In his last act as SGA President, Tim Williams swore in his Coordinating Vice President (CVP) Samantha Giffen as his successor before taking a seat to watch as Giffen then repeated the process for the new representatives of MCLA’s Student Government Association.
Jake Vitali took a seat besides Giffen and her Vice Presidents, Victoria Munoz and Kolumbia Cook, as the new Senate Parliamentarian. Senator Abby Street replaced Siobhan Greene as Senate Chair and Brianne O’Rourke moved from Student Trustee to Senate Secretary in a closed meeting vote to further fill out Giffen’s cabinet. Steph Collins, a write-in candidate for Student Trustee, stepped into O’Rourke’s former position. Now all that remains of the cabinet to be filled are the Public Relations chair and the Treasurer’s seat.
Now, the goal for Giffen and her executive board is to bring the campus together by rebuilding SGA’s image and garnering good standing within MCLA’s student body.
“I have so many priorities as President next year, but I guess the umbrella one would be helping to unify MCLA through SGA,” Giffen said. “That would help somewhat change the way people view SGA. Each person on my cabinet will have their own role in implementing one of our ideas or spearheading an initiative pertaining to their position. But overall really just [a priority is] changing the way SGA is viewed by accomplishing so much of what the students want and helping to unify campus.”
There are bound to be some growing pains surrounding the acclamation of new student representatives in getting used to the rules and regulations of SGA.
As their first act, however, the new SGA passed a motion aimed at tasking the new SGA e-board with reforming the constitution and by-laws of student government in order to make the body a more inclusive, transparent organization.
And that is just the beginning. Senator Andrew Baillargeon hinted that two of his top priorities were improving student relations with ARAMARK via SGA’s Food Committee, and voter turnout numbers, which Baillargeon said were “disappointing”.
“It goes without saying that that’s due to a lack of interest from the student body, which is something I’d like to try to change. SGA’s image right now to the public eye in general is something I would like to try to fix,” Baillargeon said.
Williams and former Parliamentarian Jess Lovellette both have the utmost confidence in the competence of their successors, and believe that given the chance to excel, both Giffen and Vitali will go above and beyond in service of MCLA.
“Sam Giffen is a dedicated public servant who is ready to be a leader and advocate for all students in our MCLA community. Over the course of the past year I’ve seen her excel in every role she has had and can’t wait to see what she does next,” Williams said. “I hope her administration continues the hard work of representing the students and they reach out to those that feel wronged and bring them into SGA so there are more diverse voices in SGA for the future.”
Lovellette added that she “couldn’t be happier” for Vitali, who had won a seat as Class of 2020 Representative in the midst of his first fall semester as a college student. Now, Vitali is entering his sophomore year as a high-ranking member of SGA.
“I couldn’t think of a more hard working, determined and well rounded person to take my seat,” Lovellette said. “I’m very excited to start the transitioning process with him and I can’t wait to see what he will accomplish during his term. I know he’ll be successful, as parliamentarian as well as in every role he plays in his next years at MCLA.”
Senator LaJuan Allen made a last minute motion meant to invalidate the results of the election, shortly before the swearing in of the new members of SGA. The motion, however, failed to be seconded and was not brought to the floor for discussion or a vote.