Leo Inglima, sophomore technology education major, was elected vice president of equity and diversity for the Student Government Association (SGA) last week. The election was one of many, following a rush of resignations in the new semester.
One of the resigners, Dan Beckelman, returned to SGA as an associate member after losing the election for sophomore class secretary. He resigned from his senator at-Large position last November amid controversy surrounding the SGA Insider, a Weblog he created that criticized the actions and abilities of various SGA members.
SGA broke with tradition by avoiding closed session and allowing the public to watch its discussion of the candidates. S. Lee Whitesell, vice president of Academic Affairs, believed that it was “a good idea to let the public in the room.”
Inglima will continue his role as dining services liaison, but must relinquish his spot as sophomore class president in order to act in his new position. He spoke to SGA of his wish to unite more than 40 clubs on campus that deal with equity and diversity, and added that he has already begun contacting the various clubs.
The position of vice president of equity and diversity was created just last year. Joanna Holguin, who helped create the position and was the first to hold it, resigned “in order to pursue other personal interests,” Annelise Catanzaro, SGA president, said.
Tom Sales, senator of Culture and Society, and Marcus White, junior class president, also ran for the position of vice president of equity and diversity.
Jasmine Charl?n, executive vice president, said that Inglima had taken the job of Sodexho liaison “to a whole new level.” Some questioned if holding two demanding positions would be too much for Inglima, but Catanzaro assured SGA that if Inglima was elected, he would get help with his dining services responsibilities.
Nicole Kasian, SGA associate member, beat Beckelman for the spot of sophomore class secretary.
The real issue in deciding the new secretary seemed to be Beckelman’s credibility. “Beckelman has more experience than Nicole, and that should count, but he resigned under less than pleasant circumstances,” Sales said.
Kristen Nardolillo, SGA parliamentarian, stressed Kasian’s people skills and said that Beckelman had “tarnished the whole SGA’s reputation.” Inglima also spoke up for Kasian, saying that she would be more likely to work well with the rest of the sophomore class council.
Senator Ravi Kaneriya resigned over winter break to pursue a full-time internship. His Student Court Bill was almost unanimously rejected during last semester’s final SGA meeting. The bill had called for a student judicial branch made up of nine members appointed by the SGA president, with the power to veto “unconstitutional” bills passed by the senate.
Two new bills were introduced at the meeting, both dealing with associate members. The Speaker of the Associate Member Bill will create a new position for an associate member who will sit with the senate, and the Associate Member Bill will more clearly define an associate member’s roles.
Other resignations for the new semester included freshman class president Richard Smith, sophomore class vice president Aaron McKeon-Fish, junior class president Meghan Lee and junior class secretary Katie Corcoran.
Eric Pasternack ran unopposed and was elected junior class vice president. Steve Link, sophomore business major, was elected senator at-Large.
Nicole Randazzo, the second new associate member and a commuter, told SGA she plans to get off-campus students to be more involved in college affairs and activities.