The student body elected Rohan Sohani and Grace Swift as the next undergraduate student body president and executive vice president respectively on March 18, concluding the 2022 SGA elections just before the campus closes for spring break. In the weeks leading up to the elections, the students witnessed a tireless campaigning effort not only by them but also by their opposition, Srija Somaka and Granger West. In the end, Rohan and Grace’s ticket received 973 votes out of a total of 1235 votes.
Both campaigns highlighted major issues on campus that they hoped to address. Rohan and Grace’s combined six years of SGA experience helped them formulate a three-pillar strategy: focus on balancing academic excellence and well-being, improving accessibility to resources, and regularly seeking contributions from all areas of campus.
Asked about their biggest goals for the next school year, Swift said, “Our goal is to make this group as diverse as possible in terms of experiences, identities, perspectives and goals. We want to build our vision for the campus based on their unique perspectives and hear from them where they would like to see the organization evolve. Asked about the problems the SGA has had over the past year and how they plan to address them, Swift pointed out that the SGA’s legislative arm, the UHR, has had problems over the past 2 years due to its inability to allocate the student. Activity costs, which are beyond their control. Additionally, “a challenge we face with the new Speaker of the House will be to restructure the House to enable Representatives to defend their constituencies in new ways.”
The President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect attempt to increase efficiency by reviewing existing executive committees. In order to improve communication with the student body, “We plan to be more consistent with student body updates, including the monthly newsletter, social media posts, and in-person updates from various groups. on specific initiatives that they are passionate about,” Swift mentioned.
As the duo work to launch a new term, Srija and Granger’s team should also be credited for their spirited campaigning, especially considering they campaigned on such short notice. They said SGA is filled with passionate people trying to transform the campus for the better.
They recognized and respected the accomplishments and contributions of everyone in previous SGA administrations, but emphasized that the organization as a whole is constrained by its structure. They hoped to reform this structure, more accurately represent the student body, encourage two-way communication, and empower different communities by bringing representatives from diverse communities into the SGA.
While the two campaigns had different views on the most pressing issues on campus, the two ideologies can be summed up with a quote from Granger, who at one point during the Technical debate replied, “We have great ideas, why can’t we work together and share them? In the end, regardless of the election outcome, both campaigns selected extremely relevant issues and offered creative and remarkable solutions. While each campaign has prioritized these issues differently, we hope the campus will see most, if not all, of them addressed over the next year.
As they complete their terms, current SGA Executive President Samuel Ellis and Vice President Ajanta Choudhary shared, “Rohan and Grace will serve the student body excellently. They are compassionate, focused, and experienced student leaders, and we have full confidence in their ability to listen to and serve our student body.
Sam and Ajanta’s administration served in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and faced challenges that probably no administration in the history of the SGA had faced.
It seems that when Rohan and Grace take over the reins from Sam and Ajanta, their claim to continue the long-term plans of the previous administration will hopefully not waste a year of hard work and instead work to continue transforming both SGA and Georgia Tech for the better, whatever form that may take.