Hughes, Ethier Take the Helm of SGA

Jacob Ethier (left) congratulates Josh Hughes (right) after Hughes was sworn-in. (Photo provided by Josh Hughes ’20)

On Sunday, March 25, 2018, the Saint Anselm community gathered in the auditorium of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics for the annual Student Government Association Inauguration. The ceremony was significant because it marked the end of the two-year administration of President Emma Bishop and Vice President Brandon Pratt. Sophomores Joshua Hughes and Jacob Ethier were sworn-in to replace Bishop and Pratt.

The auditorium was standing room only as event organizers added new tables at the last minute to accommodate the larger-than-anticipated audience. Prior to Hughes and Ethier’s swearing-in, Dean of Students Alicia Finn made her remarks, comparing leadership to the experience of flying a kite. There were also several award winners. Matthew Masur of the History Department was awarded Professor of the Year. Wayne Currie of the Multicultural Center was awarded Administrator of the Year. Lorie Cochran, the administrative assistant in the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, received the award for Staff Member of the Year for the second time in her career.

In their remarks, President Emma Bishop and Vice President Brandon Pratt thanked the student body for the opportunity to serve the school community. Pratt called on the new Student Government Association to continue efforts for including all students in the Association. In the upcoming SGA term, three of the four vice presidents will be students of color – a first in the Association’s history. One of them, Class of 2021 Vice President Sashoy Powell, was honest about what she expects. “Having a couple more minorities in [the] Senate doesn’t really change much rather than the obvious fact that it’s a little diverse now,” she said. “Us as minorities now have a platform to voice our opinions and bring forth issues that other minorities face on our campus,” Powell continued. She also hopes that the increased diversity of the Senate will encourage more students of color to run.

For senior Vice President Sheila Ramirez, the increased presence of students of color is welcomed. After working with Wayne Currie and directly encouraging students to seek office in SGA, Ramirez said she is proud of the new makeup of SGA. “I’m really happy to see more diverse students on SGA. It breaks the stereotype that its only certain kinds of people [who] run,” she said. “I’m really honored that I had a hand in that.” As a graduating senior, the moment caps Ramirez’s three years of dedication to the Association. “I’m glad I’m leaving [SGA] better than I found it,” she concluded.

 After Pratt’s speech, Ethier was sworn-in as the new student body vice president. After, Josh Hughes was sworn-in as the new president. In his speech, Hughes talked about being humbled by the confidence students placed in him. He also used his speech to affirm some campaign promises he had made. The new president signaled that his administration intends to revisit resolutions already passed by SGA to make sure that the college is implementing them. Additionally, Hughes, a computer science major, said he hopes that SGA can develop a phone application that will provide information about “hilltop happenings, varsity sporting events, club sporting events, a live feed of cameras that view the length of lines for the grill and the coffee shop, and many more features.”

Hughes closed his speech with a nod to a saying he repeated throughout the campaign. “I want to end with a quote I said in my campaign speech and a quote that I have really started to live by, a quote that has really motivated me to take chances in every aspect of life chances I never knew I would have the guts to take. The quote is: ‘Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.’”

After thanking everyone who organized the event, Hughes told The Hilltopper he liked “that so many people from the St. A’s community came out to inauguration, not just people involved with it.”

Now, the Hughes/Ethier administration will guide their executive board nominations through confirmation by the SGA Senate. Among the nominations are Kerrin Norton, a junior who served as the Room & Board Chair in the second term of the Bishop/Pratt administration, for Chief of Staff. Norton has been spearheading SGA’s effort to improve campus handicap accessibility. Hughes and Ethier affirmed their administration’s support for Norton’s work and said they are prioritizing handicap accessibility in their year in office.

#WhyIWrite: Nick Fulchino

In January of 2017 and 2018, I went to the Women’s March held in Concord, New Hampshire. Recently, on March 24, 2018, I was back in Concord at the March for Our Lives. I watched students my age raising their voices for a cause they believed in. I came away totally moved and inspired.

The next day, I wondered what I could do to make a difference on the issues I care about. Here, at Saint Anselm College, I think we have too many people on our campus who feel their voices are not heard. Meg and I vented about our frustration, and we decided it was time for us to step up and remodel the system. Starting The Hilltopper is completely outside of my comfort zone. I was the Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper, but starting a new media outlet on campus is far more radical than I usually am. However, I truly believe Saint Anselm College students deserve a place where they feel they can be heard.

I am not interested in a feud with other campus media outlets. This is not about them, it is about everyone on this campus. When Meg and I brainstormed a tagline for our new online newspaper, a friend helped us come up with “for everyone.” How fitting. We believe that Saint Anselm deserves a campus news outlet that treats everyone with dignity, is inclusive in the opinions it shares, and insists on transparency from the College. Also, we will always use the Oxford comma.

Today, and every day going forward, I write because I believe in the power of young people to effect the change they want to see. I write to lend a metaphorical microphone to those afraid this college doesn’t want to listen to them. I write to promote the Saint Anselm College I envision. It’s a school that takes seriously the Benedictine values of love and community.

Rest assured, The Hilltopper is not a blog for Meg and me to vent about things that bother us. We will do straight reporting, but it will be balanced with opinion pieces that emphasize the dignity of the individual. We sincerely hope you’re on board to be a part of the change with us. Let’s build the campus culture we want here on the hilltop.