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SGC hears from Fall 2024 candidates ahead of elections

Sophomore+Paris+Agiomavritis%2C+who+is+on+the+appropriations+committee+and+is+the+assistant+to+the+vice+president+of+communications%2C+is+running+for+the+vice+president+of+business+and+finance+position.
Malik Clement
Sophomore Paris Agiomavritis, who is on the appropriations committee and is the assistant to the vice president of communications, is running for the vice president of business and finance position.

The Ithaca College Student Governance Council had their annual spring platform presentations April 23 for candidates to serve in the Fall 2024 semester.

Sophomore Rishabh Sen holds the position of the vice president of campus affairs and is running unopposed for president of the student body. Sen said he was a good fit for the position because of his experiences in various leadership positions. Sen has held the position of vice president of campus affairs since his first year at the college, is the secretary of IC Genes and a teaching assistant in the Department of Chemistry. Sen’s goals include: advocating for students through student advising, providing mentorship to new members of SGC and having an audit of the college’s healthcare.

“These last two years, I have learned a lot about being on the executive board and how SGC runs,” Sen said. “I have historical context about how this organization runs. Only after an informed understanding of the past can you … look to building in the future. I feel like I’m at a place where I know enough about the organization to try and build and expand in the future.”

For the vice president of business and finance position, junior Kathi Hodel, senator-at-large, is running against sophomore Paris Agiomavritis who is on the appropriations committee and is the assistant to sophomore Caleb Cackowski, vice president of communications.

Hodel said her experience as a senator-at-large helped prepare her for acting as a liaison between SGC and the student body. Hodel said her experience as president of the Tri-Alpha Honor Society, as a teaching assistant for the Department of German Area Studies at the college, and as a board member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society has helped prepare her for the position.

Hodel said her goal as the vice president of business and finance would be to streamline the funding process for student organizations. Hodel said she plans to help student organizations get their desired budget allocations and she will work to ensure that the process is clear for students.

“I believe in transparency and accountability in financial systems,” Hodel said. “If elected, I would work tirelessly to ensure that all financial transactions and decisions are made very transparently and are accountable to the student body.”

Agiomavritis is an accounting major and emphasized her experience working on Park Productions as an accountant and a producer and her experience on the appropriations committee for SGC. Agiomavritis said her experience working closely with Cackowski helped prepare her for acting as a liaison between student organizations.

“The change I want to bring to this [position is] I want to make the budgets more efficient for students,” Agiomavritis said. “When I talk to the students, especially the treasurers, there’s some anxiety when submitting budgets. As an accounting [major], I can kind of help use conditional formatting or doing different coding that I know ahead of time [to help make the process more efficient].”

Sophomore Ty Anderson is the vice president of residential affairs and is running for reelection of his position with no opposition. Anderson is a residential assistant and is the president of the Residence Hall Association (RHA). He wants to continue the work he has been doing to rehabilitate the association and wants to plan engaging events for students to attend.

“My main goal for RHA is [that] I want [the association] to be a phoenix rising from the ashes of COVID,” Anderson said. “[A Thanksgiving event] was the biggest event that I did during my first semester of RHA. It really laid the groundwork [for what I want to do].”

Cackowski is running for reelection to his current position of vice president of communications with no opposition. He said he wants to continue his work in helping bridge the outreach between SGC and the student body. He plans to continue working on the social media accounts SGC has.

“I have a really solid understanding of the social media strategy that our organization can use but also ways of connecting in-person, such as [making announcements] in classes or connecting with professors,” Cackowski said. “I think there are ways that are overlooked but are very necessary to get the word out.”

First-year student Joslyn Forcione, School of Humanities and Sciences senator, is running for vice president of academic affairs against Yusef Scott-Wetherbee who was not at the meeting to give a presentation. Forcione said her main goal was making the world of academia more accessible for students because when she first came to the school as a first-generation student, she felt disconnected from the faculty.

“When I first came here, I had no idea [what the language] that these important people were saying to me [meant] [and I] had no idea as a first-gen student [how to figure that out],” Forcione said. “I think that it’s important to over-explain things. I think people in academia, especially faculty [think] that students will know what they’re talking about, and I don’t think that’s the case most of the time.”

First-year student Eva Horst, Class of 2027 senator, is running for vice president of campus affairs with no opposition. Horst said that her current experience as a class senator has taught her the skills that are necessary for outreach and communication of what students would like to see on campus and that she aims to continue the outreach SGC does with the student community.

“My biggest goal is to change the way that students perceive campus life,” Horst said. “A lot of times I see [students] complaining. I want to be able to make this a place where students can call their home away from home.”

Students who were running for senate positions then presented. Sophomore Nikki Sutera, the current senate chair, is running for the senator-at-large position.

Sutera said her experience with SGC first as the School of Music, Theater, and Dance senator and then the senate chair has helped her with leadership and understanding where individuals are coming from and how to assist them, which helps her with her larger goal as a senator-at-large to create equitable environments for everyone.

“I’m very interested in reaching out to [the] BIPOC Unity Center, Disabled Students’ Alliance, LGBTQ Center, and reaching out to the minority students on campus specifically and saying, ‘What do you need and how can I help you?’” Sutera said. “Because I don’t think that they get enough representation within larger bodies like [SGC].”

Sophomore Aoife Hartigan is also running for the senator-at-large position with no opposition because there are five senators-at-large positions available with each class. Her platform was focused on making the campus more accessible, increasing student outreach and providing more assistance for students academically.

Sophomore Lili Chalfant is running for reelection as the School of Communications senator. Her platform aims to increase the mental health resources on campus; getting software like Adobe available for the Roy H. Park School of Communications students on their personal computers, not only school computers; laying down the groundwork for a future communications senator after her; and looking into the possibility of creating a council like SGC solely for the Park School.

“So far [Park] is a pretty well-oiled machine. I feel like [finding what I can do to improve the school] has been a little difficult,” Chalfant said. “I think maybe more [student] involvement on campus in general. A lot of people could benefit from taking part in [the opportunities the school has].”

First-year student Evan Wasserman is running for reelection as the School of Music, Theater, and Dance senator. He plans to change the school’s current technology to make it more modern and sustainable for the environment. He also seeks to address concerns students in the school would have about academic policy and getting classes they need.

“If we have better [technology], then we’re not holding on from rehearsals because [the technology is not] working,” Wasserman said. “It’s better for musicians, it’s better for performers. It’s better for everybody.”

Sophomore Lori Armstrong is not a member of SGC and is running for the position of senator of the School of Humanities and Sciences. Her platform focused on unifying the diverse majors within the school and allowing for the majors to interact with each other.

Sophomore Baneet Pukhrambam presented his platform for international senator. He held the position before going abroad Spring 2024 and seeks to continue the work he was doing in that role and aims to make the first-gen office more inclusive for international students.

Sophomore Eleanor Paterson, the former senate chair during Fall 2023, is running for the position of Class of 2026 senator. Paterson’s platform focuses on the issues the Class of 2026 has faced with housing, increasing student outreach and encouraging her class to join organizations and clubs.

“I want to make sure that juniors are continuing to put themselves out there and getting involved in campus life,” Patterson said. “It’s really important to emphasize to especially older students, and people who have been in college for a while, that you don’t just need to be a freshman in order to be a new member and a club or an organization.”

There are 29 open positions on the senate and the executive board. The position of Class of 2028 senate opens in the Fall semester of 2024. No one is running for the positions of Class of 2025 senators, Class of 2027 senators, Health Sciences and Human Performance senator, transfer senator, first-gen senator, varsity athlete senator, club athlete senator, graduate senator and off-campus senator. These positions will be open in the fall. Students will be able to vote for the student body president on IC engage.

Voting for the SGC positions opens at 12 a.m. on April 29 and closes at 11:45 p.m. on May 2 on IC Engage.

Editors note: The original version of this article stated that Joslyn Forcione was running for vice president of academic affairs unopposed when she is running against first-year student Yusef Scott-Wetherbee who was not present at the meeting. This has been changed.

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Jacquelyn Reaves
Jacquelyn Reaves, Newsletter Editor
Malik Clement
Malik Clement, Managing Editor
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