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Friday, Sep 29, 2023

Vijayakumar Elected SGA President; Lezama Co-Chair

Varsha Vijayakumar ’20 was elected Student Government Association (SGA) president for the 2019–2020 academic year last Friday, April 19th. She won the seat after receiving  611 of the 1,026 student votes cast this spring (roughly 60% of the vote). 

“I’m beyond humbled that my peers have chosen me to represent them next year,” Vijayakumar said.  “I’m even more in awe because this means that my entire Middlebury career will be marked by women of color as SGA Presidents.”

Vijayakumar ran on a five pillar platform centered around  her dedication to the student body,focusing on health and wellness, social spaces and social life, inclusivity, access to resources and financial aid and employment.

“I’m excited to dedicate myself fully to students, both current and future, by working to make Middlebury more of a place we all want to call home,” Vijayakumar said.

Student turnout to SGA elections dropped drastically this year, down from 1,686 last spring to 1,026 this spring. This year’s turnout rate was just 36.81%.

Joel Machado ’22 came in second place with 25% of the vote (253). John Gosselin ’20, current co-chair of Community Council, came in third place with 15 percent of the vote (162).

Roni Lezama ’22 was elected co-chair of Community Council for the full 2019–2020 academic year. Lezama ran uncontested. Lezama, a first-year, is ready to engage with the community and take on difficult and important conversations. 

“More than anything, I’m looking forward to being in more conversations with staff because they are crucial to the well-being of the Middlebury community, and I want to embrace their embrace their ideas, opinions and proposals to ensure their own well-being on campus,” Lezama said.

Six other races were also uncontested. No one ran for the position of Brainard senator for the fall semester. According to a current senator, there will be a special election held in the fall to fill the position during First-Year Senator elections.


Porter Bowman ’21.5 is the Senior Opinions Editor.

He previously served as the Correspondent to the Student Government  Association (SGA) and a Staff Writer for the News and Local sections.

Bowman is pursuing an International Politics and Economics major and a History minor.

During the summer of 2020, Bowman started a podcast called “Why Not  U.S.?” where he interviewed young people in their 20s serving in  political office across the country.

He also worked as a producer and researcher for “Trickeration,” an  investigative sports podcast from iHeartMedia hosted by Campus alum Matt  Waxman ’01.5.

When not watching the West Wing or finishing crossword puzzles,  Bowman plays on the Middlebury varsity golf team alongside basketball,  club tennis, and intramural volleyball.

He lost on Teen Jeopardy! in November 2016.