Class of 2026 elects class president, senators

Allegheny College’s first-year class senatorial race was held this past week with one unique caveat: each of the candidates running knew from the start that they would have a position in the Allegheny Student Government.
The candidates — Samuel Ault, Olivia Belcher and Lorenzo Scarnati — campaigned using unique and individual platforms, ranging from expanded dietary options in the dining halls, to providing more accessible queer spaces to campus conservation.
With only three candidates running for the five available positions, adjustments were made to the structure of the first-year representative body. Results, released Friday Sept. 16, indicated that Ault will serve as first-year class president, Belcher will serve as vice president and Scarnati will serve as a senator.
Throughout the race, each of the candidates was able to create their own goals for the position alongside ASG Attorney General Abigail Estrada-Hernandez, ’25, who shared insight with on how ASG functions and what the first-year class can look for from their new representatives.
Though this year’s first-year election had slim participation in terms of how many students chose to run, Estrada-Hernandez noted that it shared similarities with last year’s.
“It’s pretty much up to the students as to what they want to do and how much time they want to put into it,” Estrada-Hernadez said.
The job is all about using creativity to find solutions and connect with constituents, she added. For example, senators are required to host at least two events per semester that they feel would be valuable to the student body.
The senators can “use what they’re interested in and passionate about, and showcase that within their role,” Estrada-Hernandez said said.
As each senator ran with a particular platform in mind, they can carry those passions into their position within ASG.
Ault ran on the idea that all students deserve to have their voices heard. They want to “allow students to voice their wants and their needs.” They feel particularly suited for the job because they are someone who grew up not far from the campus. They say they can direct students’ concerns “to the proper channels, because I’ve noticed a lot of student frustration in just not having a good outlet for that, because they don’t know who they should be talking to about (those issues).”
Outside of acting as a channel of communication between students and faculty, Ault also hopes to improve the dining situation.
“I plan on working with the dining committee and talking with administrators to get Allegheny students the quality they deserve,” Ault said.
Belcher also saw an opportunity to make change on campus through ASG, particularly in regard to expanding queer spaces.
“There was an opportunity to make those changes, and to implement them,” Belcher said.
Belcher noted that, since there is always opportunity for growth, having close-knit queer communities on campus could merely be the start of a larger project.
“Being able to have an event that is catered toward queer people on campus that isn’t from a specific club would be definitely a top priority for my senate project,” Belcher said. “Local politics is more important than ever.”
Scarnati, who will fill the role of first-year senator, saw the race as a continuation of his previous work.
“I did a little bit of student government in high school,” Scarnati said. “I thought it was pretty interesting. The program wasn’t too developed, and although I developed a lot of leadership capabilities, I wasn’t able to put them to use back in high school.”
All of this is to say that now, with a “fresh start,” there is an opportunity to create positive change. Scarnati sees that change specifically takes the form of conservation and social efforts.
“I have a good interest in getting involved with sustainability projects and overall inclusivity,” Scarnati said.
Each of the candidates in the first-year class race shared an interest in seeing Allegheny grow into the best possible version of itself. Regardless of the original circumstances of the race, each of the candidates is in a prime position to prove themselves to the first-year class. Students are able to reach out to their representatives via email, Instagram or their cabinet members’ office hours.