Student Association President-elect Julie Bindelglass said her first priority as the SA’s leader will be to regain the trust of the student body after what she called a largely unsuccessful year for the governing body.
Bindelglass, a sophomore, was elected SA president on March 26 when she received 1,565 of the 3,018 votes cast, defeating her run-off election opponent Nick Polk by 112 votes. She is now working together with Executive Vice President-elect Jason Lifton to outline their main goals for next year before the transition on April 30.
“We definitely want to increase communication and that’s something that’s so easy to do within the first 50 days, first 100 days – during that transition,” Bindelglass said of the month-long transition period she has before being sworn in as SA president.
She added, “We have to regain the trust of students, we have to work really hard to change that perception and the only way we are going to do that is by making [the SA] relevant, but doing something that is going to help people.”
Bindelglass had a laundry list of goals listed in her platform while running for SA president, but she said she wants to make sure the goals she sets are ones that students want to see accomplished.
“First, we want to hear what projects everyone wants us to be working on,” Bindelglass said. “Jason has ideas, I have ideas, and we both come up with them but we want to make sure our priorities are in line with student priorities. We want to make sure we are working for students.”
Opening up lines of communication between the SA and the student body will help Bindelglass and Lifton stay in tune with student concerns and the goals they are working toward.
Dining is another issue Bindelglass said she would focus on during her tenure as SA president.
“I think there are definite improvements we can make to dining,” she said. “Whether that’s getting an online grocery ordering service, whether that’s improving the quality of what’s in J Street, whether that’s having polls, literally going up to people and saying, ‘What do you think? Do you like Burrito del Rey?’ “
The recently launched “Abolish the SA” campaign is an issue Bindelglass said she is ready and willing to deal with.
“I’ll be the first to admit the SA needs to change. That’s why I ran for SA president. That’s why I based my campaign on taking it back,” Bindelglass said. “I’d be willing to work with them because we both have dissatisfaction within the SA and we both have the ability to change it this year, and I don’t blame them.”
Her campaign slogan of “Take Back the SA” was meant to end the feeling of disenfranchisement many students feel toward the organization, she said.
She said, “I think a lot of what happened over the last year has only served to disenfranchise more people, and I think nothing is going to change in a day, but that’s why we have a month to transition, that’s why we have a whole year to work.”