The new SGA constitution was passed with an altered clause of executive board qualifications, permitting the last-minute candidacy of the winning team, junior Chris Moore and sophomore AJ Wallace, who would not have qualified under the previous requirements.
The new constitution passed the week before SGA held their information meeting concerning presidential elections. This included the exchange of student affairs leadership instead of strictly Student Life or Spiritual Formation roles.
The old qualification required candidates to have two consecutive semesters serving SGA or two full years of of student life leadership experience. The vice president requirements remained the same, with one full year at Vanguard before their term in office.
According to the Coordinator of Student Engagement, Ellie Kaiser, SGA intended the constitution change to open up the field to candidates who may find their leadership experience from different aspects of campus.
“If a student is qualified, we want them to be able to run,” Kaiser said
Moore, the current RA of sixth floor Huntington Hall, gained his other year of leadership from a program he started while playing on the baseball team. The program essentially formulated when he was a “red shirt” (players who practice with the team but do use their athletic eligibility)and took the time to improve the music played at games. The following year when he began playing, he trained new freshmen red shirts to take over the program, which counted as his “student affairs” leadership.
“When Chris… turned in his application for running, I made sure to contact the athletics staff and look into his role on the baseball team, and they ensured he was in a leadership role during his…sophomore year. So that clearly qualified as him as his second year,” Kaiser said.
According to Moore, the process of verifying Moore’s leadership involved the consultation of people like Mike Teague, Associate Athletics Director. Even though Moore admits “student affairs” is a somewhat vague description, he has faith it was a well thought-out decision when his efforts were approved.
“They communicated with..faculty and they agreed that I was qualified, and not only was qualified but had the leadership qualities needed,” Moore said.
Moore was originally partnered as the vice presidential candidate for junior Abbygail Orona, but a last minute change ended with Moore asking Wallace to be his running mate. Wallace, a transfer student, will have completed his second semester at Vanguard this spring.
According to Kaiser, there has been dutiful consistency with applicants and their qualifications, not just bending the rules for Moore and Wallace to be eligible to run this election.
Having won the election last month by 15 votes, the new presidential duo is set to hire their Vice President of Communication as well Finance and Policy, both additions from the new constitution. With the hiring of the former, Moore hopes to clarify some of the confusion that has surmounted since the announcement of the restructuring of SGA.
Moore never considered SGA before being approached by Orona at the beginning of last semester, but now he and Wallace hope to make student government more accessible to students, something he believes the new House of Representatives will assist in.
Additionally, Moore would hope for the new structure to allow a more open conversation between himself, Wallace and students.
“I do…have a few ideas of what we would like to do, but ultimately I am leaving a lot of space open for the students to come to us,” Moore said.
Wallace agrees, understanding that the new team will not be able to know everyone on campus, but they want to foster the mindset that allows for community.
“I just want people, ultimately for those who really don’t know Chris and I, if they have the time to get to know us,” Wallace said. “We stand for the student body but the student body is made of a bunch of individuals.”