ASG begins new year with introductions, emphasizes student retention


Allegheny Student Government holds discussions at their weekly general assembly meeting in the Henderson Campus Center room 301/302.

Cabinet members, senators and first-year senate hopefuls for Allegheny Student Government joined to discuss a new year of business on Tuesday, Sept. 3, when ASG held its first official weekly general assembly meeting of the year in room 301/302 of the Henderson Campus Center.

The meeting began at 7:02 p.m with the swearing-in of all elected senators. Ryan Guide, ’20, and Anna Campbell-Sowden, ’20, were re-appointed by motion to the Curriculum Committee.

During cabinet reports, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, Cat Lord, ’20, spoke about her efforts over the summer with Kelly Boulton, sustainability coordinator. Lord said that a group tabled this week in the campus center to promote the reusable green takeout boxes.

“There’ve been a lot more people using (the green boxes), at least a few hundred, so that’s been really exciting,” Lord said.

In her class, Class of 2022 President Kathryn Phillippe, ’22, said the class of 2022 senators are working on brainstorming new ideas and events for the upcoming year.

“We have a lot of great ideas and events we’d like to see in place this year,” Phillippe said. “We’re focusing on building community and giving more recognition to ASG.”

Seven first-year students were in attendance and spoke about their interest in becoming senators for the class of 2023, including Julia Imler, ’23.

“I’m interested in student government because my high school never had one, but it’s something that I always wanted to do, and I want to make a change in the community,” Imler said.

Aidan Olszewski, ’23, said he wants to bring about change to the college and community, while Adriana Solis, ’23, said she hopes ASG will give her marketable skills for the future.

“I feel like (ASG) will be a good place to learn about how to solve issues and how to implement new ideas, which is something that I want to do in a future career,” Solis said.

In ASG Vice President Elyse Cinquino’s, ’20, report, Cinquino said she is working on bringing in more speakers to general assemblies, including some from the Counseling and Personal Development Center and Offices of Title IX and Residence Life. She also hopes to have President Link come and speak at an ASG general assembly.

ASG President Jason Ferrante, ’20, said that over the summer he sat in on former President James Mullen’s final Board of Trustees meeting and discussed engagement and student retention.

“A big thing that we’re pushing right now is retention and a sense of belonging, (as well as) community,” Ferrante said. “Some concerns were brought up about the costs of attending Allegheny, (which) is something that Elyse, Jared and our whole cabinet are looking at this entire year — ensuring that Allegheny is a place students can attend no matter what their income bracket is.”

Ferrante also spoke about ASG’s successful campaign to recruit students to apply for late-night shifts at the Lawerence Lee Pelletier Library. At the beginning of the school year, there were concerns that the library would not be able to stay open later than midnight. Through ASG’s outreach efforts, Ferrante said, the library had 33 people apply for the late-night InfoDesk positions. Now, it will be able to accommodate students until 2 a.m. on Sundays, as well as Monday through Thursday.

Ferrante added that the  general assembly should be excited for the upcoming year, since there will be a major event concert.

During new business, Senator Ashley Leonard, ’20, raised the concern that the Office of Public Safety was placing warnings on students’ vehicles on Aug. 27, only within 24 to 48 hours of students arriving on campus. She said she is unaware as to whether these warnings turned into tickets, but worried that this seemed aggressive, especially to first-year students.

Pamela Rodriguez, ’21, also brought up that students working on the David Shipe Aquaponic System in Carr Hall are trying to bring some of the mint and basil to Parkhurst, and they want to spread awareness about it and the significance of local food.

Finally, Ferrante said that, this summer, administrative roles were re-organized, and that the cabinet has begun the process to replace Gretchen Beck, associate dean for wellness education as adviser of ASG. Her position no longer encompasses ASG. Brittany Martin, former assistant director of student leadership and involvement, was slated to serve as ASG advisor, but she accepted a position at Penn State DuBois this summer.

“A couple of weeks ago, we had some interviews with candidates, and we hope to have people coming forward,” Ferrante said. “This doesn’t mean that (Beck) will go away, but we will have a really strong relationship with the new adviser.”

The meeting was adjourned by motion at 7:20 p.m.