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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021

John Schurer ’21 wins SGA presidential election in landslide victory

John Schurer '21, elected SGA president. COURTESY PHOTO
John Schurer '21, elected SGA president. COURTESY PHOTO

The student body elected John Schurer ’21 president of the Student Government Association (SGA) for the upcoming school year. Schurer won by a landslide, receiving 1,081 votes (77.27% of the 1,399 total votes cast). He ran against Arthur Martins ’22.5 and Myles Maxie ’22, who received 183 votes (13.08%) and 135 votes (9.65%) respectively.

Schurer intends to tackle the plan for a new student center, changes to the curriculum and issues related to representation and financial accessibility, among other plans. Prior to the election, he announced Sophia Lundberg ’21.5 and Roni Lezama ’22 as his chiefs of staff.

"In the last three years, I have worked alongside passionate, innovative, diligent, strong, reliable, and kind SGA Presidents, Jin Sohn ‘18, Nia Robinson ‘19, and Varsha Vijayakumar ‘20, who have instilled in me the virtues of leadership. As I take on this role next year, I will be thinking of you all at every twist and turn," Schurer said in an email to the Campus. "Now, more than ever before, I am eager to get back home, if you know what I mean. The magic of Middlebury awaits."

Christian Kummer '22, elected Community Council co-chair.

Christian Kummer ’22 won the Community Council co-chair seat with 53.08% of the vote. Kummer ran against Joel Machado ’22, who received 46.92% of the vote. Kummer’s platform pushes for expansion and restructuring of mental health resources, greater outreach to staff and putting an end to vandalism, among many other initiatives.

"What makes the Community Council idiosyncratic is its ability to foster cohesive dialogues between students, faculty and staff in real time," Kummer told The Campus. "The group holds significant respect and influence in the eyes of the Senior Leadership Group and yet its potential is often left inactivated. As co-chair, I hope to bring Community Council into the forefront of Middlebury community members’ minds. When there is a proposal or idea circulating around campus, I hope to make a Community Council meeting the first place to go to. Under my leadership, the group’s presence and transparency will expand and equity and access will remain at its core."

With voting open for 24 hours, 55.27% of the school participated in the elections (1443 votes). This is compared to 36.81% voter turnout during last year’s spring elections. Turnout has only exceeded 50% one other time in the last four election cycles, reaching 68.3% in 2018 when the divestment referendum questions were included on the ballot.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted several changes to this year’s election. Candidates gathered signatures electronically rather than on a physical petition form. The debate on Monday, which featured both presidential and co-chair candidates, took place over Zoom. SGA reimbursed the candidates for the cost of promoting their remote campaigns, refunding up to $100 of the costs incurred by each presidential and co-chair candidate and $25 for representatives. Thomas Khodadad ’22, chair of SGA’s elections council, said this money was intended to cover the cost of creating websites or promoting ads on social media. The SGA has previously only reimbursed candidates for PaperCut expenses.

Update Saturday, April 18: This article has been updated with a photo and quote from Christian Kummer '22.