President: Taylor Shaffer

President: Taylor Shaffer

Mar 19 • News, Top Stories • 401

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Why are you running for SGA president? I’ve been in SGA since my freshman year and my goal was to always become president. I feel like the SGA president is someone that everyone looks up to and they can go to with any issue or concern. The SGA president is a well-known, well-liked person and I’ve always wanted to be “Hey Taylor, what’s going on, fill us in.” I’ve always wanted to be that person. I’ve been on SGA for a while and I really enjoy it. We’ve become so close. We all get to know each other so well; it’s like a family.

What are your goals if elected president of SGA? My minimum goal would be to extend [library] hours. If possible, have it opened 24 hours because the library is where people want to be; it’s their study area. It would be great if it could be opened 24 hours but I don’t know if we could do that for our first step; we might have to take baby steps and see what we can do there.  I think a major concern for campus overall is safety. SGA has worked toward that over the past few years.  I remember my freshmen year we discussed the lighting, which took a good year or year and a half to actually get in place. We are working toward that all the time. But I also believe there should be more cameras in parking lots. If something does occur, we can look at the camera and if it’s something major, we could put an officer during a time frame instead of having them just go to different areas.   Maybe they’ll stay [somewhere] during this hour if it seems to be a trouble hour. Safety is very important and can’t be brushed over. My last [goal] is involvement and knowledge of SGA because I know every year, we try and try to get people to do different things to learn about it. It’s really difficult. Students may think they know what we do, meanwhile they don’t know exactly.

What skills or qualities do you possess that will aid you if elected? I am very reliable. I work with [SGA’s] advisers, Kathleen Gausman and Angela Coustallic, all the time as treasurer. Every week, I met with Ange and Kathleen. They had to rely on me to make the copy, keep it on file, make sure bills get paid, keep track of the budget and update it to keep everyone informed. Another [skill] would be my motivation. I want to make SGA as good as it can be. Throughout the years I have done that well. My freshman year, club funding would come to the General Assembly meetings, which is more for reporting on things not doing business. So when I became treasurer my sophomore year, we changed it so that club funding would go through the budget and finance committee. For the first year of doing it, I think it went a lot better and students understood it better. One other thing is my organization. As treasurer, I don’t think people understand what I do. Yes, I pay the bills at the very general statement. I have to get the invoices and receipts from the club or organization we give funding to. We tried to make it quick, simple and to the point. But I think you need that as president. You have to keep track of what everyone is doing overall; every E-Board member, every student representative. I think the president has a lot of responsibility and if you’re not organized that can become very difficult to keep everything straight. I think that’s a very important quality to have.

What do you see SGA’s role on campus as? We are the students’ voice; I know that’s our quote. But we are the leaders on campus I believe. People come to us whenever they have an issue or concern and we take the necessarily steps to fix it or change whatever needs to be changed. I believe that a lot of the SGA members are leaders in other organizations as well, which is nice because then people know who they are and know they can go to them with any of these concerns. So I am going to be cheesy and use it but we are the students’ voice.

Why did you get involved with SGA?  I joined freshman year. In high school I was on student council and thought I would try it out in college and see what it’s like; I wanted to get involved. I was elected freshman class chair by our class and took on that leadership position right away. I just really wanted to get involved on campus and meet new people. At first, it’s difficult to actually meet people. These were the first friends I made at Gannon. I also wanted to be a leader. I always try to take on leadership positions when I can. That was the first opportunity I had so I jumped on it. I like to help other people and be someone that people can come and talk to about whatever.

How do you propose to increase students’ knowledge of and involvement in SGA? In the past, we have tried to make posters and fliers, which work to an extent, but I think we need something bigger and better to get the involvement and knowledge up. A lot of students have a general idea but I think they need a little more knowledge so they can utilize us more. I had the idea of holding a forum for all the clubs and organizations on campus. We would go through, explain what SGA does, give them some examples of areas we can help them and also where they can help us also, give and take. I think that would be the best way to do it and I know students aren’t the biggest fans of forums or meetings but I think if we give them a little incentive from it, it would be a great way. So I think a forum would be great and very informative and one easy way to get the information out there. I would have it at the beginning of each semester because I know a lot of clubs change officers and I want everyone informed. With involvement, I think once people realize what we do we could get a lot more involved. I know in the past with Unity Week and the GOLD Conference, we’ve had a huge amount of students who weren’t in SGA help out with these events, which is great; that’s what we’re looking for exactly. I think we’re starting to go toward that but we could always improve in that area. We want as many students as possible to get involved with SGA and help us out, whether it’s a representative or just sitting in on one of our committees just helping with input.

Why should the students vote for you? I believe since I do have the experience that definitely gives me a step up just because I do know what has worked and what hasn’t, what we have done in the past, where we need to go in the future, which I believe is the main job of the president; you’re organizing everything. I am also someone that students associate with SGA. I have had people text or call me and ask, “Hey how do you do this,” relating to SGA. They know to come to me whenever they have a concern or question for me. Like I said, the library I’ve had multiple students tell me this and it’s hard to get it going because we have so many projects this year, we can only take on so many. That’s one of my main goals. I believe that I’m a pretty friendly person and students feel comfortable coming to me. I’m very easygoing and you can just talk to me about whatever; I’ll sit and listen if that’s what you need. I’ve also held an E-Board position for my sorority, which gives me a different angle. I think that gives me more experience. You have to adjust to it but with my different areas of experience that helps me also.

 

SAMMIE JANIK

janik001@knights.gannon.edu

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