Hello Spartans! My name is Ryan Boeke. I am a senior majoring in Media & Communications with a minor in Theater Arts. I am the Student Government Association President for this school year and I am starting a biweekly column to help inform students and faculty and staff about new updates and events coming up.
These updates will pretty much be a summary of the minutes taken from each of our meetings, which are public to anyone. They can be found on Secretary Mara Bailey’s desk in SGA.
I know that in the past years thre may have been some misinformation between SGA and the student body and/or some distrust. Using this outlet for information, I hope to regain or better this connection. Ultimately, as your President, I just want to know how students are feeling and how I can make your experience at Castleton University memorable.
Just to make sure everyone is on the same page; within SGA there are three branches: Student Court, Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Congress. For the remainder of the column, I will be discussing the current events happening in Congress.
Last week’s meeting, Congress had the exciting pleasure of hosting Ryan Cooney, the student on the Board of Trustees, as well as Chancellor Sophie Zdatny. Our board came prepared with many questions about what the merger will look like and how to ensure that Castleton University will not be forgotten as we move forward.
The answers for each of the questions were quite extensive but everything discussed will be posted later this week on SGA’s Facebook page as well as our Instagram, so stay tuned! You can also find all of this in the minutes from the meeting on October 12th.
Within Congress, we have an Executive Vice President, Kayla Laurie, who oversees all clubs and organizations on campus. Coming out of the COVID year, we both knew that this position was going be a hard task to organize but with the amazing work of Kayla, I am happy to say Castleton has around 40 active clubs and organizations on campus (before COVID we were at about 55) and the number is still continuing to grow.
If you or a friend are looking for a club to join, there is an active list on the Castleton website. Go to Campus Life and then select Clubs & Activities. Also, if you or a friend are looking to start a club, it only takes 2 people! The information on how to do that is also on that page.
Julie Leppo, our Chief Justice, is still in the process of revising and editing SGA’s constitution. Without this, there would be no foundation or rules or regulations for SGA. She also was excited to announce that Court meetings will now be beginning at 2pm every Wednesday.
Our VP of Student Wellness, Lexi Schultz, is planning on multiple events this semester for students pertaining to mental health, burnout, and overall destressing. A timeline for these events has not been established yet but we hope to see them soon.
Diana Mantrana, redeeming her VP of Community Relations for the fourth year, has been making big strides on continuing to connect our campus with the town. During the last meeting, she brought up elementary torturing opportunities and the Vermont Halloween Parade.
She also expressed feelings from students within the NAACP feeling a lack of support and security. The club reviewed the VSCS conduct and found shocking evidence regarding no way to report discrimination based on race/ethnicity and that the conduct only covers sexual/physical harassment. Diana and the NAACP are trying to work with the VSCS to make sure they feel safe and heard within the conduct as well as from day to day life.
One of the steps that has already come into play is an Anti-Racism Pledge. If you wish to sign or show your support you can email the NAACP or Diana to figure out how.
Out of all the exciting opportunities this year for students, Adsel Sparrow is continually giving more entertainment and activities to enjoy and participate in. Although only being on campus one year prior, this does not hold her back at being a phenomenal VP of Campus Activities (CAB).
Her board puts on events every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This week students will get the opportunity to partake in Bingo on Thursday, Chris Moon (who is a ghost hunter) on Friday and an event called “Summoning Spirits” on Saturday put on by magician and storyteller Peter Boie. Next week’s events are “Stuff Your Own Zombies” on Thursday, a Psychic Fair on Friday and the showing of the interactive “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Saturday.
Watch your school email for the times and locations for all of these events! You won’t want to miss them!
Finally, our VP of Academics Aris Sherwood was voted in three weeks ago. Regardless of her short time in SGA, she has dove into the position already making meetings to discuss how students are feeling academically and trying to connect that information back with faculty.
If you have concerns about anything academically related and may need help with, please email Aris and she will make sure to help you as best she can.
Every board’s most vital but oftentimes overlooked position is a treasurer. This means they handle all the finances within SGA. This position was filled by Connor Rider. Connor was elected only three weeks ago, but so far he has done nothing but impress us.
Currently he is still in the process of forming a Finance Committee, a board that will discuss and non-biasedly decide how and where to spend SGA’s budget as well as access any other funds we receive. If any of you are interested in something like this or you have any questions, please reach out to Connor.
Just to get an idea of some of the delegate projects to look out for this semester that are in the works is the resurrection of SafeRide, looking into the possibility of getting quarter machines on campus, outdoor recreational equipment available for checkout for all students, and a giant food drive that is beginning right now that will end in December.
I know this has been long so for the people that are still here I want to thank you with a fun fact: the sea cucumber’s mouth is also its butt.
Congress meets every Tuesday at 8:15pm in the SGA office. Meetings are public, so anyone can attend if they would like to. If any of you ever have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me.
Thank you and I hope you all have a great rest of your day!
– Ryan Boeke