Sun. May 26th, 2024

On March 25, the new officers for the 2024-2025 SGA executive board were released. At the top of the list for President was McKenna Nugent. Some may know her as their tour guide or RA, and others might recognize her by her sweet smile and warm presence. Either way, McKenna is a very familiar face on campus because of how involved she is. But to those who may not know her, McKenna is a third-year Sports Medicine major with a minor in coaching and biology. Besides being a part of SGA for a year, on campus she has been and is currently an RA, works for the Sykes Student Union and is part of the Athletic Training organization and the Exercise is Medicine organization. But the list doesn’t stop there — McKenna is also a general member of the Student Activities Council. Previously, she worked for West Chester University Admissions and New Student Programs (NSP). As of now, she is conducting research with Public Safety to improve the correlation between exercise and injury prevention. 

McKenna described the Student Government Association as a group of student leaders representing different subsets of WCU who come together to discuss problems on campus, new and forming organizations and financial balances for all organizations. She added, “it’s a great opportunity to become more familiar with campus and engage at a higher level.” 

To hold a seat in the SGA council, one person who is a part of the senate or the executive board can nominate you, but another person has to second it. The person who is nominated has the ability to accept, decline or table the nomination. McKenna explained how she was previously nominated for Vice President, but she tabled it, unsure of what she wanted to do. But, an hour before the meeting, McKenna found out that the current President, Alex Clancy, who is a good friend of hers, was not running again. It was then that one of the executive board members nominated Mckenna for president. 

With a difficult choice filled with great responsibility now in front of her, McKenna only had a few minutes to process the nomination. As a naturally driven individual who actively pursues their goals with determination and enthusiasm, McKenna was not afraid to take initiative. She accepted the nomination and is determined to tackle challenges head-on and strive for excellence. Regarding her priorities and goals for her term in office, McKenna has the SGA’s best interests at heart. She advocates for a more student-led approach within the SGA, aiming to foster a more informative and engaging environment for senators. Drawing from her own experiences, she emphasizes the importance of open discussion during meetings. She recalls instances where members hesitated to ask questions during sessions, only to discover later that others shared the same concerns. McKenna underscores the value of pre-voting discussions, highlighting that student leaders thrive when encouraged to question, deliberate and form independent opinions. 

As part of her plan to engage SGA more on campus in the future, we can look out for SGA tabling, collaborations with different student organizations and perhaps even a welcome week event sponsored by the SGA. 

I inquired, “How do you plan to engage and represent the student body more effectively?” McKenna elaborated on her plans, expressing her desire to reassess certain senate seats that have remained vacant for the past five years despite their critical importance. A great example she gave was Sykes Student Union, which currently does not have a senator. She stated, “A lot of orgs hold their events in the student union, so I think it’s important for them to have a representative that would advocate for their policies.” Another example she provided was the absence of a senator for the Office of Educational Accessibility. She underscored the importance of having representation for such a vital office, emphasizing that with a dedicated senator, advocacy for accommodations for students requiring extra assistance would be prioritized. 

Inclusivity and diversity are something this campus struggles with at times. McKenna believes a great way to improve this problem is to make sure that minority groups on campus feel supported and are given an open space to voice their opinions and concerns to SGA, as they are “a huge part of the campus just as much as everyone else is.” She not only plans to stay informed, but she would also love to attend events to better understand the diversity issues on campus. 

In sharing her excitement for her new role, McKenna radiated enthusiasm at the prospect of engaging with the diverse student body and campus community. She spoke earnestly about her eagerness to support various organizations and initiatives, emphasizing her desire to make a positive impact. “I’m truly excited to start this journey,” she exclaimed. Her passion and dedication are palpable, and we eagerly await the positive changes she will bring. It’s evident that McKenna’s unwavering commitment and genuine spirit have paved the way for this opportunity, and we wholeheartedly embrace her leadership.

 


Perpetual Kahindo is a third-year Political Science major. PK973548@wcupa.edu

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