By Julie Pike, editor-in-chief
In a close vote, so close in fact that a recount was called, Katelyn Seavey emerged as the newly elected Student Body President for USM. Seavey ran against Shaman Kirkland, the Vice Chair of the Student Senate.
Seavey transferred to USM last year from York County Community College. She started out as a biochemistry major but has since switched to psychology, and is set to graduate next year in the spring.
At York County Community College she was on the Student Senate and was the President of Phi Theta Kappa, their honors society. When she first came to USM after transferring, Seavey stated that she was overwhelmed at first, due to the major differences between the two schools, mostly in size.
A year later, after getting situated at USM, she decided to run for Student Body President.
After hearing about the elections through an email sent out to students, Seavey contacted Chase Hewitt, the former Student Body President to meet with him and find out more about the position. After this she realized she only had one more day until the deadline to get the 25 signatures required to run.
Due to the small amount of time Seavey had to get everything submitted to run, she did not end up choosing a vice president beforehand. However, she was told she would have until May 4 to choose who she would like to work with. Trevor Hustus, the current At-Large Student Senator, has offered to take up the position.
In regards to her inspiration for running, Seavey wants to create a more organized student government, as well as bring initiatives of her own.
“I feel right now that it’s [the student senate] very disorganized. When I went to run for presidency, it was very much them running with their heads cut off,” Seavey stated. “They didn’t know the answers to some basic questions that I asked them. Hopefully I can bring more organization to that to be able to get some initiatives going.”
She is trying to bring a national program to USM called The Campus Kitchen Project, a community service initiative to combat hunger in the community. She hopes to partner with Sodexo so they can give away any food that would’ve been otherwise wasted, to be made into meals for food insecure families.
Seavey noted that the Student Senate have not had many initiatives lately, aside from trying to get free printing for students. She hopes to continue some of the current projects at hand, including printing and expanding the textbooks on reserve.
“We are already paying enough as college students it would be nice to rent some things from the library, to have that as a resource,” Seavey said. Seavey also mentioned wanting to get more compositing bins around campus to get more students involved.
One of the first issues that Seavey hopes to combat is better organization. She stated that she plans on going through all of the bylaws, getting them up to date and making sure that everyone is aware of what they need to be doing. Seavey stated that in total only about 80 students out of the approximately 6,000 enrolled participated in the vote for president.
“It’s issues like this that I think lead the Student Senate to be so disorganized because people don’t actually know who they are voting for.”
The Student Senate recently approved the budget of $1500 to buy monogrammed jackets for each Senator. Those who were in support of this stated that they were hoping it would help make Senators more known to students.
“I feel like that is an expense that is not needed,” Seavey stated. “We’re not gonna be wasting money like that in the future. The whole point of student government is to represent students and to do things for the students.”
To begin the year, the main thing that Seavey wants her fellow students to know is that she is going to work hard to meet the needs of the student body.
“I actually do care and will try my best to hear the critiques of students and I hopefully will find a solution that is possible,” said Seavey.