Intense SGA election comes to an end, RooSERVE receives student body vote

Roze Brooks

The 2014-15 Student Government Association election came to a close on Friday May 2.  UMKC students were asked to cast their vote before ballots closed at 5 p.m. on Roo Groups.

After tallying the student responses, RooSERVE has been elected to serve as the new SGA executive board for the upcoming school year.  A celebratory post could be found on the slate’s Facebook page shortly after the announcement on Friday.

“Dear UMKC students, we are excited to announce that RooSERVE will continue a tradition of inclusion, innovation and integrity for another year,” the post said.

The newly appointed SGA executive board will be led by student body President and criminal justice and criminology major Rachel Jenkins.  Her team consists of Executive Vice President Juan Betancourt-Garcia, Administrative Vice President Alexandria Merrell and Comptroller Jake Newstrom.

Some upcoming challenges for the incoming executive board include disseminating information about major changes made to the Student Activity Fee Committee allocation process.  Student organizations are encouraged to communicate with their respective councils to receive updates on budget request and submission procedures.

This RooSERVE slate is unique compared to the outgoing executive board.  The incoming officers consist of two students involved in Greek Life. At the SGA debate on March 25, a student attendee asked Merrell, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Betancourt-Garcia, a member of Lambda Theta Phi, if this would interfere with their ability to remain objective during their tenure.

“How do we stay objective?” Betancourt-Garcia said. “Because I’m not 100 percent Greek. I wear other hats on campus. My ears are open to everyone, not just Greek.”

Merrell shared a similar determination to remain receptive to all facets of campus.

“For me, it’s school first always,” she said. “One’s persons needs do not outweigh the needs of the many.”

Among the other tasks the newly elected board will encounter as UMKC enters the upcoming school year, the creation of two new councils: the LGBTQIA Affairs Council and the Service Members Council are still in the process of exploring their new seats on SGA and SAFC.  Additionally, the tobacco-ban, an initiative passed through the exiting SGA administration, will go into effect on August 1.