With the 2018–19 academic year about to commence, Allegheny Student Government’s incoming administration is eager to begin its role in governing and advocating for the student body.
ASG President Camilla Gomez, ’19, and Vice President Gillian Greene, ’20, hope to build upon the work of previous administrations to strengthen the organization and communicate with Allegheny College students.
Gomez, who began her work with ASG on its Press and Communications Committee as a first-year student, said she hopes to better advertise ASG to the student body.
“A lot of people on the outside don’t really know what ASG is,” Gomez said. “Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that the only people who care about ASG are the people in it. If you breach that gap with everybody else and do a better job of spreading information about ourselves, that can really help.”
Gomez also said ASG plays an underestimated role in administrative decisions.
“ASG is pretty important in the decision-making process for administration, and a lot of people don’t actually realize that at other colleges it’s not like that,” she added.
In addition to general assembly meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Henderson Campus Center, ASG also places students on administrative committees. These include the Finance and Facilities, Curriculum and Academic Standards and Awards Committees, collectively known as the College Committees Council. Most students placed in these committees have voting roles.
“A lot of the changes that are discussed in these impact the students,” Greene said, adding that she and Gomez want to make “sure that we have engaged students going to these committee meetings and voicing their concerns and opinions of the student body.”
A strength of last year’s ASG administration, Gomez said, was its ability to promote student government. She said this effort helped strengthen ASG’s image and presence on campus as a whole.
“Last year, people were so much more aware of ASG, so much more engaged in it and actually cared. Actually would show up. Actually would vote,” Gomez said. “We have had increasing voter turnout for the last three years.”
Greene, who also started with ASG her first year, as a senator, said she looks forward to some of the changes at Allegheny, and she wishes to work with new administrators to see out her and Gomez’s vision for the college’s future.
“We have a new dean of students, April (Thompson),” Greene said. “I have not gotten to meet her yet, but from what I’ve read about her, she seems really enthusiastic about Allegheny, and having a chance to work with her — and having that place with everybody in the administration — to help (Gomez) and I bring about some of the change we wanted to (is exciting).”
One such change the new administration wants to bring about is an improved awareness and access to student wellness.
“That’s not just physical, it’s also mental health — making sure the students are happy and when they need extra resources, if they’re struggling with anything, really, that they know there are resources out there for them, and what steps they can take to get help if they want it,” Greene said.
Overall, both the new president and vice president look forward to the beginning of the school year and the start of their vision for Allegheny.
“Camilla and I are really excited for this year, and we hope to really bring our ideas to life,” Greene said.