Sohan Gade ’23 (he/him)
Senior Staff Writer
On April 22nd, Samantha Ewing ’23 was elected to an open senate position by last year’s Student Government Association (SGA) members. Five months later, she took on a new role as the SGA Vice President.
As The Davidsonian’s SGA correspondent, Ewing had spent a lot of time learning about the campus community and her future roles, first as a Junior Senator and then SGA VP. She cites this experience as helpful to her new position.
“After reporting on the SGA meetings for The Davidsonian the previous two semesters, I was familiar with how SGA worked and what types of projects were being worked on,.” said Ewing.
Entering Davidson as a transfer student during COVID, Ewing’s experience was marked by unique challenges and circumstances.
Ewing said, “Fall 2020 was a difficult process—with everything being remote, I had to be very proactive when it came to getting involved in order to meet people on campus. Thankfully, I was able to meet some incredible people throughout the year, and I’m really grateful to be here now.”
In an email to the student body last week, current SGA President Brandon Harris ‘22 announced that Ewing had been elected by her peer senators as the new Vice President. This election was different from the usual process of choosing the SGA President and VP, where any Davidson student can cast a ballot. SGA Bylaws call for a special election, in which a sitting senator will be chosen by the other senators.
Brandon Harris and Oğuzhan Çölkesen ‘22 were first elected as SGA President and Vice President in February 2020 before the College was closed due to COVID-19. After being reelected for a second term last Spring, Çölkesen made a decision to step down from his role, creating a vacancy for the VP position.
Ewing complimented Çölkesen’s achievements as the outgoing VP. She also expressed gratitude for Harris’ support during the transition.
“Oğuzhan was a really great Vice President, and he left some big shoes to fill,” said Ewing, “It’s been great working with Brandon so far – he’s really organized and has a lot of experience in SGA and he’s really helped me transition into my new role.”
Reflecting back on their partnership, Harris and Çölkesen also expressed appreciation for their teamwork and the positive effect they were able to have together.
Harris said, “It was great. [Working together for] a year and a half, we’re very compatible. We’re passionate about a lot of the same things.. […] and I feel like we complemented each other pretty well in accomplishing those things.”
Çölkesen spoke praise about Harris’ leadership during a unique time at Davidson.
“I feel like we set ourselves up very well for the Fall, and I’m really excited to see what Brandon and the team is going to bring.”
He also weighed in on Ewing’s strong leadership.
“I think all three candidates were qualified to do the job.[…].and that felt comforting for me,” said Çölkesen, who is stepping down in his second year as VP.
Harris welcomed Ewing’s unique position and ideas.“She’ll be able to offer a lot of great ideas on how we should go forward to best support students who have only gotten to see Davidson during COVID, and then I’ll be able to bring a perspective of knowing what campus was like before the pandemic,” he said.
Ewing remains enthusiastic about the new role, mentioning her desire to improve the connection among the Davidson community.
“We discussed new project ideas in our last meeting, including ideas to make health center resources more accessible and to strengthen communication between the administration and the student body,” said Ewing.