Fox elected next SGA president

By By Rob Tokanel, News Staff

With 66 percent of the total vote count and nearly four times as many votes as his opponent, the Student Government Association (SGA) announced yesterday Vice President for Student Services Ryan Fox as the student body president-elect.
Fox defeated his only opponent, Resident Student Association (RSA) Vice President for Housing Services Matt Soleyn. Soleyn said he suspended his campaign at an RSA meeting last Thursday. He was unavailable for comment.
In his acceptance speech, Fox echoed campaign trail sentiments about increasing the accountability of student government, focusing on environmental and financial sustainability and increasing the communication between students and SGA.
‘Through this election, I’ve learned firsthand how hard it is to truly reach out to the over 15,000 undergraduate students at Northeastern,’ Fox said. ‘Throughout the campaign I spoke about your connection to campus and accessibility of your student government, and I can assure you that changes to that end will be made.’
Senior Vice President for Enrollment and Student Life Philomena Mantella announced the winner in the Library Quad to a crowd of about 35 people yesterday afternoon. Mantella stressed the importance of SGA as a voice to articulate the concerns of students and said it was an honor to be able to announce the winner.
According to numbers from SGA’s Senate Nominations and Elections Committee (SNEC), Fox received 2,007 total votes to Soleyn’s 535. There were nearly 500 votes cast for no confidence, which constituted 16.7 percent of the total vote count. The total vote count came 116 votes short of the required 20 percent of the student body, but SGA voted to waive the requirement Monday.
Fox said he expected students to see he was dedicated to addressing important problems on campus and felt confident prior to the election.
‘There are really big issues that have been affecting us on campus, and as we look at the big picture and what the issues really are and stop looking at the symptoms of the issues, we can really tackle them and make it better on campus,’ he said.
SGA President Rob Ranley said Fox’s prior experience in SGA will serve him well when he assumes the presidency in July. Ranley served in the same position as Fox before he became president, and he said the biggest transition for Fox will be learning to manage people effectively.
‘He’s been working on projects and overseeing projects, so it’s a bigger transition to be overseeing people … who oversee projects,’ Ranley said. ‘He’ll have a lot to learn in that area, but you have to learn it as it goes.’
Fox said he plans to start working on getting the student body more involved in SGA as soon as possible; he said some of his first initiatives will be creating a newsletter for students about SGA and employing feedback boxes in residence halls the same way he did during his campaign.
Fox said the lack of attendance at the announcement was a testament to the need for increased communication with students.
‘I think a lot of what’s gone on during the campaign reflects students’ lack of connection to campus,’ he said.
Junior nursing major Kristin Kim, a Resident Assistant in Smith Hall, said she went door-to-door in the last few days of the voting period in an attempt to get more students to vote. While she said she didn’t promote one candidate instead of the other, she saw Fox as a better choice.
‘I encouraged [students] to go to the campaign websites and read [about] both candidates and make a decision based on that, and from what the candidates were campaigning on and the amount of effort they put in, I thought it was clear that Ryan Fox was a better candidate,’ she said. ‘In most cases the student votes reflected that.’

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