Acknowledging all of his previous experience and his unquestionable dedication to student government, the Wheel unanimously endorses Sophomore Daniel Lemaitre for the Student Government Association (SGA) vice president.
Lemaitre’s experience as SGA president at Oxford College gives him several significant advantages to his candidacy. His administration's initiative to streamline Oxford’s monetary policy — which included mandatory semester financial reports from organizations, encouragement of inclusive, multi-club events and close communication with club presidents — resulted in a budgetary surplus despite an increase of 18 new organizations.
Lemaitre’s success with navigating budgetary constraints also allowed Oxford’s SGA to spend excess money on booking the rapper Wale for a concert, which we hope will give students from all divisions the chance to come together for this event.
Although he recognizes the many differences between Oxford and Emory SGA, Lemaitre believes his sense of fiscal awareness will provide a positive addition to Emory’s executive board. He argues that fiscal responsibility does not equate to financial cutbacks, but rather creative ways of allocating money, as evidenced by his success on Oxford campus.
Additionally, Lemaitre’s background as an Oxford student leader brings a wider perspective to Emory’s SGA, which tends to focus heavily on Emory College. Lemaitre hopes to bridge the gap between different Emory divisions, which we think would strengthen SGA’s role as a university-wide organization.
He noted that current SGA President Beth Brandt held only one divisional presidents meeting, which less than half the members attended. Lemaitre suggested a stricter attendance policy, and has made ending the segregation between Oxford and Emory a key point in his platform. We hope Lemaitre is able to bridge the gaps between the various divisions.
Lemaitre’s strict stance on attendance extends to SGA legislature as well, which has suffered from declining attendance bordering on unconstitutional behavior. Lemaitre plans for a harsher attendance policy and to lead by example, noting that he attended all Oxford SGA meetings for two years. Oxford SGA legislature attendance even increased during his term, as Lemaitre personally contacted members to encourage their presence. His clear dedication would also help him overcome any learning curve concerning Emory student government culture, as noted when Lemaitre insisted he would come to Emory’s campus every day in April if elected.
Due to Lemaitre’s positive experience with Oxford SGA and his dedication to student government, he should not be discounted as a candidate. Although we wish Lemaitre had devised more concrete plans and initiatives, we believe Lemaitre brings a fresh perspective backed by previous success to the SGA vice president role.
The Wheel endorsements committee finds Lemaitre’s emphasis on ending divisional segregation an important, feasible initiative for SGA, which should strive for university-wide inclusivity.
We have no doubt that Lemaitre will, in time, devise specific and beneficial initiatives that will advantage the student body at large.