Elena Ivanova and Katherine Lee were named president and vice president of the Senate of College Councils in a special election Thursday evening.
Ivanova ran against neuroscience junior Christopher Apgar and will move to the presidential position from her current vice presidential seat. Her platform points include implementing virtual counseling for students and a general membership program for Senate. She said she wants to promote positivity, unity and empowerment.
“The hierarchical nature of Senate … has highlighted some divisions, and we really need to deal with those and make sure that we are building and empowering leaders and building those connections so that we can take them beyond this organization into the future,” said Ivanova, a Plan II, public health and government junior.
Lee, a Plan II and government sophomore, won the election for vice president against government sophomore Ryan Jaffe. Along with emphasizing the importance of relationships within Senate and between Senate and others, Lee said she wants to waive orientation costs for parents of Pell Grant students and work with the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities.
“When I was constructing my platform, I was really focused on the changes that we must make to ensure that we’re successfully advocating for students,” Lee said. “Our organization must focus upon how we relate to each other because as advocates, we are only as strong as the relationships we build.”
At the original March 14 election, many members abstained in an attempt to nullify the results, as a few councils said they worried about the experience and diversity-dedicated platform points that a few candidates lacked. The abstentions did not lead to invalidation, however, and Apgar and Praveena Javvadi were named president-elect and vice president-elect. Last week, Apgar and Javvadi resigned.
“Of the many problems that have arose, the inability of all councils being able to vote has been a deep concern of mine, and I personally feel uncomfortable serving on a board that was not correctly voted upon,” Javvadi said last Wednesday in her resignation email.
Ivanova addressed the contentious first election in her speech to the councils.
“It’s clear that there are some serious issues in Senate that we have to handle that honestly have never come up in the past, but this situation has shed light on these things,” Ivanova said.