While the executive treasurer and executive secretary races in this year's SGA election on March 18-19 are uncontested, treasurer candidate Caroline Penfield and secretary candidate Hailey Jurgens are excited to run for the chance to serve on the executive board.
Here is a look at the candidates and each of the positions they are running for.
Making a difference is what the current 2022 class treasurer Caroline Penfield has set her sights on with her SGA executive treasurer run. Before joining SGA, she didn’t know how much of a difference she could make.
“I didn’t realize as a student outside of SGA the amount of impact that [SGA has] on the student body, and how much they do care about student concerns,” Penfield said. “Especially seeing what the finance board does, I think so much of it is funding those experiences that make up people’s day to day and what they love about Elon.”
The executive treasurer's role involves leading the finance board and allocating funds through student activity fees, meaning Penfield will be the liaison between student organizations trying to secure funding and the finance board – something she said she will thrive at.
“I’d met so many people that were passionate about different things, and so when I was looking into applying for SGA, and what the finance board does, I really saw how they serve those passions and interest,” said Penfield, who has experience working in Residence Life as an RA, and spoke with different organizations as an interfaith intern at the Truitt Center.
“I felt like I would be a good fit because I had a good understanding of the student body, but also because I was looking for somewhere to push myself,” she said.
As executive treasurer, Penfield hopes to work with the Office of Financial Literacy to promote their resources to students, work on legislation to to purchase carbon offsets for SGA funded travel and streamline the funding process to make it easy for organizations and students to secure student activity funds.
“Anytime you're dealing with all the budgeting forms, and the larger university things, there's just a lot that goes into that,” Penfield said. “I don't want that to hinder organizations or students from feeling like they can't get student activity funds for their projects or events.”
Penfield is currently studying political science and policy studies, and minoring in Leadership studies.
Walking into Elon’s SGA her freshman year of college, class of 2022 president Hailey Jurgens could tell that this organization was much different from her high school student government.
“Student government in high school is a lot more planning, and prepping for prom,” Jurgens said, who served as class senator her first year, class president now, and now is running for executive secretary. “SGA actually has a true impact on students, and that's why I stayed in, that’s why I kept running and making more connections.”
Communication and connections are key for Jurgens, who wants to use her new position to ensure a more direct line of communication with senators, administrators and the student body.
While Jurgens said her new role as “not very clearly defined” with many responsibilities packed into one position, she hopes to build it to be a position that enables the student body to always know what SGA is working on, how they can get involved in legislative processes and what they need to know about the structure of SGA.
“There’s a lot with the constitutional changes, there's a lot of different positions in SGA that aren't necessarily senator positions,” Jurgens said, referring to the pending new constitution being voted on by the student body.
Some of her larger goals for her position are to work with the SGA public relations department for more student outreach, fostering a student and senator connection for better representation and continuing to build and improve programs introduced by SGA, like Jurgens’ gender based violence pilot program.
“I want to keep that work going. I don't think it just stops with that piece of legislation,” Jurgens said. “I can use my title almost in a way to connect more with the administration and connect senators who are also feeling this passion to keeping efforts like this more sustainable in the long run.”
Jurgens is currently studying exercise science, and minoring in chemistry and statistics.