Tight Race Results in New First-Year Class President

By Jamie Jiang ’22

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 20, the Scripps Associated Students (SAS) released the First-Year Class President Run-Off Election results. The e-mail named Melody Chang SC ’22 president at 53 percent of the vote, with Hannah Ghamsari SC ’22 close behind at 47 percent, an approximately six vote difference.

SAS opened the first round of First-Year Class President elections the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 26, to last until Friday morning, Sept. 28. At least 133 Scripps First-Years (roughly half the First-Year population) cast votes. All five candidates had previously submitted a “statement of intent” in the form of a poster stating their platform and qualifications, which were posted in residence halls, Seal Court, the Student Union, and on Facebook throughout the week. On Tuesday before elections, each candidate gave a speech stating their case in the Student Union. Executive Vice President Julia Kelly SC ’22 moderated.

The first round of votes resulted in a run-off election, resulting from the technicality that no one candidate had received at least 50% of the votes. From Thursday to Saturday first-years voted again to name Chang the winner.

The purpose of any class president is to “unify their respective classes” and plan “appropriate” class-specific and campus-wide events, states the SAS Constitution. They serve to represent their class to the SAS when bringing class-specific issues up for debate. The responsibilities of the First-Year Class President, according to the SAS website, include planning class-specific events and sending SAS e-mail updates to the school.

First-Year Class President Melody Chang, whose musical speech promised more unity for the community and greater visibility for the class, plans to create a system called “We’re in this together.” She hopes the event will allow the Class of 2022 to meet first-years from all other campuses taking similar classes. She also plans to use the system to help connect first-years with upperclassmen who have taken similar classes.

“I also plan on ensuring communication is solid,” Chang said. She is also adamant that SAS events be better made known to students.

Being First-Year Class President “means having the opportunity to be a freshman advocate”, Chang said. “[A president should] be someone the first-years feel comfortable reaching out to for anything!”

During her campaign, Chang held a social event called “Melody’s PUDDING your voice into action”, a pun on the homemade flan she brought to table. Voters came to share ideas and hopes for the first-year president.

“I was given the opportunity to meet so many people and share flan among our class!” Chang said.

Chang described the process of running for president as “spectacular” and thanked supporters and other candidates, whom she describes as running with “amazing integrity.”

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