ASG swears in new Class of 2020 senator and brings ‘new perspective’

With Elyse Cinquino, ’20, being appointed ASG director of communications and press on Tuesday, Oct. 17, a spot in the Class of 2020 senate opened. Ashley Leonard, ’20, said she was thrilled to be considered for the position.

“I’m just thankful for the opportunity that my class is giving me to be a 2020 senator,” Leonard said.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, ASG voted to approve her, and she was officially sworn into the senate. A political science and psychology double major, Leonard said she had wanted to be a senator since the beginning of last year.

“[Last year] I actually filled out the form, but there were other things I was getting involved in, so I thought I wouldn’t have enough time for it, to do the best that I could,” Leonard said.

This year, Leonard decided she had enough time to join ASG. Once the position became available, Leonard said a few senators and members of ASG brought it to her attention and persuaded her to fill out the form.

“I’m super excited to start as a senator and get immersed in the meeting,” Leonard said. “I’m also excited for the student body to get to know us and to plan events.”

Outside of ASG, Leonard is a member of the Edible and Clay clubs, has participated in Service Saturdays and Outing Club events and is a resident adviser in Caflisch Hall. Being an RA has prepared her to join ASG, according to Leonard.

“You have to think on your feet a lot of the times,” Leonard said. “No problem for one individual is the same for another individual. Really being good at communicating and asking questions is something that will also help me in ASG.”

Although she is excited to join ASG, Leonard admitted she sees some potential challenges in joining as a new senator over halfway through the semester.

“I feel like some things are already going to be started. I’m going to be jumping in, maybe a little confused on what had already been done,” Leonard said. “[I just need to get] caught up with that and communicate with different students and staff members where I might need to ask questions and get help.”

Leonard said she already knows she can rely on the other senators in the Class of 2020, who she said will help her through any problems or questions she might have.

Another problem Leonard said she has already encountered is her lack of social media. She explained she is considering creating social media for herself.

“I might explore that option to get onto the different student pages and Allegheny page,” Leonard said. “That’s an outlet that students can reach me by.”

Planning ways to solve the various challenges she might encounter, Leonard is also making long-term goals, which involve the student body.

“I really want to get to meet more students and for more students to come to the meetings,” Leonard said. “I also want better communication between senators and the student body. I want us to be approachable and students to be able to recognize us on campus. I think there’s a miscommunication about what we actually do as senators.”

Leonard said she hopes to give students the opportunity to answer questions about the best ways to communicate information and encourage involvement. This would allow students to express their own opinions instead of simply listening to ASG tell them information, according to Leonard.

Class of 2020 Vice President Carlos Sanchez and Senator Matt Bauer are enthusiastic about Leonard’s appointment.

“It gives us a new perspective,” Bauer said. “Having another teammate really adds to the experience, especially someone who had not been on ASG.”

Sanchez agreed that Leonard brings a new perspective to the Class of 2020 senate.

“She had a lot of good ideas that were a bit different than the ones we had,” Sanchez said. “I think her perspective might actually have an impact.”

Although Leonard is joining ASG late in the semester, neither Sanchez nor Bauer predict any problems.

“I work with Ashley, so I know from personal experience that she’s very outgoing and social and will be very good,” Bauer said.

Also confident in Leonard’s ability to catch up with the rest of ASG, Sanchez said the Class of 2020 is planning to give her all the information she needs about their ongoing projects.

“I think she’s ready for it,” Sanchez said. “We already have some plans that we’re working on, so we’re going to try to catch her up and see if she had any ideas of her own.”

Leonard said she is focused on finding her place in ASG.

“I want to learn the ropes first and understand where I can help with and where I best fit,” Leonard said. “I’m just so excited.”