President: Zachery Wolf

President: Zachery Wolf

Why are you running for SGA president?

I have an extensive background in leadership positions, I am only a sophomore – yes I get that – but all through high school and increasing in college, I have been in the student government. I was the president in my high school for two years and then coming here I just saw an opportunity and I wanted to take a hold of it.

For me, I really do – as cliché as it is – want to make a difference on campus. Everyone comes into the idea, OK everyone wants to make a difference, but I want to make sure I make this difference. I want it to really benefit the students who are here now and I want it to benefit the university for the rest of the time. Well, as much as it can until it becomes outdated.

 

What are your goals if elected president of SGA?

I am running on an “ACE” campaign: dealing with accountability, SGA really owning up to what they’re doing so everyone knows what is going on, being very transparent on what’s happening with their money, really informing students like. They pay this activity fee every year, but do they honestly know where it goes?

I want students to know where these fees are going and then I want to really build on communication. You’re involved in the newspaper and lacrosse and things like that [Becky], so you might know about different things on campus, but if you were to ask me when your first game was I wouldn’t know personally. But those are things I want everyone on campus to know – what’s going on and when.

I want to really bridge that communication. I also want students to know what SGA can do for them… A lot of people come to us for money, that’s what we’re for; we fund clubs and organizations, we help with projects and stuff like that, that’s a big thing. But also, students see an issue on campus, they can come to SGA and really we can try and make it happen. Different things that happen on campus are because of different people.

We’ve had students come to us expressing concerns about Metz and so starting last year, two years ago Metz has been serving different bars rotating and The Intermetzo [Café] has longer hours.

Things can’t happen if students don’t tell us if something is wrong, but then also SGA needs to come to the students more asking their opinion, because we are the student’s voice.

We are the liaison; every student has their own voice. And then E is the efficiency.

Sometimes things can take longer than they should, and sometimes our meetings are a lot lengthier than they should and people don’t necessarily work in the position that they are supposed to. I really want to try and hammer that down to where we are getting the work done so we are being efficient and using students’ money efficiently.

So those are my big things, because I think as an organization we are in a building period still, like a rebuild almost and in order to benefit the students we also ourselves have to be pretty sound.

What do you see SGA’s role on campus?

As SGA as well on campus, I kind of mentioned it already; we fund a lot of the clubs and organizations if they turn in their hand outs. If people are doing research, we have different research opportunities that we do.

We are looking into different areas to explore with the four pillars of Gannon and really our biggest role, the reason why we are here, is because we are the student’s voice.

Any student can go up to anybody and say that they want to see this happen and they might make it happen, but we are a more direct route. Come to us, we have the connections, we know where to go.

Say you want to do something, you’re going to have to research, well who do I go to do this and how do I do this? That’s supposed to be our knowledge base and we already know that stuff. You come to us with the idea and we go with it.

So I really want it to be students, I want to see students coming into the office, I want to have  a suggestion box, like honest suggestions.

But I honestly want students to walk in the office and say “I have an idea,” and I want to say “OK, how can I make this happen?” That’s what I want it to be because I want people to know, like I said, what SGA does and I want them to feel confident that we are going to get the job done and that their voice really means something, because it truly does.

Because one thing that Gannon always tries to stress is that you’re an individual here. It’s a small campus and you need to be an individual here and if you want something done, we are going to try and make it happen.

 

Why did you get involved with SGA?

Obviously, like I said I was in SGA for four years in high school. I just love the experience in it, [I’m] personally in pre-med bio, so politics and stuff that aren’t necessarily my focus on things, but… I’m really good at structuring things. I’m really good at getting stuff accomplished.

I decided what better way to get involved on a small campus, and know almost everything you can know than to get involved in the student government because I know what the potential is for that. Also, there are so many opportunities that come from being in student government that people don’t understand.

Because I am vice president this year, I’ve gone to several board meetings and I have met some phenomenal people and it just opens up opportunities. So… not only am I benefiting the campus, I’m also benefiting my future.

For me, that’s it and it also builds a sense of family.

You know different people go toward sports teams, sororities, fraternities, different groups and I am the vice president of Students Behind Our Troops because that just holds a different little niche in my heart.

SGA has the potential to be like a family, and I love that aspect.

 

How do you propose to increase students’ knowledge of and involvement in SGA?

One of my things is communication and so this year we have taken a couple different steps to bridge into communication and [get] more information from students.

We bought tablets and we are going to start using them and going out and surveying. Instead of [having someone hand] you a paper survey [and saying], “Here take this, go fill it out and bring it back,” if someone hands you a tablet and boom, boom, boom you’re done, what are you more likely to do? So we are trying to really bridge into that technological age that we are in and get away from old-school things.

Plus we can stop wasting paper. Everybody is about paper efficiency – you know, let’s do it. I am all for it, and so that is one of the biggest steps we have taken this year and really kind of implement it next year.

And then there are several other things that I have proposed in my position to marketing and different things that they are moving with. I can’t technically say what they are at this time because they aren’t public knowledge yet, but things are in the works and I plan on truly expanding on those things.

So besides that, really just getting out there; I don’t know how often you see SGA, or how you even know who is on SGA, so I think we really need to better our image and our brand more as well.

I don’t really know a lot about the lacrosse team to be honest, but I can tell the different people who are on the basketball team. Obviously I can tell you play lacrosse because you have it on you. I would like people to know who is on SGA because, how do they know who to come to if for some reason we aren’t in our office, or the door is locked, where are they going to go? Who are they going to come to?

So that is one thing too, we need to better our understanding of who everyone is and [help people understand] what SGA is and we will have to build from there. There is still a lot of building blocks and this year Taylor Shaffer, our current president, really did turn things around and it’s phenomenal changes that she has made and I just want to keep building off of that.

I am a sophomore and I have the potential, if I earn the presidency this year and I get the votes, you know I have the potential to also run a second year or if I don’t get it this year I can run next year. Obviously I would like to have it this year because I could do more. And I also can bring a different perspective of things.

Sometimes you’ll have people who are getting it as their senior role and they get toward the end of the year and they kind of just don’t care, and I really want people to keep caring about what is going on.

We are here for four years, I get that; if you are here for grad school you’re here for a few more. What we do affects us while we are here, but it also affects the future students here and I think that is something a lot of people sometimes don’t understand, that we need to understand, that what we’re doing not only benefits us and the students around us now, it really leaves a lasting legacy.

 

Why should the students vote for you?

With my experience I have served my first year as a freshmen representative and now my sophomore year as the vice president. I just have a lot of background and I have really seen the direction things are going and I have been involved in, participated in and [have been a] part of the change that is coming and I would like to keep going with that.

Like I said, I have the background. It’s just one of those things where I’m good at it, I know I’m good at it and I’d like people to know that they can rely on me.

 

Is there anything you’d like students to know about you?

I am a sophomore, pre-med bio major. I am from Erie. I am currently a commuter, but I will be living on campus next year – I am kind of excited about that. I have twin sisters. I am also actually a local fire fighter and EMT as well, so I work for Emergycare and I’m also a volunteer fire fighter.

That’s my passion; honestly, I’m [studying] biology for a reason, because I want to be a doctor. Helping people truly is my passion. Sometimes something as stupid as they have a cut or a stubbed toe, or if you have little kids, just being the light in someone’s bad day for me is all it takes.

So I want to take that mentality that I have now and bring that here… I don’t want it to be uncommon for you to see someone holding open the door for someone. Sometimes people look at you like, “Oh you held the door open for me?” like they are surprised. I did that every day just because that is who I am and I think that needs to become something here on campus.

We all go to school here; we all go through the same stuff that all college students go through. We are all going through it together; we are all kind of like a family too – Gannon unifying it, Gannon really showing how it shouldn’t really be uncommon for someone to want to help someone.

If someone drops something, pick it up, you know… It shouldn’t be weird that I can walk down the hallway and say hi to someone and they respond [by saying] hi instead of ignoring it and walking away.

So I’m really hoping that I can start the change because obviously I’m not going to accomplish everything in one year. I’m not going to accomplish everything in two years because change takes time, but I am going to try and make huge strides to make it as good as it could be.

 

BECKY HILKER

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