Chase Slenker, who won by write-in, and Ashley Smith were elected as the Shippensburg University class of 2023 Student Government Association (SGA) representatives.
Throughout the past few weeks, the SGA held multiple events to draw the attention of first-year students toward six candidates, who were all running for two senatorial positions in order to represent the class of 2023.
The official candidates for this year included Smith, Sasha Bretous, Riley Brown, Andrew Hare, Mia Randall and Ian Thompson. All six candidates provided promising statements to aid them in last week’s election, which ran from Monday, Sept. 16, and ended on the following Thursday.
The first-year class had an excellent turnout this year, according to Student Trustee Stephen Washington who is in charge of elections for the SGA.
With the recent transition to a new Ship Link platform, Washington said there is no access to prior election turnout information.
However, Washington reported that approximately 260 first-year students participated in the election.
Washington praised Smith, Slenker and all of the candidates.
“These emerging student leaders will go on to become crucial leaders within our campus community and eventually the world,” Washington said.
Prior to the election, Slenker broke a procedural rule and was removed from the ballot, according to information posted on the Shippensburg University New Student Orientation app.
Despite the setback, Slenker still ran as a write-in for student advocacy — and was able to walk away with one of the senatorial positions.
Both Slenker and Smith have put in a lot of effort into getting publicity from first-year students, through posters, social media, communication with other first years and by other means.
Slenker spent the weeks leading up to the election on building connections with other first-year students and highlighting his efforts of being active on campus.
Through his campaign, Slenker demonstrated that he believes in being an advocate to all students and listening to all opinions. In the future, Slenker said he wants to work to be involved on campus in order to improve campus life.
On the other hand, Smith emphasized during her campaign the importance of building community within the university and making a difference in the local community.
She has also talked about diversity and how she plans on helping first-year students find interests they are passionate about through the promotion of programs in a recent speech.
Both Smith and Slenker say they plan to put the students first and are committed to representing the class of 2023.