SVSU students voted Hunter Koch as their 2019-2020 Student Association (SA) president.
Polls closed on Thursday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m., and the winner was announced in the SA office in Doan 103 shortly afterward.
This year, 795 students voted. Koch received 452 votes. Denver Milam received 66 votes, and Ryan Silvestri received 277 votes.
“I felt good coming into this,” Koch said. “(My campaign team) never stopped campaigning. Literally, we had people canvassing until 4:30. I’m happy with how it turned out.”
Current SA President Caitlin Coulter was happy with this year’s election season.
“I was glad to see a contested election,” she said. “I ran unopposed unfortunately, so it’s nice to see student involvement. I think it went really well, and I think all participants had a lot of great things going for them, and I’m glad that (Koch) will be moving forward.”
She was particularly happy with the voter turnout.
“I’m hoping we get the same interest going into next year,” she said. “We’ve got some big things coming up, like hopefully continuing a fundraising tournament. So, I’m hoping students will stay interested and stay active.”
Koch said one of his first tasks as president-elect will be to create ad-hoc committees.
“One of the powers the president has is being able to create ad-hoc committees, and we’re going to start to get those formed so that over the summer these committees can really do the legwork [to accomplish their goals],” he said.
Another priority will be deciding who the new SA chairs will be.
“A lot of the president’s role from now until the school year gets out … is to focus on who our chairs are going to be, who is going to lead this association forward for the upcoming year and finding the best people to make those decisions and making sure everyone has something they’re passionate about going into the next year,” he said.
A major goal Koch has for next year is energizing SA.
“I think the biggest thing to me is being able to energize our association to play more active roles on our campus,” he said.
Koch also wants to focus on motivating students.
“I know that a lot of our students feel that SVSU is a great place, and a lot of them know it is a great place,” he said. “But to show those students and to show freshmen next year that SVSU can be a greater place, that SVSU can be an elite institution in our country – that’s what it’s all about.”
Koch wants to make himself accessible to students next year.
“I’m looking at larger scale speaking engagements,” he said. “Obviously, the president is at Fresh Start, but I’m even open to talking to Cardinal Radio and others to expand whom the SA president talks to. Going to RSO meetings, just being there and being able to have an upfront and open conversation about what’s happening on our campus.”
Koch said he hopes to include the ideas of Milam and Silvestri in SA next year.
“I definitely would look to their input and what road they feel like going down in the future,” he said. “I haven’t had a discussion with any of them yet, but I’d be interested in seeing where they’re at and how they can still potentially make a very valid impact.”
Koch said Milam’s passion for transparency especially stood out to him during the election season.
“That’s something that earlier on in my first year with the Association I was passionate about too,” he said. “I think he has some great ideas about that.”
Milam said he looks forward to hearing more of Koch’s ideas next year.
“Koch ran a great campaign,” he said. “He has a lot of ideas and the heart to follow through on them. I look forward to what he and the Association as a whole can do over the next year.”
Silvestri said he had fun campaigning.
“I was too busy having a good time and forgot I had to get votes,” he said.
Koch said he was thankful to everyone who helped him with the campaign.
“I’m thankful for my campaign team,” he said. “I’m thankful for all the people who have gotten me to this point, our faculty here and just everyone at our university.”
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