The votes for the Student Government Loyola Chicago (SGLC) election have been counted and Loyola students Margaret Bronec and Erla Dervishi were chosen to represent students as president and vice president for the 2021-22 school year.
Bronec, a junior majoring in environmental policy and double minoring in photography and non-profit management, and Dervishi, a junior pre-law student double majoring in art history and political science, were announced president and vice president, respectively, of SGLC March 31.
Bronec and Dervishi received more votes than Kayleigh O’Brien and Jacob Palmer, who also ran for president and vice president, respectively. O’Brien and Palmer didn’t respond to requests for comment. Joe Walsh, chairperson of the SGLC Elections Committee, said SGLC wasn’t able to provide a breakdown of the number of votes individual candidates received.
Of 7,588 eligible students, 766 cast their votes between March 27 and March 30 through a ballot delivered to them in an email by the Election Board, according to Walsh.
SGLC is made up of Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, according to its website. Elected representatives work toward maintaining cooperation among students, faculty and administration while also voicing the concerns of undergraduate students, according to SGLC’s mission statement.
As president, Bronec “oversees the development of organizational goals” and “serves a primary role in advocating for SGLC goals and student interests to university administrators, faculty, staff and other university bodies and committees,” according to 2020-21 SGLC President Maddie Drescher. Drescher said the president also serves on external committees, takes part in ceremonial duties and appoints student representatives, among other things.
Alongside Bronec, Dervishi oversees operation of the organization and advocates student interests to university officials, Drescher said. As vice president, Dervishi will also serve as the chief student liaison to the University Senate, serve on external committees and help conduct SGLC’s annual survey, among other things.
Bronec and Dervishi ran on six guiding principles: equity, sustainability, return to campus, safety, wellness and accessibility, according to Bronec.
Dervishi said they hope to create coalitions with other student leaders to accomplish shared goals.
Student leaders in SGLC will work on many different initiatives during the 2021-2022 term, Bronec said. Some initiatives include divestment from a university relationship with the Chicago Police Department, paper-limited classrooms and a waste-free university — including divestment from fossil fuels by July 2022 — and expansion of resources for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students among other things.
“It’s not just our platform and our ideas,” Bronec said. “It’s also about the 30-plus senators’ ideas and the entire executive branch’s ideas, so again it’s working in collaboration with them to think through how these initiatives are going to look.”
Bronec and Dervishi said they’re both open to student feedback so they can represent the student body as best they can.
“We encourage students to reach out to us if they feel they’re not being represented within our platform or if there is something as a university we need to do better on,” Dervishi said.
In addition to president and vice president, students voted for chief justice, class senators and senators at large. See the list of all newly elected representatives here.
Dervishi said she thinks they’re both equipped for the positions because they’re directly involved with the Loyola community and understand what students need during these “challenging times.”
“We felt we were truly the best people for the position and we had a group of people around us that were going to support us in this work,” Bronec said. “We were just ready to do it.”
Bronec said she has been associated with SGLC for a year and a half, serving as a senator in fall 2019 and chairperson for the justice committee and senator for the 2020-21 term.
Dervishi said she joined SGLC during summer 2020 and served as the chief of staff during the 2020-21 term.