SGA holds its final meeting of the year

By Haley Hadge

News Editor


SGA discussed the search for the vice president of DICE and the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and held elections for its Academic Year (AY) 2022-23 officers and senators during its final meeting May 3.

Dara Barros, diversity and inclusion officer, said she is “very upset” that the search for the vice president of DICE has been held off due to the ongoing search for the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

She said, “We’re about to go into the fall semester without a vice president for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement.”

Barros said she asked the search firm, WittKieffer, what the expected timeline is for the vice president search.

She said the administration is looking at two options: The first is to “speed up the process” without any student input, and the second is to include the student perspective on a longer timeline.

The faster timeline, excluding student input, would bring the new vice president to campus in July or August, said Barros.

She said the longer timeline, including student input, would mean the new vice president wouldn’t begin their work until late October or early November.

Barros said she spoke with the co-chair of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion, Cara Pina, who is also a member of the search committee, and is planning to submit a proposal that would allow her to create a committee to take over the role of DICE vice president over the summer.

Barros said she will join this committee, and when she appoints next year’s SGA Diversity and Inclusion Officer, she will place them on the committee as well.

She asked the members of SGA to outline the characteristics and qualities they want in the next vice president of DICE, as well as to answer the question, “What would success in the role look like down the road?”

Barros said the email sharing the meeting time of the Student Open Forum for the search for provost and vice president of Academic Affairs was not sent until the meeting had already been in session for 28 minutes.

She said she “didn't even get a chance to go.”

Senator Mark Haskell, a student member of the search committee, said turnout at the Student Open Forum for the first candidate, Kenneth Sumner, was “zero.”


He said the turnout for the Faculty Open Forum was approximately 70.

The open forums for the next two candidates are scheduled for May 5 and 9, according to Haskell.

Senator Raffi Elkhoury said he heard back from the general manager of the Dining Hall, Aretha Phillips, regarding SGA’s dining hall concerns.

Elkhoury said Phillips said they will begin accepting cash payments in the fall.

Regarding the availability of straws in the dining hall, he said Phillips said straws will be available upon individual requests.

Elkhoury said they are unable to have straws readily available due to their “Skip the Straw” initiative aiming to reduce plastic pollutants.

President McKenzie Ward said SGA will give the Dean of Students $500 for the family graduation celebration.

She said last week’s banquet was “a great success,” and thanked everyone who helped make it possible.

She added this was the first on-campus banquet SGA has hosted since COVID-19 restrictions were first implemented.


Ward will be serving as SGA’s student trustee next academic year, and she said she has “new ideas” for the Administrator’s Forum that will “hold them more responsible for how they address student situations and concerns.”

She asked the members of SGA to reach out to her with any additional ideas on how to get student issues addressed.

Ward said she has been “dreaming” of serving as SGA president since her first year on campus and has “enjoyed every single minute of it - even the rough parts.

“You have all made it worth it even though we are a very small but mighty SGA,” she said.

Barros was sworn in as AY 2022-23 SGA president.

Ward said, “I am so thankful the next SGA president is someone who is as dedicated to student concerns and addressing student issues as she [Barros] is.”

Elkhoury was sworn in as AY 2022-23 SGA vice president.

Ward will be sworn in as AY 2022-23 SGA student trustee at a local town hall after the current student trustee finishes their term.

Sam Houle was sworn in as AY 2022-23 SGA treasurer.

Houle said he has “enjoyed” his time as secretary and is “excited to come back as treasurer next year.”

He said he wants to use this new platform to address the financial concerns that weigh “heavy” on college students by taking a “step above the perceived role of treasurer.”

Haskell was sworn in as AY 2022-23 SGA secretary.

Serena Broderick was sworn in as an AY 2022-23 SGA senator.


[Editor’s Note: McKenzie Ward is Opinions Editor for The Gatepost. Mark Haskell is a staff writer for The Gatepost.]



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