Student government announces executive board election results

By Sarah Siock

After five days of voting and a presidential race consisting of three candidates, Rider’s Student Government Association (SGA) announced the results of its executive board elections on April 7. Next year’s SGA will be led by junior political science major Andrew Bernstein as student body president.

Bernstein focused his presidential campaign on student-centered concerns such as mental health, diversity and inclusion, the Westminster Choir College transition and Greek Life.

Bernstein has an involved history with SGA serving as a senator, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and most recently vice president of University Affairs.

In a message to students, faculty and staff Bernstein thanked his predecessor Elizabeth O’Hara and applauded the entire SGA for its work over the past year.

“Reflecting on this past academic year, I’m incredibly proud of the work that the Student Government Association has done to advocate on behalf of students. Our organization, led by Liz O’Hara, has continuously brought student voices to the table, whether that be by expanding access to free feminine hygiene products, the installation of lockers in the commuter lounge or the establishment of the ‘Your Questions Answered’ series to increase communication,” said Bernstein. “As I transition into the role of Student Body President, I am beyond grateful for the confidence of the Rider student body. I hope to continue the example of tireless, committed leadership demonstrated by Liz.”

In a statement to The Rider News, O’Hara reflected on her time as president.

“I am extremely fortunate to lead SGA alongside six incredible individuals. The SGA executive board does not always get the credit they deserve for the amount of time and energy they dedicate to serving the student body. Our roles require us to think deeply and maturely about university-wide decisions and determine how they will contribute to the longevity and health of our institution, which is not always easy,” said O’Hara, a senior computer science major. “We’ve been pulled in many different directions this year but stood firm in standing up for students, our opinions not being swayed by those who seek to undermine the sense of community we value at Rider. I am proud of the commitment from students at all levels of our organization this year and even prouder of all we’ve been able to accomplish together.”

O’Hara added that she could not think of someone more qualified or prepared to take on her role than Bernstein.

“[Bernstein] has proven himself to be an action- oriented leader in our organization, spearheading a variety of initiatives that positively impact physical spaces on campus, the well-being of our student body and the quality of a Rider education. He is joined by a dynamic team of leaders that will take whatever comes their way head-on, and I am looking forward to seeing how they leave Rider off better than they found it,” O’Hara said.

Bernstein will lead the student body with newly elected SGA Executive Vice President Riley Mozes, a junior health sciences major. The remaining executive board members for the 2022-2023 school year will be junior business data analytics major Noah Bernstein as vice president for administration and finance, junior marketing major Kayla Wagner as vice president for communications, sophomore political science major Naa’san Carr as vice president for class connections, sophomore political science major Maria Castillo as vice president for University Affairs and sophomore business economics major Joe Tufo as vice president for Student Affairs.

Throughout his campaign, Andrew Bernstein spoke on several initiatives he hoped to implement if elected, which included increasing intercultural competency in courses at Rider and advocating for collective housing for divine nine fraternities and sororities. Looking to the future, Andrew Bernstein said he aims to take a collective approach by listening to all voices.

“Our road ahead is never easy, but [SGA] will continue to prioritize student needs and goals, working collaboratively with all university stakeholders to enrich the student experience at Rider. Through my experience in SGA, our best accomplishments have always stemmed from the eagerness of students, faculty, staff and administration to work together in solving complex problems,” said Andrew Bernstein. “And in reality, that’s what makes Rider so special: the ability for all stakeholders to listen, understand and work with those who we share this collective university. So, as we look forward to a new academic year, I am truly excited for all the great things our student government will accomplish.”

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