Current vice-president Erin Williams will replace Byron Williams as Ferris State University student government president for the 2013-14 school year.
“Student government is the voice of Ferris State University. It is our goal that the student body is heard,” Williams said.
Byron Williams is on track to graduate after this semester.
This year marks the first time in five years where there were more than one candidate running for the vacant presidential position, as Travis Hill added his name for consideration.
Erin Williams plans to graduate after the 2013 fall semester, halfway through the completion of the presidential term. Jessica Trendel, who is currently not actively involved with student government but was in years past, will replace her as president for the spring semester.
“I don’t think it will be an issue. I was a little hesitant at first because I didn’t know how the student body would take it. After talking with our faculty advisor, he told me that it’s not too uncommon,” Byron Williams said.
The official announcement came on Tuesday, April 2, after a three day voting process located on Org Sync, which offered students an opportunity to vote for Erin Williams, Travis Hill and a slew of senator positions.
Student government member Jacob VanBoxel and Jeffrey Oaks also received votes as write-in candidates.
The vote took place last Wednesday through Friday when school was not in session for two of the three days. The percentage of votes toward each candidate and total votes is not yet known.
Students were able to submit more than one vote, but internal measures within Org Sync were able to pluck out multiple submissions, according to Ferris Coordinator of Student Engagement and Leadership Alvira Rajala.
The vote came a week after the first presidential debate in years, as each candidate was able to voice their specific platform in the Dome Room in the Rankin Center on March 20.
Erin Williams, senior in allied health and sciences from Macomb Township, is also the president of the respiratory care association and a student recruiting assistant located in FLITE.
Each candidate voiced similar plans to increase collaboration amongst registered student organizations, create a monthly newsletter to inform students of current Ferris issues and ultimately increase student involvement.
Attendees included various members of student government and five Ferris students which were independent from the political process.
“I would believe advertising and campus awareness played a role in the attendance. It kind of feels like student government is its own little club,” Labon Wolgamott, Ferris graduate student in plastics and rubber engineering, said.
Student government oversees the development of creating university run events, such as the Big Event, and allocates funds gathered from the university activities fund to help run them.
“Most students don’t really care what happens on campus, but they don’t see the change that happens behind the scenes,” Erin Williams said.
Both Erin Williams and Byron Williams stressed they would like more involvement from the student population.
“I honestly believe there should be like 10 people running for the student government president position,” Byron Williams said.
Any interested student is welcome to attend weekly meetings located in the Centennial Room in the Rankin Center at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays.