Voting to select the new members of the 2016-17 Student Association Executive Committee ended on Sunday March 27. One SA committee member will be staying on the Executive Committee with six new additional members elected this year.
Junior Michael Baranowski will serve as SA Executive Committee President. Baranowski is the only remaining committee member and served as the Vice President for the 2015-16 school year.
Newly elected committee members include Vice President junior Ashley Buttice, Director of Student Affairs sophomore Marina Kawarazaki, Director of Student Programming junior Molly Downey, Director of Academic Affairs sophomore Alyssa Forbes, Director of Inter-Residence Affairs sophomore Kaitlin Pfundstein and Director of Business Affairs junior Patricia Galan.
Baranowski, who ran unopposed, said his aim for the SA Executive Committee is to return SA to a more engaging and accessible student government.
“I think it’s important for the SA to be more of a student government in order for it to provide a voice for the students,” he said. “We have a real need for some type of forums around school so the SA can help get the issues out in the open and find a solution to them.”
One of the ideas Baranowski is eager to put into action is a Concussion Policy, which would excuse students from tests, papers and other assignments when they are dealing with concussion symptoms.
“We’re starting to see these implemented more and more often in sports, but if a student-athlete cannot compete in sports, than how would he or she be able to complete school work?” Baranowski asked.
Buttice acted as a Student Senator in the Faculty Affairs Committee this year and was also a part of the Student Senate Caucus. Buttice also ran unopposed and shared a similar view to Baranowski’s for what SA should focus on next year.
“Michael and I have spoken about what we would like to do for next year, and our main focus is to run the SA more like a government,” she said. “It’s very important to the both of us that our fellow students know there is someone advocating for them.”
Being an international student from Japan, Kawarazaki stated that she ran for Director of Student Affairs because she values diversity on the Geneseo campus.
“I wanted to be the next Director of Student Affairs because one of the responsibilities they have is to act as a liaison between the multicultural organizations and the Executive Committee and I think diversity is a very important part of student life for everyone,” she said. “Being an international student, I think I could do a lot of good in this position.”
Kawarazaki’s responsibilities as Director of Student Affairs include representing Geneseo at lobbying events in Albany on behalf of students’ issues, coordinating voter registration efforts for students and coordinating the annual Intercultural Dinner. In addition, Kawarazaki will serve as a liaison between multicultural organizations and special interest organizations, serve as a voting member on the Geneseo First Response Board of Directors and serve as the Chair of the Alliance for Community Enrichment.
Downey, who also ran unchallenged, believes that her experience has prepared her for the position of Director of Student Programming. “I’ve been working toward being the Director of Student Programming for the last three years. In my freshman year I joined GCAB and during the last two years—as the Special Events Chair—I feel I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “These last few years have almost been like an internship.”
Downey explained that the goals of the Director of Student Programming are to improve the Geneseo Activity Commission Board and to ensure that all of the students are enjoying planned events.
Prior to serving as Director of Academic Affairs, Forbes has served as a peer advisement coordinator for the Academic Affairs Committee and has been involved with SA since her freshman year.
“I think the AAC—and the SA in general—needs to be built up more, and be more student run,” Forbes said. “It is my hope that I will be a good advocate for students when I’m work with Provost [Carol] Long.”
Pfundstein noted that she feels that becoming the Director of Inter-Residence Affairs will allow her to watch the people around her grow as she holds her position. “I see this job as being the voice for the on-campus students,” Pfundstein said. “As the Director of Inter-Residence Affairs, next year, I’ll be advocating for on campus issues and taking control of them.”
Galan’s past experience includes serving as Director of Business Affairs and working on the budget review committee for the last three years. Galan will oversee the Finance Committee—a new responsibility for this position.
“Next year, I’ll be going over and revising the financial policy of the SA and ultimately deciding how the budget will chang,” she said. “I think this will be a good experience.”
The newly elected SA Director of Public Relations—junior Thomas Magnus—did not respond to The Lamron’s interview request.