By Olivia Werenski ’17 / Champlain College News
Chelsea Hutchings is not your average college senior. The daughter of a lobster fisherman, Hutchings grew up on the shores of York, Maine. After coming to Champlain College, Hutchings declared a major of graphic design and has been a force to be reckoned with ever since. She has accomplished more in her four years here at Champlain then most people could ever dream of, from being the President of the Student Government Association (SGA) to holding the only student seat on the presidential search committee.
This year, the SGA has gone through a major revamping aimed at improving the way students think of the student government. There is the addition of a new senate group, where students can elect representatives from each academic division, as well as people from their grade.
Hutchings has also put forth a mandatory training for all new members so that they can become better equipped with the tools for success. Hutchings explains that the major goals for this year are to build a strong foundation for years to come and to have a program with a purpose. “Most students don’t really know what the SGA is,” she explains, “I want students to view the SGA as a voice from the students, not just as a swag club that throws events and gives away free things every once and a while.”
Hutchings said she wants the organization to focus on elections and incorporating debates and forums so students can understand who they are voting for to represent them – a problem in the past.
This year also brings the promise of all new members to the SGA. “We have no returning members this time around,” Hutchings explains. So far, there have been “no bumps in the road and its been a smooth ride so far.”
As well as being acting president, Hutchings also holds a seat on the presidential search committee to choose who will replace President David Finney when he retires in July 2014. Clearly, Hutchings holds a respected spot here on campus. “I’ve learned a lot in my time as President; I’ve learned where to give and take and that communication is crucial if you want to be successful.”
She goes on to say, “It’s been a wild ride, but I’ve loved every second of it. I used to be a shy and very quiet girl and this role has forced me to break out of my shell a little and take it all in.” The hardest part of her job, she says, is not always being able to tell people what they want to hear, but being able to be honest with students is one of the most rewarding parts of her job. “I hope that once I leave Champlain, I will have left my mark and made the most out of my time here.”
For more information on the Student Government Association, visit http://www.champlain.edu/student-life/campus-life/activities-and-clubs/student-government-association
Also, the SGA sponsors a $10 entertainment deal with the Flynn Center. Learn more about it at http://www.champlain.edu/about-champlain/newsroom/flynn