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Morrow Wins SGA Election, Olsowski To Remain VP

By Katie Beeman, Decree Staff Writer

Isaiah Morrow was elected as the 2014-2015 SGA president in late March, beating the former vice president in a close race.

Morrow got 121 votes to Sarah Olsowski’s 104 in one of the highest turnouts in recent years, according to SGA advisor Adia Cuthbertson.

A junior, Morrow is a member of the football team as well as a resident advisor.

“When I first found out I had won,” he said, “I was excited for what was to come and thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given.”

As president, Morrow said one of his main objectives is to strengthen the college’s relationship with the city of Rocky Mount. He plans to create a personal and business relationship with city council members.

Another goal is to improve security. “I want to get it to the point where all students feel safe on campus,” said Morrow. Among his other plans, Morrow intends to improve the relationship between students and the new president, help enhance the food service offerings, raise SGA’s profile on campus “to give students more of a voice,” improve student entertainment programs, and revive school spirit by having students participate in more campus activities. 

Freshman Neryezza Calo has been impressed by Morrow, calling him very personable. Prior to the election, she said, “He sat down and talked with me. He was handing out petitions to the students and seeing him do that showed me that he really cared about what students wanted.” 

Olsowski stated that she felt it was a good election. “Over 200 students voted by paper ballot, which is excellent,” she said.

Morrow praised his opponent, an honors student and member of the soccer team, who was SGA vice president as a sophomore. “She put on an excellent campaign,” he said, adding, “I feel for Sarah.”

Jacob Wilson, a freshman, ran unopposed as a candidate for vice president, but resigned his position after the election. Contacted by The Decree, Wilson declined to provide a reason for his resignation.

About a week later, Morrow then appointed Olsowski the new vice president. “She’s very intelligent and full of ideas,” Morrow said. “She’s a very qualified person for the position, and I look forward to working closely with her during this upcoming school year.”        

Olsowski stated that as vice president she will remain a strong advocate for the students. Besides working to improve food services and housing, she said she will continue to push for a recycling program on campus.

The election began on Monday, March 24, and continued until Thursday, with the winners announced on Friday. Students were given the option of voting by email or paper ballot in the school cafeteria, but the online process was discontinued on Monday following technical glitches.

 Within hours, an email was sent to alert students of the problem. All online votes were discarded and all students were urged to vote by paper ballot.

Both candidates were disappointed by the problems. “I was a little upset about the technical difficulties that did occur during the voting,” said Morrow. “I was glad that it happened within the first hour or two of voting, when there weren’t as many students who had already voted.”

Olsowski said she was let down by the online polls. “I felt like it hurt me because I think I reached a lot of ASPIRE students,” she said, referring to students enrolled in NCWC’s adult-degree programs.

Katherine Crickmore, a commuter student in the day program, wishes that the online voting had worked. “I have classes through lunch and I don’t live on campus,” she said, “so I’m not here during dinner.”  Crickmore stated that the online voting would have been convenient for commuter students.

The election came a week after a candidate debate. Gathering on the night of March 19 in Minges Auditorium, the two presidential hopefuls took part in a question-and-answer session, with about 50 students in attendance.

Asked to identify the biggest problem on campus, Olsowski mentioned the food services, while Morrow pointed to campus security. “As an RA, I deal with lots of problems, and security still doesn’t respond quickly enough,” he said, noting that he wants to see the college add more lighting as well as a second courtesy police officer on the north side of campus. “Incoming students need to feel safe,” said Morrow. “This is something that affects their decision about coming here.”

At the forum, students asked about Wesleyan’s drinking policy. Many would like to see the college permit drinking for students 21 and older, but the two candidates agreed that the college should remain a dry campus, pointing to its history as a Methodist-affiliated school. 

Junior Dillon Becker felt that the debate was won by Olsowski. “She seemed to know the issues more and she was confident in her responses. Isaiah seemed more nervous,” said Becker. 

The 2014-2015 SGA executive board will consist of Morrow, Olsowski, treasurer Deontae’ Swain, and secretary Kelly Cranick. Swain, last year’s treasurer, and Cranick ran unopposed.