By Layne Wells '19 & Maureen Cowhey '19
Over 150 Scripps first-years voted in the Scripps Association of Students presidential election on Thurs., Sept. 24. With five different candidates vying for over 50% of the vote, the election went into a runoff. After the second round of voting, Vanessa Akinnibosun ‘19 emerged with the presidency. The five candidates campaigned the entire week up to the election through Facebook pages, posted flyers, and door-to-door promotions. All candidates also participated in a night of speeches before the polls opened. Presidential speeches took place in the Student Union and drew a considerable crowd of first-years and upperclassmen alike. Each candidate had two minutes to state their platform and to discuss their intentions for the position. The event was followed by a gathering at the Motley that was planned by several of the candidates.
The candidates included Hannah Lewis from Seattle, WA, who emphasized integrating service into the community; Bridget Pranzatelli from Washington D.C., who focused on implementing student ideas through face-to-face communication; Claire Pukszta of Irvine, CA, who focused on passion and enthusiasm “to achieve sisterhood and camaraderie”; Callie Walsh from Chicago, IL, who promised to bring event planning and parties to the Scripps collective; and Vanessa ‘Nessa’ Akinnibosun, of Dallas, TX, who ran on the platform of promoting diversity and inclusivity to the Class of 2019 through her “friendly and approachable demeanor.”
Over half of the class of 2019 voted in the first round of online elections, for which the polls were open for 24 hours. When the votes were counted after this round, no candidate had earned the majority of the votes, necessitating a runoff between Akinnibosun and Pranzatelli.
The Scripps Voice met with Akinnibosun after her presidential win.
TSV: What will be your first order of business as president?
VA: My first order of business would definitely be memorizing the names of each of my classmates. I’m so good with knowing a person’s face before I can even recall their names. My goal is to change that...as soon as possible! So Facebook will be my friend this week.
TSV: What type of events will you be planning for the class of 2019?
VA: The type of events I plan on doing for the class of 2019 are ones that will be entertaining, relaxed, and filled with relationship building activities. Stay tuned!
TSV: How do you plan on changing or reforming the position as president?
VA: I plan to enhance this position by bringing a different perspective to SAS. I want to engage the students in activities that are fun but also educational.
TSV: How will you promote diversity and inclusivity?
VA: I want to to promote diversity and inclusivity by being very much involved in the Scripps community and helping create thought-provoking and meaningful dialogues that can lead to students to be uncomfortable, realize that they are uncomfortable, and use that as a stimulus to make a change. These two aspects are very important to me, and I hope, with my position, that I can make efforts to make them better.
TSV: How will student voices be heard in your presidency?
VA: Their voices will be heard through me- I’m representing them. Whatever concerns, ideas, etc. will be given to me will be expressed to the SAS board. My plan is to make myself accessible to all the first years as much as possible, whether it be through chatting on our way to lunch, phone calls, texts, emails, or what have you. That being said, I will not have usual office hours! My fellow peers can come to my room anytime, and if I’m not there, call or text or email. I’m all theirs!