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SGA Scoop 11/16/11


Presidential Search – One Step Closer

Last week, Southern Connecticut State University came together to hear from the three finalists in the presidential search process. During the day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, several small and large group forums were held in which members of the Southern community were given the opportunity to ask questions and hear the candidates speak. The week-long process concluded with another forum with the members of the Presidential Search Committee. Representatives of the Student Government Association were present at many of these interview sessions and the entire group turned out for Friday’s forum in lieu of a regular body meeting. “Essentially, Student Government was there to represent the students’ voices,” said Brian Pedalino, Student Government treasurer.

In regard to Friday’s forum, Natalie Sabino, a representative for SGA and programming board chair for Residence Hall Association, felt that it was a great opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to come together to hear each others’ opinions. Pedalino concurred. “”When people were getting up and speaking about their opinions about the candidates [on Friday] it made them aware about the students’ perspectives too.”

During Friday’s forum, several people spoke to the importance of the students’ perspectives. “A couple faculty members pointed out to all of the people present that although their opinions are great, the students are the reason we’re here,” Pedalino said. Christopher Piscitelli, Director of Judicial Affairs, echoed this sentiment during Friday’s forum. He reminded everyone in the lecture hall not to dismiss the comments of the students who spoke. “Those people seated in that section,” he said, pointing to the mass of students at the right of the hall, “they’re the reason we’re here.”

While some students not involved in Student Government attended the forums during the week, there were very few present. Dave McQuade, chair of the Board of Clubs and Organizational Management, was somewhat concerned about that factor. “How many students actually knew about it?” McQuade said. “I don’t know if it’s because students don’t pay attention or because it wasn’t well advertised. I never saw a big poster about it in the Student Center or anything.”

Benjamin McNamee, representative to the Board of Trustees, also noticed the general student body’s participation in the presidential search sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. “The only day that the student session was during a community hour was Wednesday; it was shown by who was there. There were significantly less people there on Tuesday and Thursday,” McNamee remarked. “I don’t know how they would have done it any differently, but that’s something I noticed.” As a result, the Student Government representatives tried to capture the students’ opinions and be their overall voice.

McNamee was pleased with the overall set-up of the candidate interview process, however. “The way it was set up was effective because the candidates were able to give a little spiel about who they were and where they were coming from, and then students were about to ask questions,” he said.

In regard to Friday’s forum, McNamee was equally supportive of the Presidential Search Committee’s process. “I give a lot of credit to the Advisory Committee because of the way they handled the questions. They went section by section – it was very fair. Everybody was able to ask questions.”

Whatever the final decision, the Student Government Association supports the Presidential Search Committee’s decision. The members of the committee have worked hard for months, reviewing resumes and narrowing down the options. As Andrell Hoyte, Board of Public Relations chairperson said, “They’re all worthy candidates

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