GSA Leadership Elections

Vladislav Son

To move the association towards our vision and make sure that it will be prospering and growing, it is important for founders to make a smooth transition of leadership responsibilities to the next generation of leaders. To make this happen founders had planned to organize the first official leadership elections that took place among pioneering members in May 8. It was attended by all seven committee members and 4 founders. They had to chose their perspective President, Vice President and Executive Secretary.

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Before the elections happened, members were introduced to different responsibilities of the three leadership positions and given a week to apply for them. As a result, three members Jonathan Kammalle, Simon Soltes and Shakhzod Turgunboev emerged as strong candidates giving very powerful and decisive motivation letters. Jonathan and Shakhzod desired to run for presidency, while Simon expressed his willingness to become a Vice President. All three candidates have different gifts to serve, be it either ability to communicate in several languages or organizational, managerial and analytical skills. However what was in common between them was a strong passion for regular international students.

The election process was divided into three sessions. The first one was a campaign session, in which each candidate could run their campaigns by delivering their speeches. The second session was voting, and finally the third one was announcing the results of the election.

In the first session, the candidates were talking about their student background before they joined GSA. As they were facing similar situations as regular international students their speeches were relatable to each other. Their previous experiences in dealing with hardships are what made them join GSA, as they desired to make a better life for other international students, whose number is drastically growing every semester. Simon was seeing his potential to better organize two core committees as he was a member of the translation committee and had a vision of how to lead them. Jonathan had his slogan “Serve, Preserve and Grow” meaning that he is willing to bring out the best of the organization, sustain it and expand its scale, whereas Shakhzod was presenting his vision of what activities GSA could conduct in order to better serve international students and grow the organization as well.

In the second session, members were given time to decide which position each candidate fits the most. After a short while their bulletins were submitted to an election committee that was created for the sake of transparency. Its primary responsibility was to accurately count the votes and announce the final results of the election. It was consisted of three members: President Vladislav Son, Vice President Grace Turner and the Translation Committee Member Viktoriya Tsoy. Each member came up with the same results after having individual counting session.

In the third session, the result of the election was finally announced and the leadership of GSA will look as following: President is Jonathan Kammalle, Vice President is Simon Soltes, and Executive Secretary is Shakhzod Turgunboev.

Conducting leadership elections has an ultimate significance because the future of the organization depends on people who will lead it. Therefore, it is a primary responsibility of current leaders to make sure that the elections are constructively organized.

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