My year in student government

I’ve been a Student Government Association senator for close to a year now.

It all started early last January when I was a part of Professor Bill Doyle’s Observing the Legislative Process class with around eight other students. For those who don’t know, this course involves a two-week period during winter break in Montpellier to watch Vermont’s government in action at the State House.

You can treat this class like a political playground. You spend the day going from House hearings, to committee meetings, to meeting important people within Vermont’s political scene.

It was a really cool experience and it opened up my eyes to the world of politics. I wasn’t really into politics before, but experiencing this class made me interested in what I could do at a smaller level.

So, fast forward to the last day of the class. We went to the State House to explored it again for the final time as a class, and after the day ended, Doyle took us to Sarducci’s, this nice Italian restaurant overlooking the Winooski River in Montpellier.

One of the students in the class was Kate Abdel-Fatah, who was at the time was the vice president of the SGA. During the dinner, we started talking about my interest in joining the SGA and what I could do to be a part of a solid group of people who work really hard to make things happen on the Johnson campus.

I had my interview with Shavonna Bent, former president of the SGA, and then was voted in as a senator during an SGA meeting. I wouldn’t say it was the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, but it was cool to be accepted and to have others think I had something good to contribute to the SGA and to the campus as a whole.

In my year working with the SGA, I have been the overseer of clubs such as Writing, Shred, and Outing club, which are some of the coolest clubs on campus. I have worked with them to help achieve their goals and talk ideas to make things better for them. I have also worked with people to help create clubs and to gather interest.

One of the biggest things that I have helped out on was last year’s Casino Night event, during which you donate five bucks and you get to gamble away $500 in fake money through card and other gambling games. There is free food and drink while you’re gambling and at the end of the night, you can use the fake money you win to bid on prizes. Some of them last year were Ben & Jerry’s gift cards, blankets, a Bash Badge to Smuggler’s Notch, and a gallon of fresh maple syrup.

This semester, we have a relatively new squad in the SGA. President and vice president Jessica Malskis and Dana Prouty are our fearless leaders. The rest of the squad is made up of Haley Frechette, secretary; Paige Coolbeth, treasurer; Jesse Streeter, director of clubs; and Sheldon Billings, Bobby Ferullo, Katie Czermeryz, and I as senators. We have a great group of people that the community can talk to and share their input to make the university better.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me there isn’t much to do on this campus. I believe that is some fat baloney. The best thing you can do on this campus is get involved in anything that you have some kind of interest in. If anyone is curious about a SGA position, or has any ideas for a club, or ideas to make our campus better, come by the SGA office on the top floor of Stearns and talk to one of our members.