Student Government Association swears in newly elected representatives
Tamonda Griffiths — Editor-in-Chief
Following the initial president’s report, from Student Government Association President Alexi Zhitomi, SGA Vice President Brooke Mercaldi had the newly elected officials of the class of 2023 and SGA reps stand to take their oath of office.
The SGA and 2023 class government elections took place from the morning of Monday, Oct. 7 to noon on Thursday, Oct 10. SGA, Mercaldi said, previously had seven available positions for the title of RepresentativeAt-Large with 12 student candidates in the running.
“We will be spending a lot of time together,” said Zhitomi, “as a [full] body of 25.”
The swearing-in ceremony took place during an SGA meeting on Friday, Oct. 11. Psychology major, Camryn Arpino-Brown, a junior said she decided to run to provide representation and advocacy for the various multicultural groups on campus.
“I’m the diversity coordinator at the Multicultural Center,” said Arpino-Brown, “so I actually help the coordinator there, Dian [Brown-Albert], help execute and plan events.”
Communication major, Alyssa Couture, a freshman ran for positions on both the governing board of the class of 2023, on which she was elected secretary and rep-at-large on SGA.
“I just wanted to be as involved as possible for my class because I thought I could make a difference,” said Couture, “and I figured running for both would give me a better chance of making that happen.”
Newly elected rep-atlarge, Brandon Iovene, a sophomore had been attending every SGA meeting since the beginning of the semester and had been introduced to the program by SGA rep-at-large Paige Tetro.
“I was really interested in it because I think that SGA is very important because it gives students the opportunity to have a voice,” said Iovene. “Oftentimes I felt with my experience before coming to Southern, my voice was not heard for the student body.”
Having gone to high school in a “close-minded conservative town,” Iovene said, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community he experienced a lot of trials and tribulations.
“A lot of what I want to do is make sure that queer students on campus feel welcomed and feel like their voices are heard in the student body,” said Iovene. Tetro, who is also a peer mentor coordinator, said Iovene stood out to her from day one.
“He is insanely well-spoken, insanely well-rounded and he’s just got this sense to him that’s personable,” said Tetro. “He’s very smart, and he’s very collective in terms of his thoughts, so to me, he was a perfect representation of what we want in Student Government; somebody’s who’s considerate and caring and just a great advocate for the students.”