New Student Government Begins Work on Campus

by ALLY HUTZLER, Editor-in-Chief, VICTORIA L. HERNANDEZ, Assistant Editor

Student Body President Dorian Persaud and his executive board will begin work this semester as the newly elected leaders of student government after a tight election held at the end of last semester.

While some members will be returning to their previously held positions, Persaud is just one new face among many in this year’s student government.

“I would describe the [executive board] as overachievers. We are really trying to change a lot of stuff on campus and introduce new things as well,” Persaud said. “We want to leave our mark and have people continue work from there.”

Over the summer, student government has already begun working on new policies and making amendments on their internal structure. So far, Persaud has had complete support from the administration.

“There was a lot of transparency. I had very fast response time, and I used to work in the President’s office so I know exactly which administrator to go and talk to,” Persaud said.

During their first few weeks in office, student government has already created a commuter meal plan.

“It is the first time Manhattan College has had a commuter meal plan, so that’s fun,” Persaud said.

There are two types of meal plans: the 333 or 555. For $300, students can purchase the 333 meal plan, which includes 330 dining dollars with a 10-percent bonus on spending and a 10 percent discount whenever you buy something on campus. This meal plan also comes with three swipes in Locke’s Loft. For $500, students can purchase the 555 meal plan, which includes 550 dining dollars and five swipes in Locke’s Loft.

“The last time I checked, between 40 and 50 people have signed up for these commuter meal plans,” Persaud said.

Over the summer, student government also revised parts of their constitution as well as changed the name for some of the roles found in the organization. For example, instead of having class representatives there will now be two vice presidents for each class. The reason for the change, according to Persaud, is to motivate students to get more involved and to acknowledge the amount of work that is done by these individuals.

A major goal of student government moving forward is to increase their presence on campus, something students agree needs to be worked on.

“They should have more contact with the actual students, not many people know who they are and what they do so they should ask students what they want instead of just making activities without actually knowing what the whole student body prefers,” sophomore Maria de Francisco said.

Student government used to hold office hours for students who had questions or wanted to get involved, but Persaud wants to discontinue that in favor of more social media outreach, increasing their presence on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

“I also want to set up an online forum like ‘Ask Student Government’ where students can go ask us any questions and we will answer them,” Persaud said.

Some other goals for student government are to bring back Movies on the Quad, revive the tradition of Dorm Wars and to make people more aware of the presence of Greek life on campus.

Senior Erica Rebussini hopes that student government will find a way to enhance school pride on campus.

“Things like Quadstock and Springfest … really pumping those events because sometimes the energy is not where it could be. And maybe promoting Jasper culture,” Rebussini said.

Persaud, who is also a residence assistant in Chrysostom Hall, says that his leadership will grow out of what it is like to work directly with students not only on an academic basis but also on a personal level.

“I have that background to understand what students want or need to see in the school,” he said. “So keeping that personability in general helps people stay open and talk about what they want to see on campus,” Persaud said.