It’s That Time of the Year: Voting for 2015-2016 SGA Positions

Interested in learning more about the SGA candidates before voting? Read their short interviews below!



Megan Cook

My name is Megan Cook and I’m junior, double majoring in Political Science and Economics with a History minor. I have been involved with student government since high school and was actually SGA President my senior year. During my 1st and 2nd year, I was a class officer and then this year, I’m SGA secretary.

My major focus is medical amnesty, which protects students when they are intoxicated, when they are high, or under the influence of any drug. Basically what happens if two people are drunk and one needs to go to the hospital, the other one won’t be too afraid to turn in their friend. I also want to make sure that smokers have some kind of coverage and their rights are protected. Lastly, I want to try to get some kind of area for off campus students. They need a space with a fridge and place to store their stuff. There are also a few other little things, such as mailroom hours to be expanded on and the longevity of traditions.

I want to make sure that SGA and the student body stays alive and happy, because if you can’t keep people happy, they won’t want to go to women’s colleges. If you can’t protect them, then they will go to a big school where they already have those types of policies.


Emily Scott-Cruz

I’m Emily Scott-Cruz and I’m a junior. Also, I’m a Women’s Studies major and a Music minor. During my first 2 ½ years, I worked full time. Part of the reason I’m running is because I have so much love for this school and feel as if I can do great things.

First, I would like to open up more communication between SGA and the students, because I feel as if there is disconnect when elections are over. Also, I really want to increase the participation of faculty and administration in SGA. That also relates to communication and is the baseline foundation for building on everything else. In addition, I would like to improve on increasing cultural activities. There are a lot of things wrong with how Salem handles certain issues that arise on campus, specifically drinking problems on campus. Sustainability is my other really big goal for next year.

Ultimately, communication is one of the biggest things I see that’s proactive in terms of the fact if there are open networks for communication, there will be less fear, hesitation, or frustration, and easier to solve problems. I have seen in my life how that clearly works out for the better so I think that is something we could add.



Monique Ahmad

My name is Monique Ahmad and I’m a junior, doubling major in Psychology and Education. I been heavily involved on campus these past three years. I’m editor-in-chief of The Salemite, the president and founder of the Muslim Student Association, an honor guide, and involved in other campus such as the Interfaith Council and International Club.

One of my biggest goals for next year is to work with the entire executive board to achieve goals, but I also want to focus on traditions. This past year, traditions have been very controversial on campus and as the student population is growing, our views and ideas of the traditions are changing. It’s important to look and see what the students want and adjust them to better fit the population. Also, I want to focus on the sense of community, because when a population gets bigger, it’s harder to maintain that. I think upperclassmen and SGA need to focus on ensuring that the incoming Salem women feel welcomed into our sisterhood.

My favorite thing about Salem is the sisterhood. My big sister and I had a really good relationship and she helped me out. I feel like she had a lot to do with the woman I’ve become today. That had a lot to do with the sisterhood and the confidence it provides to women. I want to leave Salem women feeling confident and empowered.



Ella Hill

My name is Ella Hill and I’m a sophomore from Monroe, NC. I’m a History and American Studies double major and an Art History minor, completing the Historic Preservation certificate. In addition, I’ve served on different boards and positions here at Salem, including the vice-president for the Class of 2017.

As SGA Secretary, I feel that the person holding the position needs to be very organization, on top of things, and very approachable to the student body. I want to make sure that minutes are being taken for the leg. board and town hall meetings. Keeping up with social media platforms is another focus of mine. So many people are on social media and actually ignore emails. As secretary, I would be approachable for people to come ask questions and not be afraid to know what’s happening with the SGA board here at Salem.


Peyton Ellis

Unavailable for interview.


Amber Lee

My name is Amber Lee and I’m a rising senior. This will be will be my fourth year serving on the honor council, previously as secretary and representative.

My main goals, as honor council chair, are education, preventing cases from coming in, and being more visible on campus.

I would like to improve on the visibility and educational awareness to make sure that people don’t plagiarize papers or commit other honor council violations.


Magdalena Chavez

My name is Magdalena Chavez and I’m a third year, Political Science and Biology major, with pre-law and pre-med tracks. For the past two years, I’ve done ethics debate team and we’ve worked on cases determining the ethical course of actions a person should take. I know that the judicial council chair is very much around the same bases, even though it deals with legalities, not ethicalities. I’m really interested in looking at the cases case by case and allowing myself to help students.

What I’ve noticed in the past is that the sanctions that are provided, a lot of students don’t know about them, because the sanctions aren’t advertised. Whenever students are in situations to get a sanction and have to go in front of the judicial council, they have no idea what’s going on and are terrified. I would like to make that process a little easier for students to understand and make it become more approachable.

For my career, I really want to focus on legality issues, specifically on healthcare policies, and I think this is a good way to start. I would be able to gain experience by working on each case and help students.


Ayana Shiggs

My name is Ayana and I’m a junior, originally from Georgia. I have a passion for law and advocating for students and I feel that this is what this position is all about.

I think that a lot of time people get in trouble because they aren’t really informed about the rules. I want every student on campus to be informed about things that could potentially get them in trouble, therefore you don’t have to come see me. I don’t want it to be a horrible thing and I want the judicial council process to be more open and I want to the student come in knowing exactly what they are being charged with. If students have any questions about their case, they can come talk to me about it. Also, I don’t want people going into the process thinking “oh, I’m not popular, I’m going to get a horrible sanction.” That’s not true. It’s case by case. We put time and effort into making this a comfortable process and making sure this isn’t bias when people come in.

The biggest challenge would be that administration would feel that the rules and regulations are already clearly stated in the handbook, but I know that from my personal experience, I didn’t even receive a student handbook last year. I took the time to go get one, because I wanted to know what was exactly there, but other students might not feel that need. If they don’t get a handbook, they should still be clearly informed about what’s going on. Because when they get in trouble, they can’t say “I didn’t know that was a rule” because it would be too late by then. I feel that if you inform yourself, it will clear out the entire process.


Mikayla Sykes

Hi, I’m Mikayla Sykes. I’m a junior, running for judicial council chair.

One of the things I noticed that some of the student body doesn’t understand the policies of residence life, because the wording in the handbook is confusing. As judicial council chair, I would like to work with SGA and possibly rewrite the policies to make them more understandable. Also, I want to make sure everyone has access to the policies. Some people don’t realize that the handbook is online, so I would like for the student body to actually know what the policies are. I will do my best to serve them so they know and don’t have to through the judicial process.

I think the process is currently fair as to how we handle cases. No one is discriminated against and I would like to continue that.


Lauren Padgett

Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m a junior, Biology and Psychology major. I am running for the sustainability fund chair.

I think first and foremost the main issue to be addressed is that many people don’t know that the sustainability fund exists and what it means. The sustainability fund is a pool of money that students can apply to for small grants for projects on campus that help increase sustainability or environmentally friendliness. My first order of business would be to make sure more people know about the fund through a social media campaign and informational sessions. I feel as if sustainability is a really important issue right due to climate change. It’s an issue for all generations, but our generation is really the first to start making big changes in how we live. I think that the sustainability fund provides a perfect opportunity for the students at Salem to get involved.

One project I would like to see happen would be to maybe transition our landscaping to incorporate more native plants from North Carolina. I also think it’s important to find ways to use our plant life and our landscaping to help decrease the amount of water we use. By changing the way our landscaping is done, we can really make a big difference on our water consumption and provide some really great habitats for our native wildlife.



Shelby Rittman

Hi, my name is Shelby Rittman. I’m a junior, majoring in History and Race and Ethnicities Studies with a minor in English. I’m on the pre law track. Currently, I’m the CAB Vice President and BADU Vice President. I’m really active in helping the clubs that are important to me.

When I first came here, Salem was really hard for me and it’s eventually gotten better. I would like to continue that for those who come after me. As far as CAB goes, they weren’t doing anything my first year. It was the four major dances and that was it. So, CAB has really improved and I would like to see it continue improving.

I would incorporate different types of events into CAB that would reach everyone. Salem is every diverse and we have a lot of different people from different backgrounds as well as different personalities and interests. I would like to see CAB challenge themselves and try to plan events that made everyone comfortable. Also, I would like to continue the different little things, such as at formal we had the photo booth, so people can have fun and carry a little memento with them to remember the good times. Lastly, I want to see CAB become a little more educational, just a little bit. CAB is for fun and we are supposed to create fun, but kind of fun with a purpose.


Keva Kreeger

I’m Keva Kreeger. I’m majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Women’s Studies, while earning my license to teach Elementary Education.

One of my favorite quotes is: “A Scorpio is like a very strong cup of coffee with an acquired taste that once you learn to like you can’t seem to live without.” –Anonymous

I have been on CAB for the past two years. We are continuing on extending the inclusivity of our events to more communities that are underrepresented on our campus. I am looking to hear from everyone about how we can improve our events and make them more encompassing to all. I hope that as a group we can continue to keep events on campus over the weekends and in result improve the student’s experience at Salem College. We hope that this somehow affects retention and a sense of welcome and belonging on our college campus.


Kiarra Avery

Hi, I’m Kiarra Avery. I’m a sophomore studying Biology and Psychology.
I would like to add more diversity and community input to Salem’s activities. Also, ensure Salem is having activities that will enrich and enhance the community!


Rachel Scott

I’m Rachel Scott and I’m a Criminal Studies and Psychology major. I’m currently an honor council representative.

Something I really want people to know about why I’m running for this position is because I really respect our honor code and the dynamics we have. An innovative idea I’m trying to bring is for professors to be more involved with the process, more than just giving a statement and being interviewed, but to actually come in and be questioned by the honor council. Another thing I want to add is to work with the entire honor council to have more of a positive influence on campus. We aren’t as visible as we could be and sometimes people wonder what honor council is and what exactly we do. Some people have a fear about it and think we are more of a punishing force. I want to change the honor council’s negative image into a positive impact.

I will learn as much as possible how I can correctly fulfill my duties and I’m going to try fulfill them to the best of my abilities.


Jessi Bowman

Unavailable for interview.



Purva Trivedi

My name is Purva Trivedi. I’m a sophomore, Biology major. Fall Fest has been really special to me, just because I feel like it was the first event at Salem that made me feel really close to my class. This year I had the pleasure on working on the Deans’ Commission. I have been able to hear some feedback from the Fall Fest group and ask students about what they feel Fall Fest should be about and how we can integrate those ideas in the coming years.

I would really like to implant more communication between the classes, as well as, making sure very one is comfortable and aware of what’s going on. Also, bring back some of the things that may have dropped off over the years. For Fall Fest, I feel that there should also be an overall campus environment of bonding, as well as, bonding within the classes.

I think that the administration has really helped or tried to address the issues that people have had with Fall Fest in the past. I’m really hopeful that they’ll be able to continue having discussions and try integrating ideas into Fall Fest.



Sabrina Sheikh

My name is Sabrina Sheikh and I’m a junior at Salem College. Currently, I’m the president of the International club and a member in also other clubs on campus. Also, I’m a double major in Communications and Public Policy.

I’m running for president of ONUA. Most people don’t really know what ONUA is or does, so I would like to make a format that says exactly what we do and how it’s strictly for cultural clubs. Another one of my biggest thing is to have collaborative projects between the clubs that are being funded by ONUA, such as, BADU, HOLA, and the International club. My plan is for a project each semester. For the first semester, our big project will be doing Holi. Salem has a diverse campus and we definitely need to incorporate more cultural events. I know we have a lot of international students that are applying to Salem. They do come it would be great to have different cultural events, so people are aware of what’s going on in different countries, cultures, and traditions.



Emily Gilmore

Hello, my name is Emily Gilmore and I’m a junior at Salem College.

My goal is to get more student involvement in the club and the way to do that I believe is to have more communication and visibility. We are the oldest continuing club on campus, actually older than SGA. My main goal is as soon as we decide what the plays and musicals are, their information goes up on a posters and the audition dates go straight out. I want the information to be in the packet for the incoming students, so they know the audition dates and have the chance to start right away with our sisterhood.

We currently have an honors society, APO, and I would like to make sure that the organization is more active and visible on campus. Right now we are working on updating our constitution and realigning the officers’ duties. Our visibility got a little lost in moving things around and I’m really looking forward to the changes. I believe next year will be set up to be more visible and have an honors society that people will want to join.

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