Johnson State College sophomore Nasser Abdel-Fatah, the newly elected SGA president, intends to focus his efforts next year on higher-ed funding, fixing the snowboard park and cleaning the frolf course.
Abdel-Fatah won the election by 68 percent against Adam Nowak.
He joined the SGA last fall as senator and decided to run for president as JSC’s current president, Shane Bouthillette, is leaving and Abdel-Fatah would like to step up to the plate.
“I’m ready to take on the challenges and there are a lot of things I would like to get done on campus and continue the progress that has been started,” he said.
The SGA has done a lot this semester, regarding the top floor of Stearns and the coffee shop. The top floor of Stearns is now open 24/7 for students to use and Abdel-Fatah would like to continue the efforts.
He plans to revamp things at Johnson, like the frolf course and the snowboard park. “The frolf course needs to be cleaned up and fixed; it has been talked about but nothing has really been done,” he said. “The terrain park needs to be fixed, it’s advertised as a big part of the school… It is not safe and it is unusable.”
Abdel-Fatah would also like to see outdoor basketball hoops put into place.
The president-elect also believes that it is important that clubs get the appropriate funding and that new clubs know how to get started. “It is important to have a tight community of clubs,” he said.
The newly elected SGA president also hopes to continue to focus on the issue of higher education funding in Vermont.
JSC has been a big contributor to the Vermont State Colleges Student Association (VSCSA) efforts for the rally on higher-ed funding.
“It is such an important thing to let the State House know that we are here,” said Abdel-Fatah. “People who want to come to Johnson shouldn’t have to worry about debt. They should come here and focus on college and graduate on time.”
Abdel-Fatah is an Environmental Science major with a secondary licensure and was involved in his high school student government for all four years.
Abdel-Fatah believes he will be a good president due to his background and experience.
“I know a lot of the stuff here and I know how it works. I now who to talk to and communicate with people to make things happen,” he said.”I like the problem-solving aspect of when something is wrong and how to go about fixing it. The wonderful thing about Johnson is you don’t talk to faculty. You talk to students to make things happen.”
Rumors of promises of free coffee during the campaign aside, Abdel-Fatah would like to see ceramic JSC coffee mugs that can be purchased with $1 refills.
This would help continue JSC’s and Sodexo’s efforts to keep JSC green and environmentally friendly. “Free refills would be lovely! But nothing is free! The money would have to come from somewhere,” he said.