SGA has new pres. after other runner drops out


Photo by Brandon Hamilton

New SGA President Johnathan O’Dea vows to redefine what the SGA does for the students.

Elizabeth Spearman , Campus Life Editor

AACC has a new Student Government Association president for 2017-18; his platform is: “No voice goes unheard.”

Third-year forensic science major Johnathan O’Dea will accept the position once the SGA Advisory Council confirms his selection on May 1.

O’Dea, the SGA’s non-traditional student liaison and president of the campus Gay-Straight Alliance, was one of two candidates for the position. His opponent, Emily Dreszer, dropped out of the race on April 18, securing O’Dea the top spot.

Dreszer, this year’s SGA secretary, told Campus Current she dropped out of the race because she made a deal with O’Dea’s campaign manager, Austin Gannon, who agreed he would not oppose her for another position as student representative to the Maryland’s Higher Education Commission.

Dreszer served as executive vice chair of the MHEC Student Advisory Council this school year and has applied to retain her seat.

“We had a conversation [and] he [Gannon] offered to drop out of it if I offered to drop out of being SGA president,” Dreszer explained. “It was the three of us [Dreszer, Gannon and O’Dea] in the room after everyone else left, after the SGA meeting.”

In an earlier interview, O’Dea told Campus Current he wants to “really redefine the roles of [SGA] senators and redefine the role of SGA, bringing it more forward to our students. They know we have it [but] they don’t know what SGA does.”

The new president said he is “an advocate for change” and plans to change “some things that need to be changed, that weren’t being looked at.”

For example, he said, he would like SGA members to communicate and be more involved with the student body.

As president, O’Dea, said, he can move forward with those changes.
He said he plans to have open discussions with students to learn their concerns about the campus.

For example, some students are concerned that satellite campuses have few student activities. He plans to find out if students are able to hold events at AACC’s Arundel Mills campus.

“At the beginning of every year SGA does what is called stop-and-go events,” he said. “We set up a table; we bring little snacks” to the Arundel Mills and Glen Burnie campuses. “The students there stop, grab the food and we hold short conversations with the students. I am hoping to … do more of those events.”

O’Dea is president of AACC’s Gay-Straight Alliance; a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society; a part of the campus ambassador team; and a member of the Campus Activities Board.

“I want students to know that at any point of time, I am a very approachable person,” O’Dea said. “If there is anything I can do for our student body, even our faculty … I am here.”