Dominican evaluates SGA’s year, members encouraged for future

By Dana Bitto

March 20, 2013

The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, which means the time has come to elect new Student Government Association officers for the 2013-2014 year.

Members of the executive board, including Vice President Jessica Parran, have encouraged the need for vocal students to become an active part of the organization.

“Elections are coming up and I want applicants that are not scared to voice their opinion about problems in the Dominican community,” Parran said. “I would like a diverse executive board and senate to bring up different issues and viewpoints.”

Although positions have not been filled yet, Student Government Association President Marco Rodriguez sees promise in current members.

“Our strongest group of students this year was the freshman class; I see a lot of ambition and motivation from them and I strongly believe that they will make the best out of SGA,” Rodriguez said. “In that sense, SGA has been successful at recruiting great leaders, and I have no doubt that SGA will be in great hands for next year.”

The upcoming elections have also brought attention to current SGA officers, analyzing what the current leadership has accomplished for Dominican this year. Staff and students have shared their opinions on SGA’s performance thus far.

Assistant Professor of Political Science David Dolence admits that the leadership of SGA has found stability over the past year, but still has room for improvement.

“They seem to continue in “administering” mode rather than governing, and in the year 2013, I can get a computer program that administers,” Dolence explained.

Graduate student Emmanuel Izaguirre, expressed his expectations for a rebranding of Student Government when the current president was elected.

“It was like Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming Governor of California, seemed like a good idea, but at the end what did he accomplish,” Izaguirre said.

Izaguirre also felt that Rodriguez’s hands were tied at times.

“I felt that Marco had many great ideas on the changes he wanted to see, but the involvement with the Dean of Students office limited his ability to implement those changes. It’s like telling a little kid you’re in charge, but every decision needs to be approved by your mother.”

Even in the midst of criticism, SGA has had some accomplishments this year.

While there are still discussions about ways to help students post-graduation, bring the CTA’s U-PASS to campus, and make Dominican a smoke-free campus, SGA has succeeded in solving the dilemma of a “No Temp” parking list for commuter students. SGA officers have spoken with Security about certain commuter students who were subject to not receiving any more temporary parking permits. Also, SGA had a presence at the MAP Grant rally held on March 13 in Springfield.

While there was a lack of student involvement at this year’s Town Hall meeting, where students were encouraged to shed light on issues or concerns about Dominican, Rodriguez admitted difficulties within the club at the start of his presidency.

“I can’t help but take some of the blame,” he said. “Part of that is because I was still adjusting to my new role as President. It is a little harder than I had anticipated. The other part is because it takes quite some time to develop a relationship with the rest of the senators, and that is very important when it comes to leading a group of individuals.”

Live voting will be held for senatorial positions in the Lewis Alcove on March 20 and 21 from 12 to 3 p.m. and online elections via email will be available from March 20 to March 26.