There are two executive boards running for the 2017–18 Student Governance Council Executive Board. Sophomore Carlie McClinsey, who is with IC On-Board, and junior Gabrielle Hurlbut, with IC Equity, are the presidential candidates for their respective boards. Staff Writer Madeline Veneziano spoke with the candidates about their platforms, leadership styles and visions for the SGC.
McClinsey, an integrated marketing communications major, has been involved with the SGC for two years, serving as senate chair for 2016–17 and before that acting as chief of staff.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Madeline Veneziano: Why did you decide to run for SGC president?
Carlie McClinsey: I’ve been in SGC for two years now, and through that time, I think I’ve really made a lot of connections, but also learned how the organization works and doesn’t work. … I think that I saw this year we really needed somebody who understood the organization, and I didn’t know who else would step up to that plate. I love this school so much, so it was really clear to me that it was kind of my time to step up to the plate.
MV: What are the main points of your platform?
CM: We released our five platform points on our Facebook page, and we start off with student organizations, and then we go into transparency and visibility. We want to work on diversity and inclusion, and then going onto senate engagement, and then campus pride. … We really want to focus on student orgs because student orgs are the basis of the college campus, and we’ve seen a really huge lack of engagement on this campus the past couple of years. … We want to make sure that we’re bringing together student orgs and working on bringing people back to feeling proud to be a Bomber. We feel as though this campus is really hurt after the events that happened in the last two years, and I think that if we can work … and bring the community together and take back IC, I think that’s really, really important to us, as well. And then senate engagement: Our Senate isn’t doing necessarily all the things that they should be doing. … If a senator can’t really take on the role or isn’t feeling passionate about being in that role, they need to leave in order to make room for people who are. … And being transparent and visible: We feel like SGC has done a lot in the last year, but nobody really knows about that. So whether that be posting on our social media platforms, or finding ways to leverage Intercom, making Intercom better, or making sure that The Ithacan knows when we are doing something really important that the students should know about, and making myself visible.
MV: Why do you think you’re a qualified candidate to be SGC president?
CM: As I said, I’ve been in SGC for two years now, and I’ve worked with a lot of different people. I think that I’ve been able to form relationships with students across platforms, across backgrounds. But I’ve also been able to form relations with students, faculty, staff and administration that are invaluable to me, and I think will really be able to leverage what we want to do for the next year. … I’m not afraid to have tough conversations with the administrators. I’m not afraid to be honest and have those open conversations.
MV: What do you anticipate your biggest challenges will be as SGC president if you are elected?
CM: I think there’s a lot of expectations for next year. I think that with a new president coming, I think it’s going to be SGC’s role to help facilitate [Shirley Collado’s] learning. I think that a lot of people think she is going to solve all the problems on campus, whether that be shared governance or working with diversity and inclusion. A lot of the issues that our campus is facing are much bigger than her … so I think our struggle will be helping her meet as many of those expectations as she can.
MV: Can you describe some of your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
CM: I think one of my strengths is that I’m very good at putting myself in other people’s shoes and understanding where they’re coming from and what their work tolerance is. So I think that that plays into facilitating leadership and being able to tell people what needs to get done and how to do it. … One of my weaknesses is I tend to take on too much, and I tend to not see where my cutoff point is, but I think I’ve been very good with that.
MV: Where do you think the college needs to improve, and how will you help the college improve in that area?
CM: I think that staff and faculty on campus are concerned with doing their best job, which is great, and I really appreciate all the work they do for this college. But I think that sometimes they forget the connection back to students. I think that has really hurt our community in that you have staff, and you have faculty, and you have students, but we’re all working towards one collective mission. And that’s making Ithaca College a better place for everyone, and that’s helping students graduate. … But I also think that we need to acknowledge our weaknesses on this campus. I think you can look back at what happened in Dillingham a couple of weeks ago as a good example, and I think that the college as a whole needs to stand up to some of the discrimination that happens across campus quite frequently.
MV: As of now, there is only one other board running against you, called IC Equity, with Gabrielle Hurlbut running for president. How does your platform differ from hers, and why do you think yours the better choice?
CM: From my understanding, she released a platform this morning [April 17]. Her platform wasn’t complete … So it’s kind of difficult to answer that question because I don’t want to speak poorly about her or her board because I’m sure they’re wonderful people, and I’m sure they have a lot of ambition and drive if they’re wanting to do this. But I think that my board has done a really great job of distributing information to the community, and I think that is a weakness I’ve seen a lot in SGC.