BY DANA REESE
EDITOR IN CHIEF
After receiving about 90% of the approximate 600 votes that were cast for Student Senate President for the 2013-2014 term, Justin Amann has begun to prepare for his coming duties.
“I assume duty on June 1: the new academic year,” said Amann. “I will be sworn in May 9.”
Preparing for the coming school year, Amann has begun to build his base for next year.
One of the first duties of any incoming president is to pick his or her Committee Chairs.
These members, part of the executive board of senate, head areas such as Academic Affairs and Extra-Curricular Affairs; Amann is acting chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee.
“Starting when I was first elected, I started meeting with people to pick positions,” said Amann.
“I have been interviewing with several different people to appoint positions on my board. I don’t have it lined up yet, but hopefully by next week.”
The Student Senate President, while responsible for the general day-to-day oversight of the senate activities also holds other important roles on campus.
“As President, you are also chairperson of the Student Activities Association (SAA) Board of Directors. So, starting May 7, I assume the position. SAA…That’s where your activity fee goes, and, as the Board of Directors, we maintain the power to disperse that fee.”
Before Amann can assume his presidential position, he first will have a twelve week, 225 hour internship this summer. During the internship, paid for by part of the student activity fee, Amann meets with all different campus leaders and write about each meeting.
“There’s a whole sheet of the people I have to meet with,” said Amann.
He listed examples such as the vice presidents of different departments, leaders of the faculty and other unions, representatives from enrollment services and career development.
During the internship, Amann will also plan for the coming year. This includes choosing his board. As well, Amann will work to develop his goals and strategies for the coming semesters.
“Collaboration I would say is my number one goal, and number two would be working with the student enrollment center. Number three would be our academic programs.”
Amann hopes to assist the school in making the Enrollment Services building a pleasurable place after semesters of student criticism.
“I envision next year that center changing next year—being student friendly and an efficient place to be—a good experience. We’re looking at so many different things that we can do to change it.”
Though plans for the betterment of Enrollment Services are still discussion, Amann spoke about his plans for the future of academic programs at ESU.
“We need to look at what courses we’re offering and make sure that they are classes that we need to take. If we have a class that only has ten students in it, and we only have two classes of a section that is filling up the wait list, maybe we need to get rid of the course that isn’t as efficient or isn’t as effective.”
Amann stressed the importance of offering the right classes at the right times, and balancing departmental loads to suit student needs.
“I believe in a course to course basis, but there is some necessity for it. There is need to look at what courses we need and make sure that we’re offering the best courses utilizing our best resources. If there are classes that don’t have the kind of que that other classes we have, we need to offer the courses that are needed.”
On campus issues, Amann has already spoken out.
This March, Amann worked to get out information about the CILLS graduation controversy and why the students should not walk in ESU graduation ceremonies set for this month. While his comments earned him praise from some, but also some angry responses.
“I got over thirty emails…there were some very rude ones that I would just not really like to repeat. I knew I was being one-hundred-percent honest,” said Amann. “The director the CILLS Program at the time, his sentiments were the same as mine.”
While the controversy ended with the CILLS students not being allowed to walk in regular graduation, Amann still wished them the best with their own ceremonies.
“I looked forward to their celebration, and I hope everything works out well because I know that they have it planned.”
Now, as president of Student Senate, Amann will be more in the ESU spotlight working on university issues.
“As the president, I am humbled by the authority and the influence,” said Amann.
“I do have the influence to go to a meeting and say this is what the student body believes and we need to make sure that we’re doing what’s best for students. That’s what the president is able to do: make sure that decisions are made in the best interests of the students.”
While Justin Amann won the presidential seat with no competitors on the ballot, the position for Vice President of Student Senate had three students vying for one spot.
After a tough race, Kwaku Adjei-Bohyen was elected Student Senate Vice President for the 2013-2014 academic year.
A junior and Political Science and Economics major, Bohyen has already begun talks with Justin Amann, Student Senate President-elect about the coming school year.
“While Justin is doing his 225 hours initially in the summer, whenever he needs me, I will come in and we will talk about the plans we have for the academic year coming up,” said Bohyen.
“After Justin is done with his internship, I plan on emailing most of the people on the list and introducing myself.”
This list includes heads of many of the departments and committees on campus, including enrollment services and career development.
While performing each position’s allotted tasks, both Amann and Bohyen will also work together with the Student Senate body towards large projects.
“I think before we both ran for these offices, we shared a common goal for how we want to see senate. Justin’s goals are almost the same as my goals.”
One of the things that both Bohyen and Amann stressed as candidates is communication. Many of Bohyen’s jobs in the coming year will depend on decisions that Amann makes.
“The vice president initially is there to assist the president in whatever capacity he authorizes him to do. I also do internal affairs with the senate committees. I’ll be an ex-official member to make sure the committee chairs are up to date with what they are doing and following what is expected of them.”
For Bohyen, this is not his first time working within a governing body.
“I came here with an intention of joining student government because I had experience from high school. I wanted to be on student government. I had once thought of holding an executive board position, and the president of the current administration, Lauren, put me as Coordinator of Student Affairs. Now, luckily, the school has voted me in as vice president.”
Collaboration and communication were two of the goals spoken highly of during campaigns, and both have lingered on as plans for the coming academic year’s success.
“Right now, Justin has his own ideas, but he’s yet to select his executive board… after a while we’ll all sit together and discuss general goals. It wouldn’t just be Justin’s goals, but a senate goal in general…The kind of programs we want to fight for.”
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