First-years prepare to campaign for student government positions


Joseph Tingley

Director of Finance Luke McBride, ’18, delivers his report to the assembled senate and cabinet at Allegheny Student Governments first full meeting of the semester on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016.

Allegheny Student Government held its first full meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 6. At the meeting, previously elected senators were sworn in and approximately 10 first-year students, hoping to be elected to the senate for their class, were introduced.

Before the meeting, First-Year Liaison Miguel Guillen, ’19, met with the prospective senators for the class of 2020. In his report, he said they seemed ready to begin work with ASG.

“They are going to be campaigning and they are all excited about that,” Guillen said.

A lot of people have said ‘give us a printer in the dorm.’

— Jason Ferrante

The Class of 2020 represents the largest class currently enrolled on campus with 593 students. It is also one of the most diverse in Allegheny’s history, something which prospective senator Jason Ferrante, ’20, said makes the class uniquely suited to engaging students of different backgrounds in productive dialogue.

“We are a big class and we are a diverse class,” he said. “So there are a lot of different ways for us to interact.”

While the elections will not open until Sept. 19, according to the ASG website, the Class of 2020 has already begun forming a platform of issues which they hope to address as class representatives.

Ferrante said the class hopes to address concerns and complaints that have already been voiced by their classmates.

“A lot of people have said, ‘give us a printer in the dorm,’” Ferrante said.

Rebecca Kirby, ’20, also interested in running for senate, said she feels being involved in student government is a way to represent the needs of her class, and hopefully make a difference.

“I like having a voice,” she said.

Zach Ronan and Elizabeth Schumacher were also among the prospective Class of 2020 senators who attended the meeting.

Kirby said in the future she would like to see orientation be less forced. She said having gone through it, many of the incoming class felt pressured by all the events and demands that were placed in the schedule.

Dean of Students Kimberly Ferguson also spoke at the meeting to update the senate and cabinet on the implementation of a Zipcar program on campus. She said the program would become active as early as Wednesday, Sept. 7, or Thursday, Sept. 8.

“We are still in the implementation phase,” Ferguson said. “The cars are not active yet.”

Ferguson said the college hopes the program will allow students without vehicles to more easily get around Meadville. According to Ferguson, as of last year, there are roughly 1,100 students who do not have vehicles registered on campus.

In the future, Ferguson said, if the program is popular among students, the college will consider expanding the program.

“If the program goes well, they will add another vehicle,” Ferguson said.

During the meeting, each class with currently elected senators delivered a short report.

The Class of 2017 announced it would be continuing its “Cookie for Your Thoughts” program on Friday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. in the campus center lobby.

“People can come and give us ideas on what they want ASG to do,” said Brooke Adams, president of the Class of 2017.

Adams also said the class is looking for ideas for senior week.

The Class of 2018 said it is hoping to work closely with ASG’s Housing Committee, saying it was an issue of importance to  the class.

The Class of 2019 said it hoped to focus on hosting smaller more dispersed events throughout the year. The class also said it was hoping to address concerns about the campus environment, but did not elaborate further.

ASG President Tess Bracken, ’17, said in her report that she was hoping members of the cabinet would be able to host a town hall style meeting at some point during the year in order to be more visible on campus.

Bracken also noted members of ASG should be leaders on campus, and should therefore act like leaders. She said she has been disappointed with reports that members of ASG have been using their positions to seem somehow “superior” to other students, Bracken explained in an email.

“We are all student leaders on campus and I do not like all the drama I am hearing,” Bracken said.

If such behavior continues, Bracken said, due course would be taken to potentially have those members removed.

In her vice president’s report, Sofia Kaufman, ’17, said ASG would be seeking a new director of diversity and inclusion.

“I’m just doing an open application to make sure it is as fair as possible,” Kaufman said.

ASG meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the campus center.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, The Campus incorrectly attributed two statements to Miguel Guillen, ’19,  that were made by Jason Ferrante, ’20 . Updated Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 at  2:55 p.m.