Ferris Student Government President Is Named

After a three day online election process, a president was chosen

by Published: Apr 3, 2013

Current vice-president Erin Williams will replace Byron Williams as Ferris State University stu­dent gov­ern­ment pres­i­dent for the 2013–14 school year.

“Student gov­ern­ment is the voice of Ferris State University. It is our goal that the stu­dent body is heard,” Williams said.

Byron Williams is on track to grad­u­ate after this semester.

This year marks the first time in five years where there were more than one can­di­date run­ning for the vacant pres­i­den­tial posi­tion, as Travis Hill added his name for consideration.

Erin Williams plans to grad­u­ate after the 2013 fall semes­ter, halfway through the com­ple­tion of the pres­i­den­tial term. Jessica Trendel, who is cur­rently not actively involved with stu­dent gov­ern­ment but was in years past, will replace her as pres­i­dent for the spring semester.

“I don’t think it will be an issue. I was a lit­tle hes­i­tant at first because I didn’t know how the stu­dent body would take it. After talk­ing with our fac­ulty advi­sor, he told me that it’s not too uncom­mon,” Byron Williams said.

The offi­cial announce­ment came on Tuesday, April 2, after a three day vot­ing process located on Org Sync, which offered stu­dents an oppor­tu­nity to vote for Erin Williams, Travis Hill and a slew of sen­a­tor positions.

Student gov­ern­ment mem­ber Jacob VanBoxel and Jeffrey Oaks also received votes as write-in candidates.

The vote took place last Wednesday through Friday when school was not in ses­sion for two of the three days. The per­cent­age of votes toward each can­di­date and total votes is not yet known.

Students were able to sub­mit more than one vote, but inter­nal mea­sures within Org Sync were able to pluck out mul­ti­ple sub­mis­sions, accord­ing to Ferris Coordinator of Student Engagement and Leadership Alvira Rajala.

The vote came a week after the first pres­i­den­tial debate in years, as each can­di­date was able to voice their spe­cific plat­form in the Dome Room in the Rankin Center on March 20.

Erin Williams, senior in allied health and sci­ences from Macomb Township, is also the pres­i­dent of the res­pi­ra­tory care asso­ci­a­tion and a stu­dent recruit­ing assis­tant located in FLITE.

Each can­di­date voiced sim­i­lar plans to increase col­lab­o­ra­tion amongst reg­is­tered stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions, cre­ate a monthly newslet­ter to inform stu­dents of cur­rent Ferris issues and ulti­mately increase stu­dent involvement.

Attendees included var­i­ous mem­bers of stu­dent gov­ern­ment and five Ferris stu­dents which were inde­pen­dent from the polit­i­cal process.

“I would believe adver­tis­ing and cam­pus aware­ness played a role in the atten­dance. It kind of feels like stu­dent gov­ern­ment is its own lit­tle club,” Labon Wolgamott, Ferris grad­u­ate stu­dent in plas­tics and rub­ber engi­neer­ing, said.

Student gov­ern­ment over­sees the devel­op­ment of cre­at­ing uni­ver­sity run events, such as the Big Event, and allo­cates funds gath­ered from the uni­ver­sity activ­i­ties fund to help run them.

“Most stu­dents don’t really care what hap­pens on cam­pus, but they don’t see the change that hap­pens behind the scenes,” Erin Williams said.

Both Erin Williams and Byron Williams stressed they would like more involve­ment from the stu­dent population.

“I hon­estly believe there should be like 10 peo­ple run­ning for the stu­dent gov­ern­ment pres­i­dent posi­tion,” Byron Williams said.

Any inter­ested stu­dent is wel­come to attend weekly meet­ings located in the Centennial Room in the Rankin Center at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays.