Officially joining Allegheny Student Government during its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17, the five new class of 2023 senators discussed their plans for the upcoming year and how they hope to work together as a group.
Class of 2023 President Peter Alegre, who was first drawn to ASG because of his prior involvement in his high school’s student government, said he decided to run for senator when he saw the impact ASG has on campus. Since being sworn in, Alegre said he has made it his biggest goal to be a resource for his constituents.
“I think the most important part is definitely being the representative, so always being available to talk as a resource for my class,” Alegre said.
Like Alegre, Senator Bennett Westfall, ’23, wants to focus on the students in his class.
“(My biggest goal is to) make life better for Allegheny students, even in small ways,” Westfall said.
Both senators Breea Gray, ’23, and Andi Reiser, ’23, said they want to prioritize the community aspect of Allegheny through their work with ASG.
“(I want to) establish a community where everybody feels safe,” Gray said.
Reiser added that seeing “everyone coming together as a community,” was important to her as a senator.
While the new senators are excited to start working with ASG, almost everyone said they are most looking forward to being a part of a student government that has an impact on the school.
“My (high school student government) couldn’t do anything,” Westfall said. “For me, at least, it’s going to be a big transition, being in the student government that does have control.”
Since a considerable number of their constituents are likely coming from similar high school situations and have not often interacted with a student government, Reiser said she is preparing for an adjustment period for the way the class of 2023 interacts with the senators.
“(The student government) is kind of new, so the (first-years) have to wait it out and see how it goes before they can really change anything or find something that they want to change,” Reiser said.
Vice President Lucas Biniewski, ’23, agreed, adding that he hopes to help students understand that they can help create change.
“(Seeing that) the freshmen class is willing to be involved and having them actually change things is going to be one of the hardest things,” Biniewski said. “They’re going to think what they think doesn’t matter at all.”
Gray’s biggest goal for the year also pertains to first-years — she hopes to help the class of ’23 feel as involved as possible.
“That’s the one thing I want, is freshmen to be involved on campus and be in the loop of what’s happening, too,” Gray said.
Although the senators are already planning ways to overcome foreseeable challenges, they said they believe the group will work well together because each person brings their own skills to ASG.
“I think the things I work for and whatever I’m passionate for, I think I have a very resilient and hardworking attitude toward that,” Alegre said. “I just want to make sure things get done.”
Both Reiser and Westfall consider sociability as one of their strengths, with Westfall adding that he can start talking to anyone, whether he knows them or not. Gray said she feels strongest in making posters for ASG, while Biniewski described himself as a “money man.”
With the senators balancing their strengths in preparation for working together in ASG, Westfall said he feels confident about the coming semester.
“It’s going to be a good year,” Westfall said.