shanahan presented their platforms to the student body. The virtual debate went smoothly, despite Lombardi’s power going out halfway through the debate.
The presidential candidates spoke about a variety of topics such as the Four Winds Cafe, police presence, campus culture, budgeting and accessibility. All three candidates presented their qualifications and platforms in professional manners. Regardless of their different opinions, candidates complimented each other and reassured students that whoever wins will work to improve New College.
Even without drunk debates this year, students found excitement through a friendly game of bingo on the forum, cracking jokes and cheering on their respective candidates. Despite the limitations COVID-19 has placed on social interaction, New College has not forgotten its sense of community.
Throughout the debate, Lombardi expressed her dedication to listening to and advocating for all students.
“I want to emphasize that I’ll be doing a majority of the outreach so students don’t feel like it’s only on them to come to me.” Lombardi said.
In the end, Lombardi won the contested NCSA Presidency with 184 votes, Shanahan came in second with 38 votes and Miles came in third with 15 votes.
When it comes to policy, Lombardi will be looking to increase transparency within the NCSA, which is just one way Lombardi hopes to increase student involvement. The first step begins with open applications for cabinet positions in this year’s executive cabinet. Where traditionally the NCSA president appoints his cabinet members, Lombardi has already sent out applications for cabinet positions. Application forms were sent out to the StudentsList and forum, the deadline to apply is Saturday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m..
“Hopefully, by spreading the word and talking to friends and having them talk to their friends, we’ll be able to get a diverse group of applicants on the cabinet,” Lombardi said. “And then through more student involvement and student input, hopefully we’ll get a more well rounded sense of student opinion on campus.”
Aside from the NCSA president, of the other 27 positions open, only four were not filled. Those positions were the gender studies representative, the international studies representative, the career service representative and the admissions representative.
Working in the NCSA has never been an easy job. Former NCSA President Steven Keshishian has expressed how hard it is “to stop a ship from sinking and also move it in a proper direction.” With COVID-19, slow growth and financial limitations, this year’s NCSA representatives will need student involvement and input in order to navigate the obstacles of the coming year.
“I feel like right now, students don’t know the proper channels to go through to have their voices heard,” Lombardi explained. “And I think that creates a lot of apathy within the student body, because students don’t feel that they’re being heard and that’s really only because they don’t know how to be heard. So if we are able to increase student-to-NCSA-to-administration communication, that can make students feel like they’re more involved and create a much happier campus environment.”