SA President strives for inclusive college campus

Although most widely known for his term serving as Student Association President, senior Andrew Hayes has an interest beyond student government; one that shapes a unique, well-rounded post-Geneseo résumé. His impact on the college, however, resounds in his terms on SA.

After a failed election attempt his sophomore year, Hayes—motivated to win—was appointed SA President following a successful campaign his junior year, a reflection of his years in high school government and freshman and sophomore terms as the president of the class of 2016 at Geneseo. A student keen on campus issues and engaged in a variety of activities, he believed in himself as an ideal candidate to make a difference.

“I’ve always been the type of person to see things that were wrong or not getting done and try to do something about it,” Hayes said. “I thought that I could be a student who recognizes things that people have a problem with or really want to see a difference in—that I could represent our student body well and make student life better.”

Hayes acted on his desire for campus change early on in his time at Geneseo, serving on the Student Affairs Committee through the Student Senate and focusing on grassroots issues such as freedom for students and accessibility of facilities. He continued to pursue these issues as SA President, helping clubs and teams better utilize the space around campus.

“It’s sometimes a struggle that our clubs and sports have—finding a place to practice,” he said. “Space accessibility is an important issue. Athletics charges $15 an hour to use turf fields. We are trying to accommodate for that … to see what we can and can’t change.”

Although SA was unable to change the fee for using the fields, they were able to develop a mission to help clubs use that space with SA funds.

Hayes believes his biggest achievement as President has been engaging the student body and providing a transparent and approachable SA executive board. This is evident in their events such as the Social Host Law panel, which allowed for a conversation between students and the Geneseo community about concerns regarding the law.

In addition to his involvement in student government, Hayes has jumped from club to team to association, as he ran on the track and field team his freshman year and participated in mock trial. He recently picked up rugby, joining the team the second semester of his junior year.

“I always wanted to play football, but in high school I ran track and cross country. So I figured why not? I’ll try something new,” he said. “I went to the first practice and it was exciting.”

As an Eagle Scout, Hayes also enjoys the outdoors and is a frequenter of Geneseo’s hidden gem—Fallbrook—and Letchworth State Park. He likes discovering parts of the surrounding area with his girlfriend, senior Breann Coffaro—who is president of Geneseo’s Outing Club—and his friends.

“Geneseo is such a great area, I love getting out and exploring,” he said.

Hayes is also a lover of literature, admitting that he attended every midnight book release for the Harry Potter series. His favorite Geneseo professor—distinguished teaching professor of English Ron Herzman—extended Hayes’ love of reading as his professor for HUMN 220: Western Humanities I.

Although Hayes has contributed greatly to Geneseo’s student government, he has no plans to get involved in politics. He is currently applying to law school, where he hopes to pursue a career in criminal defense, representing a variety clients and “giving everyone a fair chance.”

As for next year, Hayes is excited for the newly elected SA President junior Michael Baranowski to take his place and to further address the issues at hand from the present semester. “I’m happy Mike is taking over. It allows for a continuity within the association,” he said. “We’ll be moving forward with momentum.”