ACE takes it all

New SGI executive board elected for 2016-17 year

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ACE takes it all

The new Student Government Inc. (SGI) executive board.

The new Student Government Inc. (SGI) executive board.

Photo Courtesy Of: Chiara Miuccio

The new Student Government Inc. (SGI) executive board.

Photo Courtesy Of: Chiara Miuccio

Photo Courtesy Of: Chiara Miuccio

The new Student Government Inc. (SGI) executive board.

Angelica Acevedo, News Editor

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A new Executive Board for Student Government Inc. (SGI) was announced on March 18, with the ACE ticket taking the win. Numerous goals and ambitious plans characterize the new e-board, ensuring the St. John’s community should expect bigger and better activities for the 2016-17 year.

The ACE ticket consists of Chiara Miuccio as president, Richard Cantoral as vice president, Frank Obermeyer as secretary, Clement Anozie as treasurer, Julia Mackey as senior senator, Aaron Richards as junior senator and Jennie Lynn Martino as sophomore senator.

A recent interview with Miuccio, Obermeyer, Mackey and Richards revealed their aspirations for the upcoming year.

They’ve produced three main goals, or “pillars,” which are to: improve the student experience, build a unified St. John’s community, and empower students through organizations.

Each briefly spoke of the pillars and what they wish to accomplish within each one of them.

The first pillar, to improve student experience, was introduced by Miuccio the president elect. She currently serves as secretary.

“What we really want to do is become the best advocate for our students and that means working with the senior administrators and Dr. Gempesaw’s strategic priorities” said Miuccio. “A lot of what we do as Student Government we can’t do alone, we do with administration.”

She explained the importance of SGI’s connections with the university’s administrators, which enhances their ability to develop ideas and bring about change where it’s needed.

Secretary elect Obermeyer, elaborated on the second pillar, which is to build a unified St. John’s community. He currently serves as sophomore senator.

Obermeyer spoke about the significance of working with local businesses in order to ensure a better relationship within the community, guaranteeing that students and businesses benefit by working together.

“We want to build a better relationship with the community around us and with the students on campus,” he said.

Another aspect of this pillar is community service. An eleventh committee is in the works that will focus on community service which may involve changes within SGI, according to Obermeyer.

Mackey, the senior senator elect, touched upon the Student Affairs component of the eleventh committee. She explained how Relay for Life is an activity that continues to grow. Student Affairs broke their fundraising record at Relay for Life last year, raising over $114,000.

Relating the addition of a new committee to current goals, which include raising $125,000 at this April’s Relay for Life, Mackey stated, “Putting it on the eleventh committee, it will be able to give it more room to grow and to continue to prosper in that aspect.”

The idea behind forming this committee is to “streamline the process for organizations that want to do service in the community and don’t know where to go,” as Obermeyer explained. “Or organizing the events that we already do as SGI, whether it be the Breast Cancer Walk, Relay for Life, University Service Day.”

In order to fulfill their last pillar, which is to empower students through organizations, they want to work on expanding the services that are already provided for students, while also recognizing students’ achievements.

“My role in that is to voice the opinions as well as all the great things that students are doing over to administration, in order to create more cohesion in between the students and the administration,” said Richards, current junior senator elect.

Their biggest obstacles when fulfilling all these ambitious goals?

“Time and money,” Miuccio jokingly said.

As stated by Obermeyer, there are a lot of people who choose to be a part of SGI, however many, if not all, are also involved in other organizations on campus, and also have majors that take up a lot of their time.

“Whenever we’re doing things on the e-board it comes down to getting people to focus on SGI even though they have so much on their plate,” said Obermeyer.

Despite this, SGI works to encourage their members to participate, facilitating the resources they need in order to accomplish each project.

“As sophomore senator this year, one of the main things I look for in representatives is someone who is passionate about something at St. John’s and then help them use SGI to accomplish that goal,” said Obermeyer.

He believes that one of their biggest issues this year was getting people passionate enough to take the initiative. However, Obermeyer thinks they’ve found the right way to deal with this by playing to each member’s interests.

“Me and Chiara [Miuccio] have learned from the struggles we’ve faced this year with helping people to find what they’re passionate about,” continued Obermeyer, “We plan to use that momentum into next year so that right away we can say ‘Hey what do you guys want to do?”

Miuccio also brings up the point that the environment at their office this past year is very different from last year.

“We made great strides in having people who are active, and enthusiastic, and present,” she said. “If you came to the SGI office last year it was usually empty and that’s not the image you want to give to the student body.”

Miuccio went on to say, “This year you’re guaranteed to find at least five people, and if you’re there during common hour, good luck finding a seat.”

“One of the greatest things we’ve changed about SGI is allowing for our representatives and our members to work on stuff that they’re passionate about,” added Richards. “It definitely creates a better student government.”

They encourage all those who wish to be a part of SGI to apply on their website (www.stjohnssgi.com) for membership in any of their various committees.

When asked about whether they’ll be working with Students of Consciousness, a group organized earlier this semester, who calls for more diversity in the university community, Obermeyer spoke about their part in creating more cultural appreciation on campus.

“As student government we can’t really force certain beliefs on people within the school, that’s not what we do,” said Obermeyer. “But we can make sure that our student leaders, at the very minimum, are aware of the importance of diversity.”

He went on to say that one of their goals within the pillars, is to “implement a diversity training for student leaders.”

They hope to perhaps work with the office of Multicultural Affairs in order to make this training happen.

“It’s an issue if we’re not realizing how diversity helps us, and it’s also a benefit once we do realize that our diversity makes us such a great college.”

Furthermore, this new e-board wants to set the bar higher than ever.

“We’re trying to go above and beyond years past,” said Miuccio, “We’re very ambitious, and I know it looks like we have almost too much on our plate – but we’re ready.”

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