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Monday, May 16, 2022

Raymond Diaz ’23 wins SGA presidential election in close race

Raymond Diaz '23 has been elected as the next SGA president. (Courtesy of Raymond Diaz)
Raymond Diaz '23 has been elected as the next SGA president. (Courtesy of Raymond Diaz)

Raymond Diaz ’23 won the Student Government Association (SGA) presidential election on Tuesday, April 19 with 435 votes — 56.1% of the 775 total ballots cast. His opponent, current Junior Senator Aubrianna Wilson ’23, received 43.9% of the vote.

Diaz, who hails from the Bronx, is a sociology major and double minor in education studies and mathematics. Though he has not held a position on SGA before, Diaz highlighted his roles in JusTalks, ResLife and Distinguished Men of Color (DMC) throughout his campaign.

“Although I am new to the SGA, I am no stranger to leadership and supporting every community I have ever had the privilege of joining,” he wrote on his campaign website.

Diaz appointed Evelyn Magdaleno ’24, a history and education studies double major, to serve as his vice president.

Among Diaz and Magdaleno’s goals for next year are distributing a newsletter to students to better communicate what SGA is working on, pushing for a Credit/No Credit option to replace the current Pass/D/Fail choice, compensating leaders of student organizations, increasing awareness of campus resources and assessing the college’s counseling options.

The polls were open for 24 hours — from 5 p.m. on April 18 to the same time the following day. Just 26.9% of the student body participated in the presidential election, with slightly higher turnout for the contested fall Junior Representative election at nearly 38% and lower turnout for the uncontested spring Junior Representative and Sophomore Representative elections, with roughly 20% of all eligible voters participating in each.

Voter turnout for the SGA presidential election has dropped steeply over the past few years, with this year’s numbers marking an 11.7 percentage point decrease from the year before. In April 2021, 38.58% of students participated in the presidential election won by Roni Lezama ’22. And in April 2020, 55.27% of students cast a ballot in the election between John Schurer ’21, Arthur Martins ’22.5 and Myles Maxie ’22, with Schurer winning in a landslide. In the past six elections, turnout has only exceeded 60% one time: when the divestment referendum questions appeared on the ballot in 2018.

In the other elections, Alexa Bryant ’24 and Michael Eller ’24 won seats as Junior Representatives for next fall against Max Nagle ’24. Nagle ran unopposed for the spring Junior Representative seat, winning one of the two seats. Orlando Cácares ’25 and Noah Vogel ’25 ran unopposed for the two Sophomore Representative seats. With no candidates running for Senior Representative, that election will be conducted later, according to an email from the SGA Co-Directors of Operations.

The Campus plans to publish additional coverage of the presidential election in a future issue.


Abigail Chang

Abigail Chang ’23 is a managing editor.

She previously served as Senior News Editor, News Editor and SGA Correspondent.

Chang is majoring in English and American literatures and minoring in  linguistics. Last spring, she joined the Media Portrayals of Minorities  Project, a Middlebury lab that uses computer-assisted and human coding techniques to analyze bulk newspaper data. She studied and wrote about media coverage of Asian Americans for the lab's annual report.

Chang spent summer 2021 in Vermont, working as a general assignment reporter for statewide digital newspaper VTDigger.

Chang is also a member of the Middlebury Paradiddles, an a cappella group.


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