By Zarije Asani
Loyola University Chicago’s new student government president is spending time thanking students who supported her, while planning an agenda that includes seeking greater input from students on university decisions and following through on a vote to ban water bottle sales on campus.
Junior Julia Poirier and her running mate, junior Sarah McDowell, captured last week’s Unified Student Government (USGA) election.
“We really appreciate that so many students have taken such an interest in USGA this election season and want to facilitate communication continue to nurture that interest. We view our win as a privileged opportunity to create some positive change,” Poirier said.
The Poirier/McDoweel ticket received 36 percent of the votes; the Matt Razek/ Tori Spears ticket 29.8 percent; Matthew Smith/Derek Gliwa 21.1 percent; and Eftiola Trebicka/Nicholas Ramirez 11.8 percent.
USGA officials were pleased with the voter turnout.
“Actually this has been a good year. We got 30 percent of the people who got ballots to vote. Compared to other universities, we did really well,” said Tim McMahon, USGA election board member.
The use of social media outlets has given the candidates an opportunity to advertise their beliefs and steal the election.
“Compared to last year and every other year before, the candidates had really good websites, twitters and videos. The last couple years its been hard to get people to do that,” McMahon said.
Poirier’s goals for the 2012-2013 school year are focused on advocating for students through dining, tuition and diversity.
“Julia ran on things like tuition, dining, and diversity at Loyola, those are things that people could grab onto and they were issues that needed to be addressed,” McMahon said.
Poirier is also implementing more programs into the Loyola community as well as the Rodgers Park area.
“One of the traditions I hope to implement is a State of the Students address. We want to see an additional committee formed to focus on engaging the campus community as well as our Chicago community,” Poirier said.
Poirier, a human services and communication major, has been involved in the USGA for three years. She is in her second year as chair of the organization’s Justice Committee, which works with the university’s social justice clubs and organizations. This year, Poirier spearheaded the campaign to eliminate water bottle sales on campus, a measure that passed in last week’s election.
Her running mate, junior Sarah McDowell, is a physics and engineering major. In her second year in USGA, she’s currently chair of the Residence Life and Dining Committee. McDowell started the Cuisine Team this year, which allows students to communicate with officials from Aramark, Loyola’s dining service provider. She also wrote legislation that led to the installation of water refill stations in high-traffic buildings around Loyola.