Meet this year’s SGA and Community Council candidates

By Charlie Keohane

Want to know a bit more about the candidates running for Student Government Association (SGA) President and Co-chair of Community Council? The Campus has you covered. 

In this guide, you will find information about the candidates, their qualifications and their visions for the year ahead.

 

For SGA President 

 

 

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Roni Lezama ’22

Hometown: Queens, New York 

Major: International Politics and Economics 

Minors: Education Studies and Anthropology

Lezama, current SGA Vice President, has built his platform around taking action on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and collaborating with peers. Lezama is a longtime SGA member, serving on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee as a first-year. Lezama took on the role of Community Council Co-Chair his sophomore year and valued working closely with the administration. 

Lezama was one of the key players in establishing Justice Projects, an initiative that raised nearly $140,000 to award funds to affinity groups and individuals that promote DEI initiatives. 

“We believe in empathy, we believe in care, but most importantly, when it comes to this, we believe in action,” Lezama told The Campus. 

If elected SGA President, Lezama hopes to prioritize DEI initiatives, advance the college’s anti-racism efforts and reform mental health resources on campus. Lezama says he values taking action and believes his track record shows that he can follow through on his ideas. 

“I’ve been in the position where people have promised me things — as a low-income Latinx student on campus — and it’s frustrating when it doesn’t come to fruition,” Lezama said.  

Lezama also stressed that he believes in collaboration, and has named Charice Lawrence ’23 and Meg Farley ’24 as his vice presidents. 

“I don’t like doing things alone,” Lezama said. “The more people you have in the room working on something, the better the outcome is.”

Outside of SGA, Lezama is part of ResLife, interns at a small New Jersey law firm and holds research positions in the Economics Department and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

 

For SGA President and Co-Chair of Community Council (Fall and Spring)

 

 

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Myles Maxie ’22

Hometown: Upland, California

Major: Neuroscience 

Maxie, a current SGA junior senator, is running for both SGA President and Community Council Co-Chair of Community Council. Previously, Maxie served as a Wonnacott Commons senator during his sophomore year, and has served on SGA committees since his first year. As Wonnacott senator, he worked on increasing textbook accessibility to students and revitalizing social spaces on campus.

Maxie believes that both SGA and Community Council can effect significant change on campus and has centered his campaign platform around furthering anti-racism efforts and decolonizing Middleury’s curriculum. He is also interested in fostering community on campus post-pandemic. 

If elected SGA President, Maxie wants to improve outreach to student organizations and increase transparency in areas like the student activities fee. He also intends to reevaluate and redistribute the SGA budget to prioritize student projects. 

“We all experience Middlebury in very different ways based on where we’re coming from and what we have access to financially,” Maxie said. 

Maxie wants to expand the Community Council to amplify student voices and address the lack of diversity within Middlebury faculty.

“What are you doing to get [BIPOC faculty members] to actually stay in our community and to diversify, not just by ethnicity, but diversify by knowledge? People are from so many different places, so many different backgrounds, [my goal is] really making that part of the Middlebury experience,” Maxie said. 

He is also focused on increasing social activities and is hoping to have a semblance of normalcy next semester. 

Maxie has named Arlo Fleischer ’21.5, Bakari Moitt ’24, and Niyafa Boucher ’22 as members of his SGA executive team. 

Maxie leads several cultural organizations and committees on campus. He founded Concerned Students of Middlebury last summer, an organization that unites various groups across campus to address diversity and equity issues. He is also an MCAB traditions co-executive, a co-president of PALANA and the vice president of Distinguished Men of Color. 

Maxie is running uncontested for the spring 2022 Community Council Co-Chair seat. 

 

For Co-Chair of Community Council (Fall)

 

 

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Sophia Lundberg ’21.5 

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Major: International Politics and Economics

Lundberg currently serves as SGA vice president alongside Lezama and has focused on communication and outreach while working in SGA. Vice president is the only position Lundberg has held in SGA, but she has valued her time working in the body and believes that the strong relationships she has cultivated will serve her well as Community Council Co-Chair. 

Lundberg joked that she is known as the “handler” in the SGA administration and that she is often the person who reaches out to student organizations and communicates updates from the SGA. 

This year, she worked with Jackson Evans ’22 to help expand a winter clothing closet for international students who may not have the appropriate gear. She is also currently working with the Anderson Freeman Resource Center on hosting more outdoor programming for underrepresented groups. 

If elected co-chair, Lunberg hopes to increase the visibility and impact of Community Council.

“Community Council, as a body, is very underutilized,” she said. “The unique nature of the organization as a space is it’s intersectional. It’s where students, faculty, and staff can all come together to talk about non-academic, community issues.”

Lundberg believes that her focus on culture within the current SGA will benefit her if she is elected co-chair. She said that she appreciates the body’s focus on intentionality, conversation and deliberation — and that her work on communication in SGA will serve her well. 

“I know that when I walk across campus or show up to a Zoom room, I’m greeted with a lot of warmth,” Lundberg said. “I think that is evidence of the fact that culture can change; culture can shift when we talk to one another.”

Beyond SGA, Lundberg is a general member of MCAB and is currently employed as a health and safety officer for the Student Activities Office. She is also training to work with the Addison County Restorative Justice Office.  

 

The election

 

Elections open Thursday, April 15 at 12 p.m. and close the following day at noon. The SGA plans to release the results by the end of the day on Friday. Students can cast their votes for SGA President, Community Council Co-Chair and class senators at go/vote.