SGA holds passing of the gavel ceremony

by Zach Tackett, Staff Writer

On Sunday, December 5, the gavel (and responsibilities) were passed from the old Executive Board to the new one. The ceremony was simple; all members of the SGA Senate and members of the faculty dined together and then watched as SGA’s new leaders took office. The past Executive Board thanked their supporters, and the newly elected Board stated their gratitude and hopes for the future.  Each person speaking articulated praise for the exiting Board; Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, OSB, stated that this past year he has attended more SGA events than he has ever attended during his term of office.

When asked about their new elected offices, all of the Board members seemed both excited and ready for their tenure to begin. All of the elected candidates expressed their gratitude and felt honored to be selected by their peers. Taylor Guido, the Executive Vice President, who ran unopposed, stated that she was happy to finally know who she would be working with, also saying, “I would have been happy with any of the other people up for election.”

Though their term technically will begin with the opening of Winter session, the officers already plan to meet before returning home for break to discuss plans. While there will be a spring semester survey to assess the student body’s desires, each officer discussed plans for programs they hope to see implemented in the next year.

Executive Treasurer, Laura Wohar, discussed her plans to put “finishing touches” on previous Executive Treasurer Simon Clayton’s projects with the Financial Advisory Board.

“These projects include publishing a financial aid fact sheet for students to help eliminate confusion with financial aid and working with the financial aid office, and (hopefully) a proposal to establish some financial assistance to students trying to study abroad,” she said. One of Wohar’s personal plans is to work with the junior class on their service project.

The Executive Board Secretary Bridget Fitzpatrick stressed her desire to work with Guido on “emphasizing” the Bearcat Nation campaign, as well as marketing it through electronic mediums such as Facebook. She also plans on aiding students as they are “acclimated” to the new Datatel system that will replace Web Info System next semester.  She also plans on utilizing the Quikread, table-tents, and house mail, to keep students informed of campus events, as well as opening up the channels of communication between the student body and SGA.

“Most importantly, I’d like to engage the student body in order to develop new ideas for SGA or address any concerns regarding campus life via a comment box,” Fitzpatrick said.

Continuing this idea, Guido stated that she is open to ideas from campus to expand Bearcat Nation from sports to all aspects of campus life. “Bearcat Nation is symbolic of how close our campus could be in the future,” she said.

Guido also hopes to continue college president Br. Norman’s “green” efforts, a thought shared by the Executive President, Renold Sossong.

“I have interest in helping further Brother Norman’s initiative to help the college ‘go green,’” Guido said. “There are still many ways that we can work to minimize waste on campus.  I am interested most, however, in finding what it is that the student body would like to see accomplished over the next year.”

But with any great responsibility will come a great amount of stress; however, each candidate seems confident that they will accomplish what the student body desires during their term. After being elected, all the candidates seem to have embraced their new roles on campus. They all stated that this change was much easier than expected thanks to the current Executive Board.

Fitzpatrick, the only candidate to not have served on the Senate for the required amount of time to have been eligible for election without specific permission, articulated her feelings both on the past and the future Executive Board, saying, “The previous executive board has certainly made it easy for us to take over at this time and I’m extremely grateful for that. As for our incoming board, I feel that we can do just as great of a job being representatives of the students, voices for our peers, and a liaison between the faculty/administration and the student body. My greatest hope is that we can positively impact Saint Vincent as much as the previous board has.”

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