The student body elected Rohan Sohani and Grace Swift as the next undergraduate student body president and executive vice president respectively on March 18th, concluding the 2022 SGA elections right before campus closed for Spring break. In the weeks leading to the elections, students saw a tireless campaign effort by not only them but also their opposition, Srija Somaka and Granger West. In the end Rohan’s and Grace’s ticket received 973 votes out of the 1235 votes total.
Both campaigns highlighted major issues on campus that they hoped to address. Rohan’s and Grace’s combined six years of experience in SGA helped them formulate a three pillar strategy: focusing on balancing both academic excellence and wellbeing, bettering accessibility to resources and regularly seeking input from all areas of campus.
When questioned about their biggest goals moving into the next school year, Swift stated “Our goal is to make that group as diverse as possible in terms of experiences, identities, perspectives, and goals. We want to build our vision for campus based on their unique perspectives, and hear from them what direction they’d like to see the organization move in.” When asked about the what problems SGA had faced in the past year, and how they plan on addressing them, Swift pointed out that the SGA’s Legislative branch ,the UHR, has faced issues for the past 2 years stemming from its inability to allocate the Student Activity Fee, which is beyond their control. Additionally, “A challenge for us to tackle with the new Speaker of the House will be restructuring the House to empower representatives to advocate for their constituencies in new ways.”.
The president elect and vice president elect are trying to increase efficiency by reviewing the existing Executive Committees. In order to improve communication with the student body, “We plan to be more consistent with updates to the student body, including the monthly newsletter, social media posts, and updates in person to various groups about specific initiatives they are passionate about,” Swift said.
While the duo works on kickstarting a new term, Srija’s and Granger’s team must also be acknowledged for their driven campaign, especially given the fact that they campaigned on such short notice. They stated that 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 the previous SGA administrations, but pointed out that the organization as a whole is limited by its structure. They hoped to reform this structure, to more accurately represent the student body, encourage 2-way communication and empower different communities by bringing representatives for various communities into the SGA.
While both campaigns had different viewpoints on which issues on campus were more urgent, both ideologies can be summed up by a quote by Granger, who had at one point during the Technique debate replied, “We have great ideas, why can’t we work together and share them?” At the end of the day, regardless of the outcome of the election, both campaigns picked extremely relevant problems and pitched creative and noteworthy solutions. While each campaign prioritized these problems differently, hopefully the campus will see most, if not all, of them addressed over the following year.
As they wrap up their term, current SGA Executive President Samuel Ellis and Vice President Ajanta Choudhary shared that “Rohan and Grace are going to serve the student body excellently. They are compassionate, focused, and experienced student leaders, and we have full faith 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 looks like when Rohan and Grace will take the reins from Sam and Ajanta, their claim to continue long term projects from the previous administration will hopefully not let a year’s worth of hard work go to waste and will instead work to continue transforming both SGA and Georgia Tech for the better, in whatever form that may take.