The Student Government Association Executive Board was elected and inducted last week. Members of the new board are President Michelle Strausburgh, Vice President Stefan June, Treasurer Katie Kearney, Secretary Nora McGinley-Hence, Parliamentarian Kyle VanHart, and Student Trustee Jessica Alicea.
According to their description on their website, SGA’s main responsibilities are to “support all student organizations, distribute over $725,000 to those organizations, recognize new organizations and oversee their bylaws. More importantly, we advocate for students on an array of issues and work closely with the university’s administration to ensure adequate student input on important matters. As one of the largest student governing bodies on the West Chester University campus, our main goal to work with students, faculty, and staff to come together and create a welcoming environment for everyone to learn and grow in.”
This year, the elections were held on-line via D2L. Usually the board would set up tables in Sykes or Lawrence and hand out ballots for students to fill out. Now that elections are on-line, students can vote whenever it is convenient for them and this academic year, more people voted as well.
President Michelle Strausbaugh is majoring in early grades preparation with a minor in reading. She is a member of the Abbe Society and serves as their Public Relations Chair. She decided to run for the position of president “in hopes to continue SGA’s growth and success. Over the past year SGA has grown tremendously. We have strengthened the bond between our senators and executive board, become more transparent and have really gotten back to the meaning of why we are here: for the students,” she said.
Strausbaugh has many goals for her position and for the executive board to accomplish in the next year. One of the goals is to “remain transparent and available to the student body.” Facebook, Twitter, and OrgSync are some ways that she plans on seeing that goal through. Having these social networks will allow students to contact the members of the board and remain updated on events that SGA is holding.
“One of my biggest goals for the upcoming year is to strengthen the relationships that SGA has with other organizations on campus. In order for us as a university to move forward, it is important for us to work together. I would like to work with as many organizations as possible through co-sponsorships and collaborations. We have such a diverse campus and have so much to offer one another and I believe that working together and forming positive relationships is key to our success,” said Strausbaugh.
Vice President Stefan June is majoring in philosophy with a minor in music. He is involved in music programs and he is involved with LGBTQA. June also had an internship in the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, which gave him insight on many organizations on-campus in order to prepare him for this role.
June ran for the position because he “saw a need for students to be informed about SGA. VP is first and foremost in charge of Public Relations. In addition, I assume all the duties of the president in her absence as well as serving as the chair of the council of committees by overseeing the actions of the committees and advising them on their actions,” June said.
One of June’s goals for the upcoming year is to have students “see us doing things and not passively being there.” He wants to see members of SGA out at events more and he also would like to see student senators being held more accountable. “OrgSync is a great tool to hold people accountable,” June said. One way he will utilize this is by having Senators create their own page on the site and submit what duties they have completed.
Parliamentarian Kyle Vanhart is majoring in history with a political science minor. He is also involved with SAC, German Club, History Club and he is a member of the Friar’s Society.
VanHart’s goals for the upcoming year are “making sure everyone knows what they need to do to be in great standing with their bypass and commitment to them, understanding the S.O.P’s, and everyone in any meeting understand Roberts Rules of Order. I plan on holding workshops throughout the year or, if time permits, go to organizations and present there.”
One reason why VanHart decided to join SGA at West Chester was learning that “if I wanted something changed on campus I needed to take charge. SGA helps to do that,” Vanhart said.
As Parliamentarian, VanHart “helps form new groups, makes sure the meetings are followed by parliamentary procedure, and that the bylaws are being followed. We establish and enforce the S.O.P’s.”
Treasurer Katie Kearney is majoring in early grades preparation with a minor in reading. She is also involved in the West Chester Association for the Education of Young Children, The Abbe Society, Orientation, and she is also a Desk Assistant.
“I think it is crucial that we brand SGA as a resource for people to provide us with information about what is going on so that we in turn can be proactive and spread the word,” Kearney said.
As Treasurer, Kearney manages the SGA money but she does a lot more than that as well.
“I am a resource for other organizations to use and not many people know that! It is my job to assist students with anything and everything that has to do with treasury. I am here to explain and aide in the Auxiliary process, provide information about budgeting and presiding over the Finance Committee as we go through and determine the budget for the upcoming academic year,” Kearney said.
Some goals that Kearney has for the upcoming year is to change the way students see SGA.
“There are so many misconceptions about what SGA really is, and I believe it is crucial that all students understand that our purpose is to serve them and that we are here to listen to the changes they want to see happen,” Kearney said.
Secretary Nora McGinley-Hence is dual majoring in biology major, with a focus in cellular and molecular studies, and Russian. She is the President of Women in Science and the Secretary for Shotokan Karate Club. McGinley-Hence is also a member of the Alchemists’ Club and the Russian Club.
McGinley-Hence ran for the position because she “saw a clear opportunity to be become a leader of student government and in doing so serve the students of West Chester in a greater capacity than I have been. I ran for this position for both the challenge and the opportunity it presents to truly represent the student body to the best of my abilities.”
This year, McGinley-Hence hopes to utilize social media to reach out to students and bring more awareness to every student on campus. She also plans on improving lines of communication by meeting with other student leaders personally and making herself approachable.
Student Trustee Jessica Alicea is majoring in communications with a minor in film criticism. She has been involved with SGA in the past and she has also served on the Residence Hall Association
Executive Board.
“It is important to remember things you were first involved with,” she says. “Always acknowledge it and stay in touch with your roots but don’t show favoritism.”
Alicea’s biggest goal for the coming year is to find her successor via application and interviews because she is graduating in December. She wants to find someone who “has leadership qualities but someone who is also willing to grow.” She also wants to keep SGA connected with other organizations and create a good leadership environment.
The common goal for all members of the board is to promote the West Chester spirit at different events such as sports games. Members of the board hand out West Chester paraphernalia at football games and at basketball games. The main reason for this goal is to make students aware that they are all Golden Rams and they should be proud of that.
Although the school year is almost over, SGA still encourages students to consider joining for the next school year. “SGA is a great place to learn to be a leader. In SGA, you are among some of the most drive student leaders on campus as well as caring and involved administrators,” McGinley-Hence said.
“It is an organization that is able to make changes that make each students’ time here at West Chester the best that it can be,” Strausbaugh said.
June says that as a Senator, “you can make great connections with the other senators because they are representatives from every group on campus.”
The executive board would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful summer. For more information on the board or the Student Government Association follow them on Twitter @WCU_SGA and on Facebook. SGA meets on Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m.
Margaret Weaver is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at MW678077@wcupa.edu.
 

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