Allegheny Student Government met for the first time this year on Tuesday, Aug. 29 on the third floor of the campus center. After swearing in the senate, senators were given the option to either approve or table last year’s minutes. Class of 2020 Senator Jason Ferrante made a motion to table the minutes since everyone had not yet seen them. With the motion seconded, ASG tabled the minutes from last year’s final meeting and turned to new events and goals for this year.
With the senate election for the class of 2021 approaching, first-year liaison Matt Steinberg, ’20, has been working on getting both Grounds for Change and the Tippie Alumni Center reserved for ASG. Grounds for Change will be used by interested first-year senators to give campaign speeches and the Tippie Alumni Center will be used for informational sessions concerning the 2021 election.
According to Jason Ferrante, the representatives of the class of 2020 are working with Steinberg to prepare for the upcoming election. In the coming weeks, they will be promoting the event and hanging fliers across campus to spread information concerning it.
According to head of the Sustainability Committee Akeem Adesiji, ’20, ASG will be preparing for the October Energy Challenge, a campus-wide event that takes place throughout October and encourages students to use electricity responsibly. Along with the challenge, Adesiji explained that ASG will also be working on “getting some sort of reusable takeout containers in McKinley’s.”
As ASG moved onto class reports, Class of 2019 representative John Sieber explained they had discussed the possibility of having the Loop, the bus that runs from campus into Meadville, come to campus on Thursday.
Currently, the Loop only runs from Allegheny to Meadville on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, but ASG found that a lot of students go into town on Thursday.
“That is a very dangerous walk—to and from town—especially when it’s later at night,” Sieber said. With so many students walking to and from Meadville, having the Loop as a safer alternative could be beneficial.
With former vice president Matt Hartwell studying abroad this semester, the positions were shifted at the beginning of this year. Former chief of staff Valeria Hurst became vice president, which left the chief of staff position open at the beginning of this year. During the meeting, ASG voted to allow Stella Pratt to take the spot and, following the quick vote, swore her in.
As the chief of staff, Pratt will work with relations between cabinet and senate. “The college committees council is a bunch of administrators, students, and faculty committees, so my job is to put students up to be on that position,” Pratt explained. “I’m also overall personnel management of ASG. Technically, I’m in charge of personnel and cabinet, and I’m making sure everyone’s doing their job.”
With her new position, Pratt is most excited for the larger role she will play in ASG. “You give away voting powers sitting on cabinet, but I feel like you gain so much more through meeting administrators and faculty,” she said. “We [ASG] accomplished a lot last year, so we’re looking to build off of that. We’re looking forward to putting more every day useful things around campus, like more water bottle refill stations. We’re looking forward to doing things around campus that get rid of preformed assumptions of ASG.”
While Pratt is excited to see what ASG will do, she explained that there will be challenges along the way. “I think my personal biggest challenge is going to be all the peronnel management. I’m a comping senior, so that’s a lot to have to keep a watch on because you have a lot of different viewpoints, a lot of different maturity levels, a lot of different grade levels,” she explained.
She does believe her own challenges can be overcome through ASG working together, however. “I think until we all start working together and get our flow it’s going to be the biggest challenge because things get controversial. People have different views, so we have to make sure we’re all respecting each other. We can all disagree without being rude,” she said. “I’m just looking forward to a good year. I think it’s going to be great. I think we’re going to get a lot of stuff done We ended well last year, and we just need to continue that.”
According to Pratt, ASG has been discussing the idea of adding more benches to campus and putting a wellness vending machine into the campus center, which will allow students access to thing they need on weekends when the health center is closed. “I’m just looking forward to a good year,” Pratt said. “I think it’s going to be great. I think we’re going to get a lot of stuff done We ended well last year, and we just need to continue that.”