Student body elects new SGA executive board

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Nick Frisina , Staff Writer

The Student Government Association (SGA) held executive board elections between April 6 and April 7.

Matthew Schlessman, a junior chemistry and pre-dental major and president-elect, and Derrick Gernatt, a junior dual accounting and economics major and chief of staff-elect will be accompanied by two new members on the executive board.

Cady Herron, a sophomore pre-dental science major, will be the vice president of internal affairs and Dominique Booker, a junior accounting major and criminal justice minor, will join as the vice president of finance.

Herron said she is excited for her new role.

“I am looking forward to having an opportunity to help plan events for students to be able to enjoy again,” Herron said.

“I have served on the student government since my freshman year. I am also really excited to be able to take on more responsibilities and play a major role in advocating for students and making a difference in the Gannon experience.

“I am really excited to make sure that student voices are being heard and to be able to help play a role in making a difference.”

When it comes to goals, Herron said she has one already planned.

“My biggest goal is to make the Gannon experience better for my student constituents and for those who will come to Gannon in the future as well,” she said.

Booker said that in being a finance major, she has the insight needed for the position she was running for.

“And I would love to plan things with SGA,” she said.

In this role, Booker said she would like to streamline the fund distributing process.

“In the position, I wish to allocate more money to clubs and organizations and make it easier for those to apply,” Booker said.

Booker said that because of her unique perspective, she would be good for the position.

“With my experience in finance, I think I could really help the organization.”

Schlessman said he was excited when the election results were announced.

“Once the results were released, I was thrilled to see some of our team has been formed and I believe Cady and Dominique will do amazing,” Schlessman said.

Schlessman also discussed the relationship he has with SGA’s newest executive board members.

“I have known Cady since she first joined SGA, and I am very proud of her for taking the leap to join the executive board to better the student body,” Schlessman said. “Seeing already how much she has grown as a leader and as a person, I believe her innovation will be very beneficial to the organization. She has persevered through a lot within this past year; I believe that made her stronger and I cannot wait to see what she unveils for all of us.”

Although he does not have the same relationship with Booker, Schlessman said he is excited to strengthen that relationship as they work together in the coming year.

“I have had conversations with Dominique and got to know her a little bit,” Schlessman said. “I can tell that she is very ambitious and wants to execute her goals quickly and efficiently. Just like our chief of staff, Derrick Gernatt, she brings a business background to the executive board that will help her be very successful and can help guide clubs and organizations through the funding requests.”

In an unusual year, unusual things happen.

In this case only two executive board positions were filled during this election, where there were previously four board positions.

The positions that were not filled in this election were vice president of marketing and communications, as well as vice president of student engagement.

“Unfortunately, with the restrictions because of COVID-19, I do not think many students are as active to be candidates in these elections,” Schlessman said. “The elections committee did a fine job trying to get students to run for these positions as restrictions are in place.”

Looking ahead, Schlessman and Gernatt hope to encourage more students to get involved with SGA.

Specifically, they would like the vice president of student engagement position to be filled.

“All positions on the executive board are important,” Schlessman said.

“But with recent events I believe the vice president of student experience would’ve helped greatly with the mental health of the students around campus and help guide us back to normal, or at least as close as we can get to normal.”

The incoming executive board will get to work once the 2021-2022 academic year begins.

NICK FRISINA

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