By Adam Rivera and Evan Cornell
After weeks of campaigning and a day of voting, the 2015-16 Student Government was announced on April 20. The next Student Government Association (SGA) will be headed by 2015-16 President Ryan Hopely, sophomore public relations major, and 2015-16 Vice President John Modica, freshman finance major.
Hopely said he was humbled to be elected as president.
“This has been a [high] point of my career here at Rider University. I was incredibly nervous, but I’m really happy with the results.” Hopely said. “This next year’s executive board is going to put a lot of work to continue the success of SGA, and this is the start of it all.”
Modica said he was honored and excited for the opportunity to improve the campus.
“Today is incredibly important to me,” Modica said. “I feel like the people who I get to work with now will continue to produce success as previous staffs had. I’m very excited to be a part of that.
“A lot of my goals have to do with changing the culture at Rider University itself, and most of that stems from making sure students are proud to be a part of Rider.” Modica also feels that SGA should create a more student-involvement oriented environment.
Hopely and Modica will be working with many returning and new representatives in student government. John Mancini, organizational affairs team leader, began the evening by announcing Rider’s elected student senators. These senatorial elections are the first elections held in accordance with new bylaws enacted on March 31 by the 2014-15 student senate.
Following the first announcement of the elected senators, the 2015-16 finance board, Greek Council, Residence Hall Association board and Association of Commuting Student’s board were all introduced. It proved impossible to keep the audience completely calm, as cheers, whistles and table thumping erupted after each announcement.
Once the excitement ebbed, the rising sophomore class president and rising senior class president were unveiled. Freshman biology major Johanna Estevez and junior marketing major Christina Diecidue will serve as sophomore and senior class president, respectively.
Perhaps the most anticipated results of the evening were the 2015-16 SGA executive board. First, sophomore digital media major Jake Troy proudly joined Mancini at the front of the room as the incoming SGA secretary. He was quickly joined by senior accounting major Shaun Bartole as SGA treasurer.
Modica is eager to work with the incoming SGA executive board.
“I feel like SGA has in the past undermined its potential,” Modica said. “And what I really want to do is bring in more students involvement with SGA and expand more with organizations on campus and especially with Westminster and build a strong relationship with them.”
Director of campus life Richard Kopp closed the evening, paying tribute to the outgoing SGA board and welcoming the new.
As the next SGA president, Hopely is already focusing on the future. His first task is the upcoming summer. “I’m going to get the staff and myself prepared for this summer and the upcoming school year as we will be tackling our first barrier of tasks. But once again, I’m excited to work with such a promising and strong staff of SGA.”
For a list of winners, click here.