The Associated Students (AS) welcomed and inducted its new members for the 2014-15 academic year at an induction ceremony Friday afternoon in the Student Center.
For many students, the ceremony represented the icing on the cake after all the hard work of campaigning a difficult election.
The inductees include President Anthony Gallino, Executive Vice-President Christian George, Senator for the School of Science and Technology, Brandon Muela, Senator for the School of Social Sciences, Natalie Sampo, Vice-President of Finance Adam Rosenkranz, Senator of Undeclared Matthew Goodwin, Senator for Sustainability Allison Jenks, Senator for Student Services Luke Tesluk, Senator for Involvement Cary Yballa, Senator for Diversity Cynthia Figueroa, Senator for Community Affairs Kian Khatami and Senator for the School of Business and Economics Tyler Davis.
Many of these students had to face the difficult task of campaigning on two separate occasions due to the re-election, and were simply thrilled to see the results of their hard work. But the work has just begun.
One of the inductees, George, who claimed the title of vice president during elections, explained that the new Senate members are ready for action.
“The strength of the Student Senate is that we are all energized and ready to work together as one body to present a unified student voice,” said George. “This is a great honor that we all have and I can’t wait to make great strides in [being] the voice of the students.”
George also commented on how the diversity of the new group will help expand the reach of AS across campus.
“All of the Senate members bring about a unique perspective of the student experience at Sonoma,” said George. “The wide array of viewpoints, perspectives and experiences that are present in this year’s Senate presents us with a great opportunity to use our collective knowledge and connect to the rest of the student body.”
Newly elected President Anthony Gallino also commented on his enthusiasm for the potential with this new group of leaders.
“I’m looking forward to working with new individuals who are excited and passionate about student government as well as continuing to work with returning officers,” said Gallino. “There is always so much potential in a new student government and I’m excited to see what we come up with as a group.”
Number one on Gallino’s to-do list for the upcoming year will be to engage students who are not necessarily elected officials in student government.
“I think personally I would like to engage the campus in some educational initiatives about aspects of our campus and expand our student government to allow for greater participation among diverse students beyond just those that are duly elected,” said Gallino.
No word yet on how the student government plans to do this yet. The inductees and returning members plan to meet over summer before the start of the fall semester to discuss strategies and the implementation of those strategies.
One obstacle the student government on campus has always faced is the lack of presence or lack of ability to see what exactly the student leaders are doing to represent the student body.
Gallino explained that while it may be difficult to demonstrate certain cases of representation, one of the goals for AS this year is to better engage with the student body.
“Student government in general can be and often is a thankless job,” said Gallino. “The student government does a lot of representing that often goes unnoticed by students. I think next year will be different in that we will definitely try to start engaging the campus earlier in the year and be more consistently present with that engagement.”