Junior Robert Koehler, chair of the Budget Committee for Student Government, Inc., is running for SGI president for the 2014-2015 school year.
His ticket, which goes by the name SJU FRESH, includes Caroline Zottl for vice president, Domenick Luongo for secretary, Justin Alick for treasurer, Ada Lee for senior senator, Jarred Bowman for junior senator and Chiara Miuccio for sophomore senator.
Koehler’s reason for running for president is to help bring about changes and give individuals and organizations a voice.
“We want to really ask the question and push it: what can St. John’s Student Government do for you, the individual. We want to unite the student body,” Koehler said.
As chair of the Budget Committee, Koehler has become familiar with the processes that organizations must go through in order to have events.
“We want to make the process a little easier,” Koehler said. During his time as budget chair, he created an allocation plan, which is a scoring system that SGI and organizations can use with regards to events. The plan makes it easy to compare organizations’ events for use of resources from special allocation and to figure out which events SGI. should fund the most. Koehler said that the plan kept the budget committee on track with projected spending and also made it easier for organizations when it came to acquiring funding.
Koehler places accountability and openness at the top of his priorities. His ticket wants to place an emphasis on holding SGI accountable, and having office hours and specific times during the week where both organizations and individuals can come in and discuss issues with representatives. Koehler said that as SGI president, he would have an open-door policy where anyone can come in and talk to him and the rest of the SGI Executive Board about problems they’re having or improvements they’d like to see.
“I learned from running last year that some students don’t actually see what changes are happening through SGI A lot of stuff is more internal, but now we should build off of those internal changes and make life easier for the average student.”
When it comes to the job of being president, Koehler feels that his experience of running last year, along with his internship experience, has taught him the importance of work ethic.
“I’ve learned that work ethic is key, and as long as you’re giving 100 percent towards what you think is in the best interest of SGI, no one can really question what you’re doing,” Koehler said. “You should always be looking out for the best of what your position is.”
When asked what he would like the student body to know about him, Koehler said he is a “straight shooter” and admits when he needs improvement.
“I will give 100%, and students should know that the SGI office on the second floor of DAC is always open, and they are always welcome to come in and speak with us,” he said. “I want students to hold SGI accountable because we are here to serve you.”