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  • Emily Turner

Student Government Association Launches Fall Elections

With polls open from September 16 to September 17, CofC students vote for new SGA representatives via Cougar Connect in a historical virtual election.


“Back-to-school” season means change for college students: new classes, new professors and new daily routines. For College of Charleston students, “back to school” will include the virtual election of new Senators to represent the freshman, sophomore and senior classes in the Student Government Association (SGA). 

Students will be able to vote using Cougar Connect beginning at 8:00 am on Wednesday, September 16th. Voting will close at 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 17th. Students will receive more specific voting information via email prior to the opening of the polls. Each student can expect that their voting process will only take between five and 10 minutes. Students will have the opportunity to elect 9 incoming Freshman candidates, 8 new Sophomore candidates, and 3 Senior candidates. This election will be entirely virtual, much like the most recent Spring election, meaning that many candidates have already turned to other creative formats to express platforms and ideas. 

Under the direction of newly elected SGA President Jeremy Turner and Vice President Cookie Desai, Senators have the distinct privilege to vote on Senate legislation pertaining directly to issues which will affect daily student life and activities. According to President Turner, “the individuals running for SGA will have the ability to express your concerns to members of the College of Charleston administration such as President Hsu and Provost Austin,” which is a “distinct honor” attributed only to the Senators within SGA. 

President Turner and Vice President Desai hope that newly elected Senators will continue to advocate for and support the Turner-Desai platform, which includes multiple policies related to COVID-19 safety as well as overall accessibility, safety and diversity. However, Senators “are given a lot of freedom to choose what they work on,” according to President Turner, and may therefore pursue initiatives and issues related to their own interests and candidate platforms. 

President Turner and Vice President Desai encourage all CofC students to research the candidates extensively prior to and during voting. “I think that SGA Elections are much more important than students think they are,” says President Turner. “Making sure you know who is going to represent your voice is incredibly important, because Senators have a lot of influence in shaping policy around the College of Charleston.” 

Because voting will be entirely virtual, students have the unique opportunity to consider each candidate while submitting an online ballot using Cougar Connect. Additionally, more students will be able to vote more easily using an online platform. “While I know this is a vastly different campaign style than we have seen in the past, I have faith that our candidates will do a great job sharing their ideas, and our student body will do a great job researching and vetting these candidates,” says President Turner. Furthermore, he hopes that students will not undermine the value of a single vote; “now, more than ever: your voice and your vote matters!”

For more information, students may visit candidate profiles on the Student Government Association (SGA) page on Cougar Connect. 

Cover Photography by: Sophia Barham

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