Middlebury Student Government Association

The Middlebury Student Government Association is the primary channel through which students participate in college policy making and represent the Middlebury student body. In the interest of transparency and increased participation, members of the Middlebury community may use this site to raise any issues that they wish the SGA to address. The questions, comments and concerns received through this blog will be read and considered at weekly Senate and Cabinet meetings.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

2006-2007 SGA Senate

Congratulations to the 2006-2007 SGA Senate. Our first meeting will be held Sunday October 1 in the Robert A. Jones Conference Room. Representatives from the Board of Trustess and the Administration will be on hand to brief us about the Trustee meetings this weekend. All are welcome.

Derek Sakamoto
Vrutika Mody

Sean Denny
Catherine Hylas

Kunihide Suzuki

Jessie Singleton

Gillian Thompson
Andrew Herzik

Sandy Sokoloski

Elizabeth Campbell

Chester Harvey

Jay Yonamine

Joshua Chan

John Reed

Anthony Adragna

Thursday, September 28, 2006


SGA Senate elecitons are ongoing. The polls are open until noon on Friday September 29th so cast your ballot now.

Here is the link to the voting site:


As always, BlogBack with any comments or send us an email at SGA@middlebury.edu.


SGA Senate Elections are ongoing. The polls close at noon on Friday September 29, so cast your ballot now. Read below for candiadates' statements of intent.

Here is the voting link:

As always, BlogBack on this site with any comments or drop us an email at SGA@middlebury.edu.

Monday, September 25, 2006

SGA Senate Elections

Campaigning for Senate elections began this weekend and will continue until noontime on Thursday September 28th. Elections will run online for 24 hours immediately following the close of campaigning.

Check out the candidates' Statements of Intent posted below.

Vrutika Mody- Freshman Senator
My name is Vrutika and I am running for the Freshman Senate seat. I’m Indian by nationality but I’m from Singapore (it’s a miniscule dot of an island in South East Asia. If we drove straight for thirty minutes we would end up in the ocean…) and I have lived there for 18 years. I went to the Singapore American School since Middle School and I had the time of my life. I was that one kid who didn’t want to graduate when everyone else was ready to leave after Thanksgiving, and I think it was because I had such a great time being involved with the school!

I was Student Government President for the last three years and I became addicted with it, on par with any drug addiction. I loved the organizing, the planning, and the executing. I even, oddly enough, enjoyed the all-nighters, the last minute panic attacks and the fantastic process of cleaning up after every event. After three years of being in Student Government along with being President of Amnesty International in HS – I think the leadership experience I have gained will make me a good candidate for this seat.

I have spearheaded large scale events such as a Peace Concert showcasing local bands that raised $11,000 for underprivileged children in South East Asia. It was an arduous process but the results were so gratifying. As part of Student Government, I also had to organize Junior Prom by raising funds and at the end of Senior year, Graduation. I have also had to work closely with the administration to change things that irked the student body. We managed to increase student rights dramatically over the last few years! I know what an interesting but challenging task that can be and I’m really excited to try and start doing that again.

But more than that, I think my Student Government adventures taught me how to interact with people, how to remain determined but still compromise and how to get work done! In those three years, I have made a terrific amount of mistakes (my first month as President, we had an event for third and fourth graders and we forgot the first aid kit! That was not a party.) I have had my share of goof – ups. I don’t regret any of them and I believe they will make me a better representative for the class. From those mistakes, I have learnt so much and it’s made me a better leader and organizer. For example, I will throw a party when I am sixty four and will most definitely have a first aid kit ready.

I am not only ready but I’m excited for the responsibility. I want to make sure every freshman “MiddKid” has the time of his or her life.

Derek Sakamoto- Freshman Senator
Dear Freshman Class of 2010,

My name is Derek Sakamoto, and I am running Freshman Senator of the Student
In order to convince you that I am qualified to be a Freshman Senator, I should
discuss my credentials as a leader. However, I do not believe any of you care that I was a
debate captain, or such, and I am sure no wants to know the great physical exertions that
went into becoming a “master debater.” Rather I would like to discuss how I would be a
leader for you.
The most important attribute of a leader is to listen to others. As your
representative, listening to you will be my primary job. I need to know what you desire,
so I can fight for you in the Student Senate. Beyond just fulfilling my obligations as your
representative, I want to listen to you for my own benefit. Ralph Waldo Emerson said
that, “Everyman I meet is my superior in some way or another. In that, I learn from
him.” As part of my own education, I want to learn from you.
When I fight for you in the Senate, I will always work to get your interests passed.
If I do not get your interests passed, I will have failed you not only because I did not get
your policy passed, but also because it will seem that other’s interests are more important
than yours. I never want this to happen because I do not want to take away from you one
of man’s greatest desires, the desire to be important. Sigmund Freud notes that every
action done by man, “springs from two motives: the sex urge and the desire to be
important.” While I may not be able to fulfill both of these motives, I will not sell you
short of being important. As both my constituents and my peers, you are the most
important people.
As Freshman Senator I will listen to your interests and make them into policy.

Sean Denny- Sophomore Senator
Dear Sophomores,

Last year as your senator I became very comfortable in the SGA. Towards the end of the year I developed a complete feel for the realistic possibilities that one can pursue while in the student government. As a first-year senator one spends much time trying to get an understanding for what truly is possible, and while changes get made, much time is consumed following paths that are ultimately unlikely to be successful. I think having experience in the SGA at Middlebury is very important because you have an acquired knowledge of how to direct your focus and efforts appropriately. I believe this experience gives me the ability to make a difference as your Sophomore Senator. Go ahead… make it a brighter future for you… and Sean Denny.

Thank you for your vote!

Sean Denny

P.S. I want to please the People.

Katie Hylas- Sophomore Senator
Let’s make Middlebury work for the class of ’09.
Vote for Katie Hylas.
There is a fissure between our voices of the students and the scattered information that gets into the offices of administrators. Ideally, the function of student government should be to bridge that gap. My goal as senator would be to communicate thoroughly with every group within the sophomore class to get a sense of their needs. I would dedicate myself to translating those needs into actions.
Most of our class is jaded about student government in general…but that’s all the more reason to fight to make it work for us.
We are just sophomores. In reality, we are the forgotten crowd. We are no longer newcomers struggling to adapt to a new environment and we are not studying abroad or planning for graduation – why consider us? If we work together to figure out exactly what Middlebury can do for us… the class of ’09, and take action now, we can manipulate the cards and mold Middlebury in our favor.
As senator, I would use my position to apply as much pressure as possible to the administration and the rest of the SGA in order to achieve the changes we sophomores would benefit from. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we had access to the course evaluations we fill out every semester (as opposed to the helpful yet incomplete Middkid course evaluations)? Don’t the grade inflation discussions need to be deconstructed? Is it really grade-inflation? Or is it grade inaccuracy? Do our graduates benefit by an effort to curb grade inflation if many of the Ivies still let theirs run rampant? Are we really reaping the benefits of a liberal arts education without the option of more than a few pass-fail opportunities? Can we make Middlebury more conducive to student health? Is the inequitable commons system really serving us well?
We need to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo. We need to make Middlebury work for us. If I am elected, I will find out what we need and fight passionately for it. Vote Hylas.

Jessie Singleton- Junior Half-Year Senator
My Fellow Members of the Junior Class,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you to announce my candidacy for Junior Class Senator. Your esteemed Senators last year, Nick Monier and Max Nardini, brought positive energy and effective leadership to the SGA meeting table. In lieu of their absence, I seek this position to advance your cause and increase your voice within the Student Government Association.

The Student Government Association has an unique position within the Middlebury College Community. I learned last spring as Brainerd Commons Senator that while it is a powerful body, conversations and compromise must occur outside of the standard SGA setting to make positive change for our student body.

If elected, I plan to continue to work with students, administration, faculty, and staff to promote a progressive agenda for our campus. We are still in need of a safe and responsible solution to the lack of transportation available to students who unexpectedly find themselves in potentially dangerous situations. The Safe Ride Bill has proven to be contentious, yet I remain eager to find a solution for our peers. Additionally, I hope to utilize the existing energy of student organizations dedicated to improving our campus and assist them in their efforts. Finally, our campus must do more to promote our carbon neutrality. I am excited to work towards viable solutions to these issues and more this semester.

Although Kuni and I are running for two uncontested positions, I hope you will still exercise your right to vote (think: practice for the November Congressional Elections) and extend a vote of confidence to us as your Junior Class Senators. Please feel free to contact me via email (jsinglet@midd) or stop by my room (Palmer 200) to discuss your ideas. Thank you for this humbling opportunity to represent your student bodies.

Jessie Singleton, 08.5

Kuni Suzuki- Junior Full Year Senator:
First of all, thank you all for taking a quick look at this letter. I appreciate your kind support. To save your precious time, I will make this letter very brief.

For those of you whom I have not yet been able to meet, my name is Kunihide Suzuki (most people on campus call me Kuni). I am the strange dude from Tokyo that you encounter, often laughing ridiculously out loud and quite awkwardly at various dining halls.

This year, I am running for Junior Full-Year Senator. I am motivated to take this position because I have always been interested in contributing back to the college community by being a part of the SGA, and most importantly because I have always truly loved our class, class of ’08. You guys rock. Some of many issues that I would like to focus and enhance this year are the implementation of a SafeRides program, which can greatly increase student safety on weekends, and moreover, bringing the SGA closer to the general student body by promoting more interaction and involvement. This can be achieved by encouraging active participation by many more students and via communication tools such as the SGA Blog. Adding to this existing channel, I would also propose creating SGA dining times where some SGA officers sit down at an open table with a group of students to discuss campus issues, allowing for more accessible and casual interaction, thus raising greater awareness amongst the student body.

Given that we are juniors, this should be a unique year with some of us abroad now and/or next semester. Despite the absence of our beloved colleagues, me, Jessie, and the other cool guy (another Junior Half-Year Senator to be elected) will be sure to work together with our class to make this year extra special. Please contact me at any time at ksuzuki@middlebury.edu. Thanks again for your support and see you all around!

Gillian Thompson- Senior Senator
As a senior running for SGA senator, I am looking forward to the possibility of working with students and faculty on a number of initiatives this upcoming year. Having held positions as student body president and as student representative in high school, I have the experience necessary to make a positive contribution to SGA. The skills I have acquired in high school and here have helped me develop many ideas.
I think measures that improve students’ safety are very important, and, as long as students continue to drive to off-campus parties, the danger of drunk driving persists. A program that would help to address this problem is Safe Rides, which is currently being worked on in SGA. I would work with the administration as well as strongly push for the enactment of this program, which provides safe transportation to students returning to campus from locations off-campus. Along the theme of safety, I think that it would also be a good idea to increase the number of blue lights around campus. These additional lights would add to the feeling of security on campus, especially, for those walking across campus at night.
As a senior who is interested neither in finance nor in the Peace Corps, I have found the offerings of CSO slightly inadequate. CSO seems to facilitate a specific range of career paths and opportunities, which do not appeal to many students. As a senator, I would work with CSO to make sure that students are happy with the resources that are available to them.
In my three years at Middlebury, I have noticed a few problems that if tended to would improve elements of students’ everyday life. First, I would like to try to increase the number of dorms and on-campus houses that have laundry and drying machines. Second, I think students would greatly benefit by having a school printer/copier in a common space in their dorms. Third, as a student with a strong affection for the library, I propose to extend the hours of operation. I realize that it would be expensive and unnecessary to keep the library open at all hours, but I think that an extra hour or two would be very beneficial.
These are just some of the proposals that I would bring up in SGA meetings if voted senior class senator. Also, I am very approachable, so please don’t hesitate to give me any suggestions or ideas that you would like me to address at meetings.

Liz Campbell- Senior Feb Senator
My name is Liz Campbell. I’m a political science and French double major from Jackson, Mississippi, and I am running for the position of Senior Feb Senator.

I have to admit that I didn’t really come up with the idea of running for this position by myself, as it is my last semester and I was starting to feel like I’m at the end of my Middlebury career. That being said, when a member on the SGA Senate asked me if I’d be interested in running, I was excited by the idea and thought it would ensure my involvement in the community and with my fellow classmates during the last few months of school.

So after thinking about what I’d like to do if elected, I decided that the greatest and most straightforward goal of student government at Midd is to represent and promote the student voice. Whether that means making your concerns more perceptible to the rest of the College or introducing an idea you’ve had for the past three-and-a-half years that you haven’t raised, I’m pretty confidant that I can do that for you.

Second of all, I’m interested in what our class has to say about the initiatives that will be surfacing at SGA meetings this year. The SGA talked a lot last year about the implementation of a SafeRides program on the weekends in order to combat the problem of drunk driving, and I would like to see that passed this semester.

That’s about it. If elected, I’ll represent and communicate whatever you guys are interested in or concerned about.

Sandy Sokoloski- IHC Senator
I believe that is very important for the IHC, as the group representative of the social house system, to maintain strong organizational ties with other groups at Middlebury - especially with the SGA. Effective communication between these two groups is necessary to facilitate the coordination of goals and missions, programming, and resource allocation. My goal as IHC Senator on SGA would be to promote an on-campus social life that many students can enjoy, regardless of whether or not they are members of social houses. I believe that my experience as a member of the social house system, along with my knowledge of SGA and IHC procedures, make me an excellent candidate for this position. Thanks!

-- Sandy Sokoloski

Chester Harvey- Brainerd Commons Senator:
The SGA Senate is a body of your fellow students who are elected by you, to support your interests on campus. As candidate for Brainerd Commons Senator, and am asking for your confidence in my ability to impact positive change. I am also asking that you speak your mind, so that I can best address the issues that are most important to you.

As I announce my candidacy, there are a variety of initiatives which I would like to pursue over the coming year. First, I would like to seek further transparency in the dealings of the Finance Committee. This group of students has been appointed to dispense the student activity fee, to which each of us contributes $240 every year. Today, the Finance Committee meets behind closed doors, and is not required to post the budget of individual groups, even though these budgets are calculated by strict guidelines. I would like to see a greater transparency in this system, such that any student can see how their money is being put to use, and can propose a revision to the Committee’s guidelines.
I would also suggest that facilities phase in the use of “warm” tinted light bulbs in the overhead fixtures of dorm rooms, and provide desk lamps for each student. Many students complain that their overhead lights are ugly, and therefore have to purchase extra lamps to light their rooms. Warm tinted bulbs (as opposed to the current cool tinted) would not increase costs to the college, and would save the hassle and cost of purchasing our own lamps.
Finally, I would advocate the installation of wireless routers in our dorms. With minimal investment and setup costs, all students could enjoy the use of wireless connection to the internet and Middlebury’s internal network from any position in their rooms, lounges, or even the hallway! This minor piece of infrastructure would help take a major step toward the integration of technology on our campus.

Most importantly, I am running with the intent of delivering your ideas to the Senate floor. Please do not hesitate to tell me about the ways you think our campus could be improved. I am best reached via email at: charvey@middlebury.edu, or in person at the dining hall.

Anthony Adgragna- Ross Commons Senator:
Fellow Rossers:

My name is Anthony Adragna and I’m campaigning in hopes of representing our commons in the SGA senate. In this important body, I will vote in the interests of the Commons and make decisions that will improve our years in these hallowed halls.

I come to Middlebury in this, my first year, from Bethesda, MD, where I attended Walt Whitman High School. During my time there, I participated in various aspects of the SGA during each of my four years. I represented my fellow students at monthly meetings and participated actively in school-wide activities. I sang in the first ever Whitman Idol and danced in the senior ‘beauty’ pageant of Mr. Whitman. I have no problem poking fun at myself and having a good time while doing it.

As a high school student, I developed excellent public speaking skills. I spoke before the Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County Council on matters of community importance. As a debater, I developed the ability to speak coherently off the top of my head on a variety of important issues. This ability has and will continue to carry over into my Midd years.

If elected to the SGA Senate, I would make the Rhinos my number one priority. Your needs, goods, hopes, aspirations and general satisfaction would be my number one priority. I would have an open and laid back way of taking suggestions; anyone could feel free to drop by my door, approach me during events or in between classes, or e-mail me with your ideas and hopes for making this the year of the Rhino!

For those of you who know me well, I hope one of the most obvious traits I possess is energy. I will stop at nothing to make sure we can get the most that Midd has to offer us as Rossers. Whether that energy leads me to write editorials to The Campus or to stand on the lunch tables demanding better ice cream, I will not hesitate to do so. Energy is contagious and I would work to motivate others of you to stay involved in how our wonderful commons runs.
One of the things I hope to fight for this year is increased commons spirit. As these halls are filled with the students that we will spend our years here living with, we should stand up and take pride in one another. Whether this pride manifests itself through color wars, or occurs in campus wide sporting events, we as Rossers must take pride in the knowledge that we are the best Commons.

I will fight for the issues that fellow Rhinos want. Whether that be extended hours in the dining hall, more furniture in the common spaces, more equitable treatment of the floors by public security or something completely separate, I will fight for your cause. My role as Senator will be to take your concerns and see them solved via legislation.

If you have questions regarding my future plans for the Commons please do not hesitate to ask. I want an open and free forum for expression of whatever ideas you’d like. My door is always open. I hope for your vote next Thursday and thank you for taking the time to read my ideas. Thank you very much and GO ROSS!!!

Warmest Wishes,

Anthony G. Adragna

Angelo Fu- Ross Commons Senator:
Dear Beautiful People,
My name is Angelo Fu and I am running for your (Ross) senator. I am a freshman living in Milliken, and I hope that you will vote for me. I was active in leadership at my high school for two years, founding a club and running most events hosted by my school. As far as my goals go, my goals are your goals. If elected, I will be the arm of the people of Ross. Any policy you would like enacted I will work to enact. Hopefully, my actions will be like this letter: concise and efficient. In closing, please consider me as the best candidate for this position. Ross rocks!

Josh Chan- Wonnacott Commons Senator:
My name is Josh Chan and I am running to represent Wonnacott Commons as its senator. I’ve lived in Wonnacott since I was a freshman. My platform would have been to get laundry in Painter or Starr, but the previous Senator Chan beat me to it. If you don’t know two washers and two dryers will be installed in Painter sometime in October. Aside from being the Editor-in-Chief of the Wonnacott Water Closet, I started a petition last J-term to get an oven in Gifford the only major dorm without one. I hope to continue in the spirit by trying to replace or updating many of the ovens within Wonnacott Commons. I feel that my current job as a JC will allow me to keep a feel on the pulse of the freshman while I have many friends spread throughout the remaining grades. In short, what are my qualifications, I’d like to quote Wayne Campbell, “I've had plenty of jo-jobs; nothing I'd call a career. Let me put it this way: I have an extensive collection of nametags and hairnets.“ I hope to have the privilege of serving my commons, our commons, Wonnacott Commons.