Student Government Discusses Ideas for Spring Semester

By Brianna Coppola, Asst. Features Editor

Manhattan College’s Student Government has devised some new ideas and changes for the semester, such as Wellness Day, and are endorsing both new and old campus life policies.

Student Government’s role on campus is to plan events for the campus community and  advocate for the student body on issues of importance. 

John Bennett, assistant vice president for student life, oversees Student Government and any clubs that fall within it. 

“Whatever the student leadership wants to do event-wise, that’s what we’ll do,” Bennett wrote in an email to The Quadrangle. “I always say, I’ve already been to college and had my experience, so this isn’t about what I want to see happen on campus, this is about what the current students want to see happen on campus.”

Bennett also explained that there won’t be many changes that are different from previous years and the students plan to endorse what works best. He encourages students outside of Student Government to get involved in campus activities as well.

“In terms of Student Government, we really take our lead from the student leadership that was elected by their peers, and what their initiatives are going to be for the year,” Bennett wrote. “That said, right after Spring Break, we’re starting applications and running for next year’s Student Government already, so hopefully our current freshmen, sophomores and juniors are beginning to think about running for next year.”

Alixandria James, senior and vice president for academic affairs, discussed the three events she has planned for the semester.

“One of the things I do is go to the official EAC (Educational Affairs Committee) meetings which are with the provost, the deans and a number of faculty members and we vote on academic policies,” James said. “So the goal of the event is to kind of be an open forum. There’s going to be food where students can come and share any experiences, positive or negative questions and concerns that they have with certain academic policies. Something I’m really looking at right now is grading transparency.”

James focuses on the ability to allow students to be able to access their grades as soon as possible, if they’re posted on time and if teachers are responding in a timely manner. This event will be held on Feb. 28 in De La Salle 300. 

The second event will be Jasper Wellness Day held on March 22 from 10am to 3pm. James expressed her excitement for this event because it’s a way for students to decompress and take a day to themselves.

“It’s in collaboration with the Wellness and Flourishing Council,” James said. “But the goal is that classes are canceled for most of the day. This is just a really great way to prioritize the various aspects of wellness in our life. So there will be financial wellness, occupational wellness and then of course, more recreational activities like food trucks, puppies on the Quad, music and massages that student engagement is sponsoring.” 

One last event that James is working on is a diversity club fair which will be held on April 18. James explained that since there’s more focus on academic clubs, she wanted more attention brought to clubs that focus on affinity and diversity. Clubs like the Black Student Union and LWGRC will be able to showcase the work they do.

Rosalia Cefalu, a senior and the vice president of social life, discussed the initiatives Student Government will be taking this semester in terms of recreational activities such as Springfest, Manhattan Madness, Broadway shows, sporting events, concerts, trips and much more.

“This semester, I’m excited for our first usual assortment of events like Springfest and Senior Week, and also excited to start having some new events,” Cefalu wrote in an email to The Quadrangle. “I want to start having more things for fans to do at athletics games, whether it be a sign-making station or special student sections or something else. I’m also really excited for a ski trip to the American Dream Mall that Lauren Raziano has been working on. I still have the flexibility to make new events at this point in time and I love getting suggestions from students whether it be the e-board, assembly, my committee or other fellow MC students.”

Cefalu is excited to have all these new and exciting events happening along with some familiar ones. She also made it known that there aren’t many campus life policies that she feels she needs to change. 

“To be honest, I kind of stick to my event planning and try not to change policy,” Cefalu wrote. “That being said, I want to be a voice for students and if there was a specific policy within the scope of my position that people wanted to address, I’d be more than obliged.”

Cefalu tries to advocate for events that many may deem not important enough or not worth trying for. For example, while many thought the idea was impossible Cefalu kept fighting for Nav to perform at Springfest.

“I just kept trying, I really didn’t want to settle on an artist that the board and I weren’t satisfied with,” Cefalu wrote. “Same with the upcoming senior week. I wanted to make sure these events were ones that my grade is going to be really happy with, the senior VPs and I spent a lot of time experimenting with different schedules and venues. I think people will be really happy with it, I didn’t want to stop trying until I was confident they would be.”

Student Government has put their focus on the students to ensure that events and campus life are in sync so that students can make the most of their MC experience.