In an uncontested election, junior Rylan Alen will continue his tenure as Student Government Association President. Junior Abigail Yemisrach will replace current Vice President and soon-to-be-graduate Natalie Yaeger.
Voting took place on March 30-31 via MyCourseEval and included nominees for Student of the Year and Faculty of the Year. Of the undergraduate, Macon campus population, just 22% of the student body cast their votes, compared to 33% last year.
"SGA represents and promotes student interest while serving as a liaison between the students and the administration, faculty, and staff," an email to students this week announcing the election said. "Student life at Mercer is defined by the individuals who bring this campus to life. Our Association strives to advocate on behalf of the multitude of student interests and opinions."
Allen, a political science and sociology student, was elected last spring along with running mate Yaeger, where they prevailed against the Ashton Bearden/Caleb Mills ticket with over 60% of the vote. He told The Cluster last year that he is the third Black SGA President to serve Mercer.
“I am very excited to serve a second term as president of this organization, with Abigail by my side," Allen said.
Looking toward the next academic year, he says one of his biggest goals is to improve the efficiency of SGA.
"Through increased outreach initiatives and efforts to get the student body more involved, we hope to strengthen our presence on campus and become a much more effective organization as a whole," he said.
Yemisrach, who previously served as class senator, studies public health and has served as a resident assistant since 2020. She is a member of the Residence Hall Association and the African Student Association.
She says that one of her and Allen's goals is to strive for "interconnectedness among the branches of Student Affairs to ensure an inclusive environment."
"I am feeling very blessed to have this opportunity to serve the student body in this new position and alongside one of my very good friends," Yemisrach said.
Yaeger, current SGA VP, expressed her full support for Allen and Yemisrach as she nears the end of her time as a Mercer undergrad.
"I am so incredibly proud of Rylan to see him continuing to do such amazing work as SGA’s president," Yaeger said. "He and Abigail will both be absolutely phenomenal as they are both honest, hard working, immensely driven, and passionate about Mercer and the student body. They care for each student equally, and will no doubt be absolutely amazing advocates for individual student needs but for the student body as a whole."
Mary Helene Hall ‘23 is a journalism and women’s and gender studies student who has worked for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. She has held internships at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AL.com, where she covered a variety of topics including politics, crime and culture.