The Student Government Association at Shenandoah University held an election for the positions of President, Vice President of Undergraduate Affairs, and Vice President of Graduate Affairs for the 2021-2022 academic year. The winners, Armani Cheilchani, Madison Shand, and Beth Dickman, respectively, were announced on SU’s Student Life Facebook and Instagram pages on Wednesday, April 21.
Cheilchani is succeeding Julia Baum, who will be graduating this year. Cheilchani is an exercise science major and will graduate in 2022. She is the first black female president in Shenandoah’s student government history.
“I’m very excited about the position and we have a great team coming on,” Cheilchani said. “We’re diverse in leadership and we have many diverse areas that make up the SU population.”
Cheilchani’s goal for the fall is to transition from a mostly virtual COVID-19 year to more in-person events. With people continuing to get vaccinated and Shenandoah’s COVID-19 case numbers decreasing, Cheilchani hopes to be able to bring back Welcome Week and the Downtown Plunge that freshmen didn’t get to experience. COVID-19 left students confined to their room for much of the 2020-2021 school year, and Cheilchani wants to get students back out and involved in events and activities happening on campus. She also hopes to prepare the freshmen to step up so they’ll be ready to take on leadership roles and “bring back the Shenandoah that we had.”
As President, Cheilchani will be responsible for attending the Board of Trustees and University Cabinet meetings, working closely with the executive team, and overseeing the entire Student Government Association (SGA).
Shand is the Vice President of undergraduate affairs and is succeeding Cheilchani. She is also an exercise science major and will graduate in 2024. Due to COVID-19, SGA elections for the 2020-2021 academic year were held in the fall of 2020. Shand, a freshman, is the current Chief-of-Staff and is excited to bring the new student perspective as the first freshman in SGA history to hold that position.
“My big focus is between club participation, collaboration with the different clubs, and getting them all connected to each other,” Shand said, referring to her goal to bring everyone together into one student body, rather than many separate, smaller organizations.
Shand hopes to work with the new Vice President of Graduate Affairs Beth Dickman to create a way to connect undergraduate students with graduate students.
As Vice President of Undergraduate Affairs, Shand will preside over the House of Delegates, the representatives of student organizations, to lead meetings and present ideas to the executive board. She will also be responsible for standing in as President if Cheilchani is unable to attend a meeting.
Vice President of Graduate Affairs Beth Dickman is succeeding Katherine Davis. Dickman graduated from Shenandoah University in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and will be attending the graduate program for physical therapy in Fall 2021.
“I think it will be a really fun, unique opportunity for me to get involved in a different way, and really voice for the graduate students,” Dickman said.
As the Vice President of Graduate Affairs, Dickman will work with the other members to set up House of Delegates meetings, organize and lead graduate student assembly for graduate-level clubs and organizations, and represent graduate students.
“I think it helps that I went to Shenandoah for undergrad, so I have a lot of strong connections with the admin,” Dickman said. “I also had some exposure in other areas that can help me reach out for other populations of students and let them know I am here for them.”
Cheilchani, Shand, and Dickman were elected through a Google form that could be filled out by students and faculty with an SU email. All candidates were running uncontested, but voters could choose to withhold their votes if they did not agree with the candidates’ goals for SU. The term limit for these positions are all one year.
Categories: Campus News
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