SGA Elections

Erika Ward

Student Government Association (SGA) held elections last week and had a larger turnout than the past few years, despite most of the candidates running unopposed.

 “It validated some of the ideas we had,” newly elected president, Wil Gradle said.  “We saw one of the highest voter turnouts for a non-competitive race.  There were a few write-in candidates so there was a certain level of competition, but by far and wide this was a greater turnout for the level of competition.”

 Wil Gradle and his running mate, Riley Addington, have big plans for their time leading SGA.

 “There’s so much to look forward to,” Addington said.  “One of the main things that we ran on was improving the communication between students and the Macomb Police Department as well as the City Council in general.

 “I want to spend a lot of our time next year promoting SGA and giving it a larger presence on campus. I think right now SGA has a smaller voice and I think that one of the things that will help both the students and the university as a whole is a stronger SGA with more student support and more student awareness.”

 Michael Quigley, running unopposed, was re-elected for another term as Student Member of the Board of Trustees (BOT), meaning that he will attend BOT meetings and vote on behalf of the students.

 The winners for Senator At-Large were Areli Patino, with 233 votes, Matthew Alwood, with 166 votes, Calen Edgar, with 151 votes, Robert Barlow, with 141 votes, and Garret Covington as a write-in candidate with 115 votes.

 Barlow plans on making it easier for transfer students to adjust to Western Illinois University.

 “With the many proposals on the federal and state level to make community college very accessible in this country, there are going to be many more transfer students in the future and the number will keep growing,” Barlow said.  “It’s important that WIU be a leader in that area rather than be a follower.  It’s key to the university’s future, I believe.”

 David Dunn, the current president of SGA, is optimistic for the future of the organization on campus.

 “I think Wil Gradle is a proven leader with some very exciting ideas that could really breathe new life into our institution,” Dunn said. “Michael Quigley is without a question the most effective student trustee in recent memory and the students are fortunate to have him back for a second term.”

 Although Dunn has more time left at the university he, did not run for re-election.

 “I think it is absolutely crucial for old leaders to make way for new ones,” Dunn said.  “With new leadership in place, I have no doubt that SGA will be in safe hands without me.”

 Steve Wailand, Attorney General for SGA and Chairman of the Council on Student Elections and Representation, thanked everyone involved in the election.

 “I thank each of you, the students of WIU, for participating in the 2015 SGA elections; whether you were a candidate, helped a candidate campaign, or simply voted in this election,” Wailand said.  “You helped reaffirm to this institution’s administration that you are passionate about student representation and that you are committed to the advancement of WIU’s students’ interests.”

 The current members will finish out the year. The newly elected members will take their positions in the fall semester.