SGA executive board voted on
Essence Boyd—Copy Editor & Tamonda Griffiths—News Writer
After being reelected Student Government Association President Alexis Zhitomi, appointed the executive board that would serve beside her during the 2019-2020 academic year last week.
The board is composed of six members which the elected president selects and SGA representativesat-large then vote in favor of or against.
“E-board was a very difficult decision. This entire week I spent meeting with everybody that [was] interested,” said Zhitomi. “I had to take some time for some serious consideration and see what direction I wanted to see SGA to go in and what people would make that picture happen.”
The six who were appointed to the executive board were: Brooke Mercaldi as executive vice president, Samantha Widomski as secretary, Isaiah Yopp as treasurer, Sarah Gossman as vice president of the Board of Academic Experience, Katia Bagwell as vice president of the Board of Student Experience and Madison Miceli as vice president of the Board of Outreach and Communication.
Former Vice President of the Board of Outreach and Communication Ian Bergemann resigned from the association at the end of last week’s meeting.
“I am resigning because I think I’m done working within the boundaries of SGA, and I’m ready to kind of advocate for students in a different way,” said Bergemann.
According to Bergemann, the structure of SGA was hindering his access to serving students the way he intended to.
“It’s a structured kind of organization where they have to go through proper channels to do things and I am more of somebody who wants more quicker results and wants discussions to be happening that day,” said Bergemann. “I think I am somebody who could do better for the school outside of the organization rather than in it.”
Although Bergemann is resigning, he said since joining the organization he has learned how the university works and how to get things done on campus.
He said he wishes the remaining members of the SGA organization the best.
According to Representative-at-Large Benson Rodrigues, he was disappointed after hearing who was elected for the future executive board due to its lack of male representation.
“As for e-board, I’m going to be honest I am disappointed with the lack of male representation on the board. For almost the second or third year now, there’s only one guy for seven seats,” said Rodrigues.
Rodrigues said the future executive board not only shows a lack of diversity, but it also does not represent the university or the inclusive values it prides itself on.
“It doesn’t really match the campus as well as I like, and I think that is something that should be looked on diversity in practice, but also in thought should be respected and you show that respect by surrounding yourself with people who have different opinions than you, not just by yes-men,” said Rodrigues.
According to Zhitomi, the abundance of female executive board members was due solely to the fact the organization is predominately female, and the group is grateful for the one male that is on the board to represent the gender.
“Unfortunately, we are predominately female, so it is very tough, especially when I look at the kind of people who are interested,” said Zhitomi. “There were other individuals who were interested, and it’s obviously something I look at because I think it is important, but that was something unfortunately I had to decide on. We are very glad for Isaiah [Yopp] to be representing that role, but it was a give and take. It’s something that I am aware of and look to improve, but also that just means trying to [diversify the] SGA body as a whole.”
Besides needing a more diverse inclusive board, Zhitomi would also like a more diverse set of opinions for the future of SGA.
“I think, [on] the e-board, I was able to put together there’s a lot of individuals that have other involvement outside of SGA,” said Zhitomi. “Being able to bring those voices into SGA and hear those concerns from a different lens, rather than someone who is just SGA tunnel vision wouldn’t see, so I am very excited to see how that goes.”
Photo Credit: August Pelliccio