Student Government president, vice president-elect reflect on plans for next year

Ireland Blouin, Senior News Reporter

Helen Getachew and William Ramirez were elected 2023-24 president and vice president for UT’s Student Government.

The Election Supervisory Board announced all election results Monday. Getachew and Ramirez, who won against three other executive alliances, received endorsements and support from seven campus organizations, including Silk Club, the Asian Business Students Association and the Black Business Student Association.

Getachew said she ran for election to create a space advocating for underrepresented people and issues on campus. As a first-generation college student, she said she experienced some of these issues around campus firsthand and realized how ostracized she felt.

“There are a million issues on campus,” said Getachew, a business and government sophomore. “I know that there are a lot of people who are passionate about solving them and addressing them, but a lot of people aren’t aware of (SG) or don’t feel comfortable entering that space.” 

Getachew said she asked Ramirez to run with her because of his experience creating and running organizations such as student-led coalition Rise Riverside. She said they share the same goal of reforming the internal culture of SG to make it a space that amplifies student voices.

“A lot of things on campus are already being worked on and only needed a connection to the administration,” said Ramirez, a humanities and economics junior. “We should be that link. Helen and I are not here to reinvent the wheel; we’re just here to make sure students who are on the floor get those connections.”

They both said the experience of finding out the results was surreal. 

“I honestly didn’t know what to feel,” Getachew said. “I feel like hearing that big of news whether it was us winning or someone else winning is just a big thing in and of itself.”

Moving forward, Getachew said she and Ramirez are equally excited and nervous about the opportunity to serve the students and engage with different communities and they are ready to get started.

“It’s exciting that you’re able to work for the student body and the people you care about,” Ramirez said. “I just don’t want to disappoint the people who have supported us, there are a lot of people (and communities) I care about, and I want to make sure that our administration is able to reach and interact with and ensure that their initiatives are being beamed into fruition.”