Flandreau and Chrisom Victorious in Student Body Elections as Hughes-Ethier Administration Comes to a Close

Voting in the election for 2020 Student Body President and Vice President concluded Tuesday with no candidate securing the majority required to win outright. At 9:53 p.m. on Tuesday, SGA Secretary of Internal Procedure, Spencer Dias, informed the student body of the inconclusive result via email. 

Article V. Section A. of the SGA constitution requires that a runoff election be held “between the two teams with the highest vote totals” in the event that no ticket garners a majority of the total votes cast. 

In the same email, Dias announced on behalf of SGA that this runoff election would result in either Rit Flandreau ‘22 and Kevin Chrisom ‘22, or  Joey Francis ‘21 and Julie Sullivan ‘21 being elected president and vice-president respectively. Finally, Dias wrote that the result would be announced: “by the end of Thursday night.” 

With no numbers provided, the only certain result of the first round of voting is that Gina Gagliardi ‘22 and Madison Hediger ‘22 received fewer total votes than the other two tickets.  

At Wednesday’s Senate meeting, the inconclusive election results overshadowed the last meeting of the Hughes-Ethier administration. Both remaining tickets were in attendance, with Julie Sullivan and Kevin Chrisom there in their official capacity, and Joey Francis and Rit Flandreau in public seating. 

The air cleared quickly, however, as student after student stood up to thank and congratulate President Hughes and Vice President Ethier. Academic Committee Chair Viger gave a moving speech, which concluded with roaring applause. Secretary Murphy, a senior, made an impassioned plea to continuing members. “I hope you don’t just think about your time here, but how you can impact future Anselmians as well,” she said. 

Later, the Senate passed a resolution calling for trash cans in Father Bernard Court without discussion and moved on to discuss ideas for outdoor seating in front of the Student Center. Other than VP Ethier’s announcement, however, that runoff election voting would be moved to the Student Center, discussion of the election was limited. 

When asked to comment on the state of the race at Wednesday’s Senate meeting, presidential candidate Francis said, “We feel optimistic, we feel good about tomorrow.” Vice-presidential candidate Chrisom and presidential candidate Flandreau expressed a similar sentiment, with Flandreau telling The Hilltopper: “It was a very exciting two weeks, very stressful, a couple of sleepless nights…but we’re really excited for what’s to come.” 

At 7:33 p.m. on Thursday night, the Student Government Association’s official email account declared Flandreau and Chrisom victorious in a message to the student body. Upon winning the election, Flandreau told the Hilltopper, “We are here for the students. We have some big shoes to fill, but we are very confident that we can maintain and keep going with this organization. It was a long two weeks, but completely worth it.” Chrisom added, “We’d also like to thank both the Francis and Gagliardi campaigns for running a clean and competitive race, and wish them all the best going forward.”

Special Election 2022: Kevin Chrisom, Candidate For Vice President

In the upcoming special election for the Class of 2022, Kevin Chrisom is the sole candidate for Vice President. Kevin, an Executive Board Member for the Saint Anselm College Republicans, NHIOP Ambassador, and political science major says he’s excited to fill the vacant role of Vice President. 

Kevin’s main goals are to increase Sophomore participation and engagement on campus, and educate students about the organization and importance of SGA. He highlighted the fact that the Sophomore class is currently the largest class on campus, something he believes to be a unique advantage the Class Council should take advantage of.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Chrisom

When commenting on the special election to fill a vacant Senate seat, Kevin said that he had made a good relationship with both candidates and was looking forward to working alongside the winner of that election regardless of the results. He suggested that the best way to accomplish their goals as a council would be to unify around a singular goal and work diligently to complete it. He also took the opportunity to comment on President Gina Gagliardi’s leadership, noting “Gina does an effective job as our class president”, and he expects it to be a good year. 

When asked about his qualifications for the position, Kevin responded by saying that he had a great deal of experience in student government from high school, as well as being a leader within the current clubs and organizations he’s apart of. Kevin is confident in his ability to “jump in and lead”, and when questioned about his prior time commitments he said he was not worried at all, and that in fact, he had already begun planning for the transition. 

As a second-year college student, Kevin said that he has had time to identify issues on campus and that in fact, some students had mentioned some of their concerns to him during his campaigning. Some of those concerns included efficiency within Davison hall at mealtimes, extending intervisitation hours, and increasing campus safety.

One event Kevin hopes to spearhead as the Vice President of the Class of 2022, is a town-hall, forum style event with College President Joseph Favazza. An idea which has floated around multiple groups on campus, including the Student Senate, Kevin said that he believes this would be “a home-run”. 

Kevin hopes to be an engaging representative of his class and said that “I take voters and constituents comments to heart […] they should be comfortable knowing they have a VP who will listen to them and fight for them”. When asked what had motivated him to run for the position, Kevin said that he had been considering a Senate run at the end of his Freshman year, but had decided to wait. He said he had decided to stay behind the scenes, build relationships, and learn about SGA before running for election. When the opportunity arose at the beginning of the year, however, Kevin decided “I think it’s time for me to use my experiences and the relationships made here to put myself where I need to be”

Kevin Chrisom is running for Vice President of the Class of 2022. Voting will be held Monday and Tuesday in Davison and CShop.

Meet The Candidates: Merrick Bilodeau ’23, Vice President

As one of two candidates for the position of Vice President of the Class of 2023, Merrick Bilodeau is focused on building relationships with her peers, and learning “about the passions and goals of all of our students”. Merrick wants voters to know that she is looking out for them and that she wants her peers to “consider Saint As their home, and our class, their family”.

Photo courtesy of Merrick Bilodeau

As a student leader throughout her high school experience, she is confident in her abilities to take on the role of Class Vice President.  She also explained that her leadership positions in her high school’s Spanish club, Student Emergency Response Team, and on the Relay For Life planning committee taught her a great deal about how to be a leader, but also how to be a follower. Merrick defined leadership as “learning to take in others’ ideas and incorporate them into a collaborative project that helps and pleases the common good”. 

On the topic of fundraising and event planning, Merrick discussed her experiences managing finances and running service events for clubs in high school. She explained that based on her experience, event nights would be the best way to engage students and make fundraisers successful. She suggested hosting paint nights, bowling nights, and partnering with local restaurants.  

Merrick’s favorite event on campus is the Meelia Center’s Foster and Adoptive Parents Night Out (FAPNO) because she enjoys entertaining the kids, but also because it’s “a simple and fun way to help our community!”. That sense of community is also what Merrick enjoys most about being at Saint A’s. She said, “Our students truly exemplify the Benedictine values, as hospitality and humility surround our campus every day.”

Merrick is one of two candidates running to be the Vice President of the class of 2023. She is a member of the Student Nursing Association and the SAC EMTs. Voting will be held Monday and Tuesday in Davison and CShop.

Boris Johnson elected UK Prime Minister

Boris Johnson was announced to become the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom yesterday. The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London was voted on by 66% of the small electorate that attended the Conservative Party Leadership ballot.

Johnson takes office following former Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation after her failure to secure a Brexit deal. Her resignation announcement didn’t trigger a nation-wide vote, but rather a vote amongst party members to pick their new leader- who would then become the de-facto Prime Minister. Theresa May, despite displaying impressive stamina in the face of insurmountable political challenge, announced her impending retirement May 24th

The vote was carried out by only attending members of the Conservative Party, meaning that this vote amongst just under 160,000 people will have ramifications for the island nation of 66 million. Johnson edged out current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt 92,153 votes to 46,656.

The vote has been received by many as a rebuke of the tempered, emotionless approach former PM May took towards the Brexit negotiations. Boris Johnson is famously bombastic, articulate, and at times, bellicose. It is because of this that the bleach-blonde haired future MP has drawn many comparisons to US President Donald Trump. Following Johnson’s victory on Tuesday, Trump posted a congratulatory tweet, saying Johnson would “do great.”

Boris Johnson will take over the office facing immediate scrutiny, both over his lack of a public mandate, as well as his at times abrasive behavior. It is hoped that his firebrand ways will push a Brexit deal forward, however, he has stated that by October 31st, the UK will leave the European Union with or without a deal. 

Questions remain about whether or not the new Prime Minister will have much of a government to work with: several Conservative MP’s have declared that they will resign when Johnson takes power, including Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan, the UK Skills and Work minister, the Secretary of State for Internal Development, the Justice Chancellor, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position usually seen as being in the direct line for the Premiership.

Johnson’s leadership opens up one possibility these MP’s are seeking to avoid: a No-Deal Brexit. MP’s and other government officials warn that the UK could be headed for economic and diplomatic chaos should the United Kingdom leave with no deal.

The UK’s membership in the European Union intertwined a myriad of the UK’s government with the EU, making disentanglement difficult. This is because many fundamental aspects of the UK government, trade, taxes, regulations, and immigration policies, have become deeply enmeshed with the European Union. To this point, the UK’s biggest struggle is negotiating out a new trade deal with the EU. Boris Johnson’s premiership also opens up the option for his foreign trade policy to be in line with that of President Trump – a consistent supporter of selective, at times predatory trade policies.

More concerningly is the transition of power in a time where the United Kingdom and Iran are embattled over an Iranian seizure of a British Oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last week. Iran has reached out to Johnson, saying they don’t want confrontation, but they will protect their borders, including their territory out at sea. Critics have been troubled by the potentiality of Johnson’s rise, saying his record on international relations has been weak and limited. Historically, Johnson has been a leader on the homefront; time will tell if he is well equipped enough to tackle these foreign diplomacy challenges.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters and detractors alike in front of 10 Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister, Johnson claimed that he would create for the United Kingdom, “A new deal, a better deal” in relation to the European Union. Alongside remarks regarding Brexit, he promised increased funding for the British National Health Service, building plans for twenty new hospitals, as well as subsidies for the British agricultural sector, amongst a series of other domestic policies.

Facing both the Iranian crisis as well as Brexit – it’s quite possible to say that Boris Johnson faces the most immediate and pressing challenges by any Prime Minister since Winston Churchill. Time will tell if the future Prime Minister’s firebrand attitude and abrasive oratory will come to the benefit of the British people, or if it will bring them into the new decade an international pariah, as new leaders can so often do to once bright nations.