It’s Romano: Junior is SGA prez, Phillips takes VP

Former SGA President Brian Pawelko, left, congratulates newly-elected President Frank Romano, who defeated Kenneth Jacobs, background, and Stanley Owens in SGA executive elections.
Former SGA President Brian Pawelko, left, congratulates newly-elected President Frank Romano, who defeated Kenneth Jacobs, background, and Stanley Owens in SGA executive elections.

by Amber Cox

Junior Frank Romano defeated Stanley Owens and Kenneth Jacobs in the race to be the Student Government Association (SGA) president.

Romano is currently serving on the SGA executive board as secretary and is an active member in other areas of the campus.

“SGA is the liaison between our administration and students,” Romano said. “We need to use it to gather the students opinions. We also need to create some sort of a union.”

Romano plans to gather the students’ input and take a closer look at it during senate.

He is also looking forward to making relationships stronger with the administration and hopes that most members will know his name.

Sophomore Scott Phillips took the title of SGA vice president. He is currently the elections and recruitment chair of SGA.

His main goal is to strengthen the communication between the students and SGA.

“I think that the vice president should be the face of the students,” Phillips said. “That’s why the vice president runs senate — to be that face, creating that community.”

Junior Alex D’Amico was named treasurer for the second year in a row and sophomore Amanda Matticks took the secretary seat.

Events for the campaign took place all week. Students were able to “Meet the Candidates” in Daly’s on Monday night.

Sidewalk chalk and posters began to take over the campus as all of the different candidates tried to gain votes.

Debates for the campaign took place on Tuesday. Although it only involved the presidential and vice presidential candidates, it allowed students to “get to know the candidates.”

Senior Brian Pawelko, the current SGA president, stated to everyone in the audience how important voting is.

“The ballot box is your forum for voicing your opinion,” Pawelko said. “The candidates need to seek to find answers that students can bring to the ballots on Thursday.”

Pawelko also ran the debates and asked each of the candidates four questions. The questions ranged from why there is an SGA on campus to whether the candidates believe the alcohol policy is being effective.

Dean of Students Anthony Campbell asked the final question, dealing with how the candidates plan to work with the faculty and staff on campus.

Senior Jon Chebra, the current SGA vice president, was pleased with the turnout of voters and the campaign as a whole. By 11:30 a.m. more than 130 students had voted.

The final count of voters was 928. Last year, there was a 1,000-vote goal, but students fell short of meeting the goal by about 50, and this year by 72.

“I’m really pleased with the campaign process so far,” Chebra said. “We had a bunch of really great candidates that ran really professional campaigns.”

Although the campaign process went well overall, one candidate broke a campaigning rule.

Candidates were told they were not allowed to campaign during Relay for Life. A candidate campaigned during the event and was penalized by having to become a write-in on the ballot.

“I think that all the candidates put forth a very good effort during the campaign process and expressed creative and intuitive ways to change the campus,” sophomore Kevin Van Loan said. “I’m excited about how Frank Romano and Scott Phillips will put them in place next year.”

Pawelko spoke before announcing the winners, saying that “all of the candidates should be proud of the effort they put forth.” He also said that the lessons learned from running in a campaign are enormous, win or lose.

Romano was extremely excited to win the race and could not stop smiling after the announcement was made.

“In grammar school I was never elected into anything even though I tried,” he said.  “In high school I made it to student council only as a senior and now I have a chance to represent my entire student body.”

Phillips was as excited as Romano and could hardly contain his gratitude for his win.

“I feel great,” Phillips said.  “It was a tough two weeks and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it through. I know a lot of the other candidates ran very hard races and it was an honor to run against them. I look forward to working with some of them in the future. Finally, I have no one else to thank but Danielle Phillips [his sister]    and Dave Keenan right now.”

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