SGC Talks Fall Elections and Student Concerns to Be Addressed
The Ithaca College Student Governance Council (SGC) held its first meeting of the 2022-2023 academic year on August 29, during which it introduced all new members of the Board of Trustees and Senate , discussed the fall elections and talked about current student concerns.
Fall 2022 elections for freshmen interested in running for SGC Executive Council and Senate positions begin September 4. The executive council has three vacancies: vice president of communications, vice president of campus affairs, and student liaison with the Council of Alumni — but the liaison officer is ex officio appointed by the Council of Alumni Associations. In the 2021-22 academic year, junior James Zampetti served as vice president of communications and ran again for the position in the spring 2022 election. Senior Senate Speaker Austin Ruffino said that during the summer, Zampetti had transferred to the University of Rochester. Ruffino also said the candidate who was elected in the spring for vice president of campus affairs, senior Soumyaa Joshi, resigned for personal reasons over the summer.
The senate has a lot open positions including the two senators from the class of 2023, a To classify of Senator 2024, the two Senators from the Class of 2026, the Transferred Senator, the Varsity Athlete Senator, the Club Athlete Senator, the Off-Campus Senator, the Graduate Senator, four Senators at-large and Senators from the School of Business, the School of Communications, the School of Music, Drama and Dance and the School of Humanities and Science.
Sarah Boniche, Associate Director of Student Engagement for the Office of Student Engagement, introduced herself as the new Council Advisor. She worked as Residence Manager in the Lower Quads from July 2018 to March 2020, according to her Linkedin account, and returned to college in the summer of 2022 to begin her new college roles.
The electoral file must be submitted on September 7 and the candidates will be able to campaign from September 9.–16. The Board will host a Platform Pitch Night on September 13, where candidates can present their campaign points to students. Ruffino said via email that all applicants must have two endorsements, rather than signatures.
Voting for the fall elections will take place September 14-16. Students will be able to vote for open positions at the SGC via online voting forms available on IC Engage. “We’re going to try something new,” Ruffino said. “We’re actually going to have a table set up in the middle of campus where people can come and vote and maybe get a sticker and candy. Something like that.”
Some senators are creative in their campaign strategies. Sophomore Noah Richardson, a senator for the class of 2025, said he used Instagram in the fall of 2021 when he first ran and again in the spring 2022 election.
“[During] my first year, [my class] had that [Instagram] denominational page where you can submit a Google form and say things,” Richardson said. “Me and another senator [direct messaged] them and we asked them to put our [campaign] post about their story.
The SGC discussed issues that have impacted students so far this semester, such as internet issues, food complaints in the dining hall, tuition fees go up and mail delivery delays. Ruffino said the SGC was not about solving problems directly, but about interacting with the people who could.
“We are the bridge between students and people who can [solve problems]”, Ruffino said. “[When writing bills], you research, you connect with people, you submit them. We can’t say at school, ‘You have to do this’ because it’s not in our control, but a lot of the conversations we have when drafting these bills lead to change.
Old invoicesalso called “initiatives,” have included a recommendation for employee vaccinations, better lighting on campus, and a bill to implement at least one gender-neutral bathroom in all university buildings.
Ruffino said a representative from Apogee, the internet service provider for on-campus residences and apartments, and Dave Weil, chief information officer, are scheduled to attend the next SGC meeting on September 12. The SGC explained that students were concerned about the inconsistency of Apogee’s services. Ruffino said Apogee contacted the SGC to receive feedback from students.
Senior Tessa Kurtz, vice president of academic affairs, said she is initiating a conversation with the appropriate offices to make chess classes satisfactory or unsatisfactory and to add or remove classes more accessible.
“We ran on accessibility in academics as an e-board,” Kurtz said. “So one of the things I mentioned in my platform is that I wanted to extend the addition–drop the deadline and I’m looking to make it a bill.