By Jocelyn Haslon and Carl Vulcain
Student Government Association President Winnie Washington earned a second term as president following last week’s elections.
As polls closed on Friday evening at 6 p.m., it was announced that the winners of the elections were, Washington, Donniece Brownlee as Treasurer, Olytoyin Olowookere as Secretary, Samantha Fitzpatrick as Vice President of Internal Affairs, and Nicole Webb as Vice President of External Affairs.
“It was an honor to be voted into SGA. This was one of my goals for this year. Hopefully as a board, we can do a good job of giving students a voice and improving the campus,” said Olutoyin Olowookere, newly elected SGA secretary.
The elections took place after a series of fierce debates.
Debates were held on Monday, March 25th through Tuesday, March 26th in Grim Hall Auditorium of the university.
Monday night’s debates featured the candidates for the Vice President of Internal Affairs, Executive Secretary and Executive Treasurer.
Donneice Brownlee, a junior at Lincoln, ran for Executive Treasurer unopposed. As she limped up to the platform in a knee-brace, the audience mumbled sympathies, but Brownlee appeared to be confident and happy.
“My plans are to use dedication, communication, and organization to help become [the] best Treasurer,” she explained.
Samantha Fitzpatrick, a sophomore, ran for Vice President of Internal Affairs, also unopposed. The audience clapped and cheered for her strong opening statement, as she wove the university’s Alma Mater into her speech and presented it as a goal to live by.
“We must stop allowing mediocrity,” Fitzpatrick told the students sternly while presenting her platform, “we need to work with administration to develop quality, lasting solutions.”
Fitzpatrick called to boost morale in students in order to decrease vandalism and student suspension also.
The last presenters for Monday night’s debates were freshman Olutoyin Olowookere and sophomore Monah Clark, both running for Executive Secretary.
When asked by an audience member why she felt she deserveed to have a position on the SGA board despite losing the position of Vice President for the Class of 2017, responded, “That was not my time. This is my time!”
The audience clapped and cheered, prompting the moderator, Liani Smith, to silence the audience multiple times during the event.Olowookere
Ultimately, audience members received both candidates well.
“I think Olutoyin was strong in her ideas and she’s the best choice because she’s already had experience since she was an Executive Assistant this year,” Marie Groves, a freshman said.
“Monah seems assertive and able to get the job done, which is what we need in all of the positions,” David Holmes, a junior stated.
On Tuesday night, the Presidential debates were moved up from Wednesday, resulting in both the Vice President of External Affairs and Presidential candidates debating that night.
Vice President of External Affairs candidates Nicole Webb, Charles Strother and Ephraim Burgess tossed questions back and forth to each other.
“What do you believe is the most important role of this position,” Webb asked both of her fellow candidates.
Burgess replied that networking is the most important role, while Strother answered “customer service to our peers”, which the audience mumbled assents of agreement.
The Presidential debates were held between current president Winnie Washington and Christian Alexander.
The audience was shocked when they learned through a question that Alexander is currently working as Washington’s Executive Assistant.
Washington asked Alexander, “What sets you apart from me and why should you be elected?”
Alexander replied that he would fulfill each and every job that is on the constitution and fulfill all of his promises.
Before her closing remarks, Washington said that she is proud of Alexander as her Executive Assistant and that she was honored to have him as her opponent for the position.
“I think Ephraim was nervous but he still did a good job,” Alexander Oates, a senior said. “I think he’d be a better candidate once he gets some more experience at this university.”
“Nicole seemed really intelligent and I think she’d make a good VP,” Jessica Barnes, a junior stated.
The president of Lincoln University was in attendance for the debates as well.
“The SGA Debates were very interesting. I was very pleased that all of the candidates appeared to be very serious about the positions they are aspiring to win, and all of them conducted themselves in a professional manner,” said university president Robert R. Jennings. “The one thing that stood out the most was that all of the individuals love The Lincoln University. As one candidate said, ‘We must strengthen our school’s pride, after all we are the nation’s first HBCU.”
Voting polls opened up for students on Friday, March 28 at 9 a.m. via students’ Lincoln email accounts.
“The Student Government Association plays a major role to any university. They are the voice of the students,” stated Kasey Gamble, a junior. “Without them, most times, students would be [left] helpless whenever an injustice [occurs].”
Meetings and plans for future events have not been formally announced. For more information on future events and announcements, please visit the official SGA instagram page @LUPASGA.