SGA elections chair becomes LGBTQIA+ commissioner

SGA elections chair becomes LGBTQIA+ commissioner

By Diana Bravo, Assistant News Editor

Senior Christopher Henderson-West stepped down as the Student Government Association elections chair to assume the role of LGBTQIA+ commissioner at a Feb. 26 meeting.

Executive President Jessica Guida said in the meeting that Henderson-West stepped down from the elections chair position, which he served throughout the fall 2018 and the start of the spring 2019 semesters, earlier that morning.

Henderson-West said he took the LGBTQIA+ commissioner position to help strengthen the bond between SGA and Emerson’s Advancement Group for Love and Expression, or EAGLE, where he serves as president.

“We wanted to make sure that we integrated SGA with EAGLE with me serving as both,” Henderson-West said in an interview. “I know the importance of both, and I know how well they work together and how much could be accomplished.”

In the event of an election without a chair, the executive president can designate election chair responsibilities to a member of SGA, according to the SGA bylaws. Henderson-West plans to assume his former duties as election chair after Guida designates them to him at a later SGA meeting.

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Henderson-West said he plans to turn the traditionally low-turnout SGA elections press night, when candidates make their statements to the student body, into a press week. If there is a race with more than one candidate, he hopes to host a debate. Henderson-West said he also plans to run a meet-the-candidates event. The SGA elections take place in mid-March

Henderson-West said he wants to focus on making all on-campus bathrooms more inclusive as LGBTQIA+ commissioner. He said he plans to do this by changing bathroom signage and making menstruation products and disposal bins available inside every bathroom.

At the same meeting, Sustainability Commissioner Gianna Gironda said the college found a new sustainability coordinator. This will leave the college with eight director-level vacancies, instead of nine.

SGA approved $37,319 for the Emerson Recognition and Achievement Awards to pay for the technical and production portions of their award show in April. The Financial Advisory Board recommended the appeal to SGA on Feb. 21. FAB did not have the power to approve it alone because the request was for more than $5,000, but they did have the power to recommend SGA to approve it.