VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students at The University of South Dakota will have a new Student Government Association (SGA) President and Vice President when the new term begins later this month. Blake Alberts of Rapid City, S.D., is the new SGA President and Anne Grady of Le Mars, Iowa, will serve as SGA Vice President following the results of last week’s election.
Alberts and Grady defeated former SGA Senator Tim Carr of Lamoni, Iowa, and his running mate, Katie Wagner of Whitewood, S.D., by 490 votes. Alberts-Grady received 796 votes out of the 1,302 cast (61 percent) while Carr-Wagner collected 506 total votes (39 percent).
"Now that we have been elected, I want to get started on restructuring the budget for SGA," said Alberts, a USD junior and former SGA Senator. "One of the SGA's primary responsibilities is the allocation of student fee dollars, and this process desperately needs to be reworked. By improving the budget allocation process, I hope to provide opportunities for student organizations to better utilize activity fee dollars."
The key to the campaign, Alberts said, was reaching out to the entire USD student body. By establishing the marketing stages of their campaign in January, including an advertising and promotional strategy, Alberts and Grady were able to focus the February portion of their campaign on meeting students.
"We knew going into the campaign that the winner would have to find a creative way to get students out to vote," added Alberts, who will take office March 17 after being sworn in at the next SGA meeting. "We asked people on the campaign trail if they would like to sign up for an e-mail reminder about the elections. On the day of the election, we ended up sending out a voting reminder to almost 1,000 people that we had spoken with during the campaign."
Alberts and Grady will replace current SGA President Ryan Budmayr and SGA Vice President Taylor Ptacek. They will serve for one-term overseeing SGA Senators Laura Kuschel (College Fine Arts), Matt Blake (College of Arts and Sciences), Peter Conley (Arts and Sciences), Katherine Douglas (Arts and Sciences), Chelsi Gunderson (Arts and Sciences), Laura Hofer (Arts and Sciences), Isaiah Howard (Arts and Sciences), Jeremy Lemcke (Arts and Sciences), Morgan Peck (Arts and Sciences), Dan Rogotzke (Arts and Sciences), Kelly Wismer (Arts and Sciences), Corey Backer (School of Business), Megan Maassen (Business), Chad Robinson (Business), Eric Wiedenman (Business) and Mason Schramm (School of Education).