UNH opens vote for new Student Body President


Amanda Pirani

DURHAM – Diversity and inclusion, student safety and campus community are just some of the issues students will consider as they cast their ballots for the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) new Student Body President and Vice President this coming week. Students’ ballots will offer two tickets, consisting of UNH junior Emily Dennison and first-year student Dina Rathke, or first-year students Madi Coregan and Madison Ferrie. Voting will begin Monday, April 11, and end Thursday, April 14.  

Dennison and Corgan are running for Student Body President, while Rathke and Ferrie are running for Vice President. Student Body President and Vice President play a unique role in not only acting as a voice for the student body, but in leading the Senate Cabinet as well.  

“The Cabinet is like the leaders of the Senate,” said Dennison. “The student body cabinet actually writes the resolutions: there’s judicial affairs which is what I’m in, health & wellness, campus structure, community development, first-year life and academic affairs.” 

Each candidate boasts an impressive and involved resume. Dennison is President of Order of Omega (the Fraternity and Sorority Life Honor Society), a member of the mock trial team and serves in the Cabinet of the Student Body President as the Judicial Affairs Council-Chair. She will also be the next President of the Pre-Law Society. Coregan is a member of Kappa Delta and Cru. She is also the Gables Senator and manages the Senate Instagram account, where she started a new initiative, “Senate Sundays.” 

Current Student Body Vice President Alex Colella described diversity and inclusion as a key issue for candidates, “I think key priorities for next year’s leaders will be diversity, and to make this campus more inclusive and welcoming for every student.”  

Both parties prioritized diversity in their campaign platforms and advocated for the creation of a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee within the Student Senate.  

“Within the Student Senate it’s not representative enough we need to look for a new DSC liaison under my cabinet I want to create a new DEI committee and maybe a new DEI council chairperson,” said Dennison.  

After the sexual assault protests at the university this past fall, student safety and sexual assault was another hot button issue candidates promised to address. Both parties pointed to the university’s blue light system as a concern. Students have reported the blue lights to be unresponsive in their attempts to use them.  

“Having a system that doesn’t work is worse than not having one at all,” said Coregan.  

When asked what separated them from their opponents, Denison and Rathke stated that their experiences in the Student Senate make them strong candidates for the jobs of President and Vice President.  

“We have the experience, the qualification of being in the cabinet of the student body president, both of us… we’ve learned from the great things that she’s done and her mistakes.” said Dennison.  

“We’ve also been able to sit on every committee once, so we’ve seen the senate from every angle,” said Rathke.  

Coregan and Ferrie posited themselves as “approachable” candidates, representing a wider segment of the UNH population.  

“Madi and I have been meeting with a lot of the smaller organizations,” explained Ferrie.  

“They’re going to continue to work with the people who are being worked with, which either way, I guess UNH keeps running…” added Coregan. “But I just feel like we’re going to give more equal representation across the board.”  

While each candidate expressed passion about improving student life, Coregan had a unique motivation for her decision to run.  

“I was in a really big car accident last year… because of how my C-1 vertebrae broke it was very uncommon for anyone to come out alive,” Coregan said. “It kind of changed my whole outlook on how I wanted to live my whole life, now I kind of just say yes to everything. It’s how I joined my sorority, it’s why I joined Senate and it’s why I’m running.”  

To learn more about Denison and Rathke’s platform, visit here  

To learn more about Coregan and Ferrie’s platform, visit here. 

Photos Courtesy of Amanda Pirani.