SGA president reflects on year, wishes successors well

By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-In-Chief

Sophomore Alondra Valle will be the new Student Government Association president next year after running unopposed. But, saying hello to new faces means saying goodbye to old ones, like current SGA president Ian Lecki, who is about to graduate from Newman. And as he prepares to hand over the job, Lecki is reflecting on how his term went.

Lecki had several goals coming into his presidency in the fall, most of which he said he and his cabinet felt they accomplished.

“I really think that the students feel heard,” Lecki said.

One of his main goals was getting SGA’s social media accounts active again and giving students a clear place to go for information. Lecki’s solution was to create a public relations chair, which was approved at the beginning of the semester and was filled by senior Lauren Esfeld.

Lecki said he is also proud of the headway made with breaking down the social barriers between athletes, non-athletes, and international students. It has been a topic of conversation on campus for years that these groups struggle to get along and see eye-to-eye, Lecki said.

“Unfortunately that’s not something that can be accomplished in a year, but I feel that we have done a phenomenal job this year with at least getting it out there,” Lecki said. “People are aware of the situation and it’s even been taken up to the board of trustees.”

Lecki said he and SGA also put effort into  adding new safety measures across campus. While SGA didn’t begin the year with this project in mind, Lecki and his cabinet have been working all semester to ensure that campus is safer and are behind. The plan is to install new security cameras on campus buildings, especially the dorms. The move has been approved by SGA and has received a pledge of financial help from the board of trustees. The Flock security system that tracks vehicles and people entering and exiting campus will also be a part of the new security system, which Lecki said should be installed over the summer break.

Lecki said he didn’t feel there was anything that he set out to do at the beginning of the year that didn’t get accomplished.

“I definitely wish that the security cameras and the safety of campus was done a lot sooner,” Lecki said. “But I do feel that we tackled a lot of things, everything that we had on our plates.”

He said he hopes that next year’s senators will realize that they are the voices for all the students at Newman, not just for students or groups that they are involved with.

“Just because a certain bill impacts athletes, or the theater department or the OTA program doesn’t mean that you should vote against it because it doesn’t impact you,” Lecki said.

He said he knows that Valle will have success next year, noting that the new dean of students, Andi Giesen, has already been very involved with her role as an adviser for SGA. Lecki said that within her first few months, she has shown great problem-solving skills and been supportive of the students’ goals. He said he expects Valle to lean heavily on the experienced SGA members on the executive board such as junior Elise Helfrich.

Lecki said that his vice president, Elizabeth Raehpour, was a valuable asset to him this year because of her previous experience on the executive board.

“They will definitely be led by Secretary Helfrich,” Lecki said. “She is going to bring a lot of knowledge from this year and carry it over for next year.”

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Alondra Valle