Ted Dolce Wins 2018 Marist College Student Body President Election

By Isabella Duenas & Alyssa Hurlbut

Loud cheers erupted in the Cabaret Thursday night, as the Student Government Association announced Marist’s 2018-2019 Student Body President and Executive Vice President: Ted Dolce and Ankofa Billips.

After a week of campaigning and a series of debates, Dolce, ’19, and Billips, ’19, defeated runner-ups Christopher Glogan, ‘19 and Jon Ferris ’19, by a narrow 51 percent margin.

Matthew Marotti, ’19, current student body president, announced the news in a speech to those who attended Thursday’s ceremony. He opened his speech by recognizing the impressive campaigns by both presidential tickets, ensuring that each would play a very important role in SGA, regardless of the outcome.

“It is a wonderful thing to see such a clean race and such a high level of student engagement. Ted, Ankofa, Chris, and Jon ran classy campaigns from start to finish that engaged students all across campus. It was really close, too,” Marotti said.

He expressed his optimism as he looks to the new administration.

“I’m confident that Ted and Ankofa will continue to fight for our representation. They’re both true leaders who genuinely care about Marist and its students. I know we will continue to improve and thrive as a college under their leadership."

Student said student Joseph Colón, ’19, who snapped pictures of Dolce and Billips after the reveal.

“Seeing how happy Ted and Ankofa were after the announcement that they won the election was touching,” Colón said. “Watching them hold back their tears before I took their photo speaks to how much winning this election meant to them and shows to me that the Marist student body will be in good hands with this passionate duo.”

 Photo Courtesy of Joseph Colón, '19. 

Photo Courtesy of Joseph Colón, '19. 

The announcement followed a short campaigning period where Dolce, Billips, Glogan and Ferris spoke with students, rallied support, took part in debates, and shaped their presidential platforms, which both advocated for a greater degree of transparency at all levels of Marist government.

According to their campaign message, which they voiced on their President Dolce Instagram account, Dolce and Billips believe “progression is found through commitment to growth. Our platform lives on the experiences that we share with all of you.”

“Our position on this campus, and if we were to be elected, we will stand for actions with issues, not issues we think up that students are feeling. We will stand for issues that they are actually going through,” Dolce said at the Feb. 23 debate.“We will stand for the community, the Marist community here and the community above and beyond. We wish to integrate the community more so outside of our borders.”

“Our platform stands on the living experiences we have shared with you in the past three weeks.”

The two ran on the campaign slogan #TedListens.

Glogan and Ferris conveyed a similar message in their campaign, which focused on the “real issues to build an even stronger Marist community and transparent administration.” Team Glogan promised in the Feb. 19 debate that, if elected, Glogan and Ferris would “speak about the subjects that some would prefer we don’t speak about at all.”

Dolce is currently serving as the SGA deputy vice president of Inclusion and is the former president of ARCO, Appreciating Races and Creating Opportunities. Billips also holds a  leadership position, as resident of Black Student Union. She frequently speaks on campus about topics such as social activism and initiating change.

"We are so grateful for all of your trust," Dolce said. "Thank you to those of you who took the time to vote. If you didn't, keep an eye out for opportunities to create the change you want to see on your campus and in your community."

As students embraced Dolce following the ceremony, the 2018-2019 student body president-elect delivered a simple message to his peers: “Hold us accountable.”

The student body also celebrated the results of the senate elections, which reinstated the freshman and sophomore class boards. The Class of 2020 welcomed back President Eric Johnson, Treasurer Brian Greenberg, and Secretary Brendalyn Juarbe, while the Class of 2021 re-elected President Brendan Carl, Treasurer Jaime Minervini, and Secretary April Pensa to the board. According to SGA, the class boards will work toward appointing their vacant positions throughout the semester. Additionally, the resident senators serving on the Dolce-Billips administration will include Nicholas Bradford, Mark Palmer, and Mariah Sepulveda.

The president and executive vice president-elects will commence their administration at the transition brunch held at the end of the semester.