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Letter from the President: SGA ending the year strong, as preparations begin for next year

Rebecca Gray, Student Body President

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Dear AIC community,

Last semester I wrote about unexpected challenges that we faced at the beginning of the year and a lot of work that we had left to do before this academic year came to close. I am excited to write that we have surpassed our goals and overcome those challenges, all while preparing for an even stronger year for next year.

Last semester we made the transition from having formal Student Senate every Wednesday to holding it every other Wednesday. During the off-weeks, we held formal committee meetings that focused on constitution review in the beginning of the semester, and transitioned to fully-functioning Elections, Public Relations, and Campus Improvement committees by the end of the semester. This allowed your representatives to increase their productivity and increase collaboration.

After completing a thorough review of the constitution and bylaws of the Student Government Association, we passed amendments that made more sense for the student body.

The Membership Constitution Committee, led by Vice President Sierra Naughton, introduced changes to the Class Cabinet dynamic that allow Class Presidents to appoint cabinet members. This will increase productivity and collaboration by ensuring the Class Cabinet teams will work well together. Additionally, the committee introduced a new representative spot for Graduate Students. Not only will this increase communication between the undergraduate student population and that of the graduate students, but it will also give undergraduate students a resource that is so important when a large portion of our undergraduate student body will transition directly to graduate school from their undergraduate programs.

Treasurer Cameron Akers and VP Sierra Naughton, at the Springfield Service above Self lunch.

The Finance Constitution Committee, led by Student Body Treasurer Cameron Akers, introduced full changes to the budget allocation process that moved the entire process to the Spring semester. Last semester, I touched on the budget cuts we faced as a Student Government Association that left us with just about half of the resources we were expecting to have. By moving the process to the Spring, this allows the Student Government to participate in budget allocation along with all departments, thus increasing the likelihood of experiencing a budget increase. The constitutional changes put forth by Akers and his committee will ensure that AIC clubs and organizations have the highest amount of resources possible for years to come.

The Elections Constitution Review Committee, led by Speaker of the Senate Dante Raggio, introduced formal bylaws for monitoring and holding student elections. These much-needed revisions to the constitution give the Student Government Association a framework for electing members that will increase transparency, level of fairness, and decrease confusion.

The Legislative Committee, led by myself, introduced formal bylaws to govern how the Student Government passes legislation. This directly impacts who the SGA seeks to propose changes to administration. The committee developed bylaws to address who may propose legislation and how it is passed. They also developed a template to ensure proper care is taken with each proposal and that all are written under the same expectations.

Following completion of the Constitution revisions, the Membership Committee transitioned to the Public Relations Committee, Finance Committee transitioned to the Ways and Means Committee, Elections Committee began work on Spring Elections, and the Legislative Committee transitioned to the Campus Improvement Committee.

The Public Relations Committee and Elections Committee worked closely on the execution of and promotion of the Spring Elections. With 25% of the Student Body voting in Elections, we experienced a successful voter turnout rate compared to previous election cycles. Dante Raggio was elected to serve as the Student Body President for the 2017-18 Academic Year beginning this Fall and Raffaele Albano assumed the role of Senior Class President for the same term. Dante is actively working on building his Executive Cabinet and has big plans for the next year.

The Ways and Means Committee successfully reviewed budget request from Clubs and Organizations and put forth a formal budget proposal for next fiscal year. Confirmation on the budget proposal is not expected until early June.

The Campus Improvement Committee wrote and proposed three pieces of legislation. A resolution to allow students to charge parking passes to their student bills was proposed and passed unanimously. A resolution to repair parking lots was proposed and passed unanimously. Finally, a resolution seeking to make the Edgewood wing of the Edgewood Complex a wet area was proposed and passed unanimously. These resolutions will be sent to members of administration for review.

“A Night in Vegas” Semi-Formal at AIC.

In addition to the policy changes, the Student Government also hosted Semi-Formal. For the first time in years, the Semi-Formal was hosted on campus and we had more than 160 students in attendance, more students than the past few years. In addition to increasing attendance, the event also came in under budget. The theme, “A Night in Vegas,” was complemented with professional card dealers and tables as well as a photo booth. Overall, the event was a huge success!

While we certainly began the year with a rocky start, the Student Government Association managed to finish out the year stronger than expected. We have implemented changes that will impact students to come and have laid the groundwork for Student Government Representatives to be elected. The Student Government has never been so prepared to being a year strongly and I am confident that President-Elect Dante Raggio will lead the Student Body in the right direction.

It has truly been an honor to serve as your Student Body President this year and something that will have a strong impact on me for years to come. I cannot thank you enough for affording me this opportunity and truly hope that I have made an impact on student life at AIC. My fellow class of ’17 members, I will see you at Commencement and wish you congratulations on your achievement and luck on all of your future endeavors!

 

Sincerely,

Rebecca Gray ‘17

Student Body President, American International College

Cameron Akers, Rebecca Gray & Joe Petrone at the “A Night in Vegas” Semi-Formal.

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Letter from the President: SGA ending the year strong, as preparations begin for next year