Student Government at its meeting on Nov. 20 recognized two new organizations into the St. John’s community: Alpha Si Omega, an association dealing with education and the theater, and The Residence Hall Association (RHA), a resident-run student government dealing with the problems of resident students.
“Alpha Si Omega is an organization that will begin and continue to stride toward excellence in the theater and the community,” said Jessica Nacinovich a sophomore at SJU and a representative for Alpha Si Omega. Its main goal would be to take the theater elite and “to award them, educate them and make them better,” said Nacinovich.
The club was voted on and approved at the recent Student Government meeting.
The second organization brought up at the meeting was RHA. “RHA is designed to help resident students and to build a bridge between the residential village and the main community,” explained sophomore David Graziano, president of the association. “It is meant to help the residents fit in with the rest of campus.”
The organization was established to create a voice for resident students at St. John’s. It is meant to promote “student intellectual, educational, cultural, physical and social welfare.” RHA has 22 members of at the present time and its goal is to make sure all 2,000 resident students have their voices heard.
The group’s main focus would be to allow residents to bring their problems directly to Residence Life rather than going through Student Government, making the process more efficient.
“The resident students are not proportional to the commuters and need to be part of the whole community,” Milagros Roman, on RHA representative and a sophomore at SJU said. “This is a step in that direction.”
The students also feel that RHA is an integral part of the entire residential community and of the entire campus. Freshman Bill Miltner, a resident in Hillcrest, expressed his concerns saying, “there is something lacking with the residents. The majority of the students are commuters and we need someone to voice our needs, someone who will be heard.”
Michael Yetemian, the School Spirit Committee Chair for Student Government voiced his concerns, saying he does not “want to see a [wider] division between the commuter students and the resident students because of RHA and its [separate] resident hall government.”
RHA’s Graziano, however, explained that “many other campuses have an association similar to RHA; it’s [the missing] piece to the puzzle.”
Many members of Student Government said that the constitution for RHA needs to be amended and both RHA and Student Government need to lay down rules, that they have decided on together. The Budget Committee Chair Joseph Dujmic said “Student Government and RHA need to collaborate and work together.”
Student Government finally decided to approve the association.
The Irish Society was also represented at the meeting because it needed $800 to cover the remaining costs of Irish Night. The event, which is held every year, is “a social event for the students. There will be four Irish bands, food and music,” said vice president of the club Geraldine O’Brien. Student Government approved the money and the four-hour event was to be held Dec. 1.