Lauren Wanless '17 recently sat down for an interview with Student Government Association Student Body President Nolan Varee, '16. Varee and Student Body Vice President Brian Salvie '16 will serve through the 2015-2016 academic year.
Some goals that I have for the upcoming year include forming a new student committee to allow students to have a large input in the renovations of our student center. It's important that students have a say in what goes into the new center. Another goal would be to do more in terms of student activities around campus. While CAB currently does a great job putting on events throughout the year, it is my hope that SGA can take a larger role in promoting events and activities for students on campus. The biggest goal is to have more students involved with the decision making processes that are available to us as students including SGA, CAB, and other student organizations that have the ability to provide services and activities for students.
I hope to do this by creating an atmosphere on campus where students realize that our ability to promote the changes that we want to see on campus is real and when for everyone to see that when students speak those in the administration will listen. We all talk about what could make this a better campus, I want students to realize that we can push to make the changes we want to see with more voices and more involvement.
As a politics major, what have you learned in the classroom that you can apply during your time as president?
Well, I haven't studied any actions of student body presidents while they were in that office, but my classes have certainly taught me a lot on the subject of working with others to move plans forward. Beyond classes in politics, the small class settings that we get on this campus have helped me to learn how to sit at a table with people who may disagree with my views on a topic, hear what they have to say, and work to come to terms with the views of those around me.
How will your previous involvement in SGA and other experience in politics help you now as president?
Having a basic understanding of how SGA works will help both Brian and I to work through the processes that are currently in place to take the actions we hope to take, but I do not think that previous involvement is absolutely necessary to helping us move our ideas forward. I hope to make it clear to everyone on campus that it does not take previous involvement in student government to get involved now. It is my hope that by the end of our term in office, students will view SGA as a body where any student can go to for help regarding any needs they may have on campus.
How will you and Brian work together to make the Saint Anselm College community a better place for students, faculty, and visitors?
Brian and I will work very hard to ensure that the needs and wants of those students who choose to come to SGA for guidance will be heard by those who have the ability to act on their behalf. We are very excited to get to work on our plans, and we hope that everyone in our community will make it a point to come to us in SGA if there is anything that we can do to help in any situation. We want SGA to be a more student centered organization than it has been in the past, and we will work hard to see that accomplished.
Interview with Vice-President, Salvie '16
What are your goals as student body vice president?
My goals as student body vice president are focused around the students (as they should be!). I want to do everything in my power to bring students together and make sure that the administration lets the student body know that they are priority number one. I will do this by working with CAB to improve already popular events such as CABINGO. I'll form a committee of students focused on setting a fire under the administration's pants in regard to the new student center that we were promised. We in SGA have the power (and duty) to be the fly in the administration's ear, encouraging them to put the students first.
Considering Nolan is a politics major and you hope to make SGA less political, how will you find a balance between your individual goals and work together to make decisions about the future of Saint Anselm College?
Nolan and I won't have to find a balance between our individual goals! We are very like minded in our goals in that we both want to improve and continue existing traditions and events, work closely with the college's administration, and make the student body more vocal regarding their wants and needs. We will work off of one another's strengths, because that's how the best teams function. Nolan and I are on the same page in that we want to build a very transparent, "no strings attached" SGA; we simply have different majors.
As an RA, is there anything you see involving students, dorm buildings, etc. that you wish to change as the newly elected VP? If so, what would you like to change?
Yes! As an RA one of my many responsibilities involve relaying maintenance requests that my peers send to me, up to my supervisor, who sends them up the ladder, where they go on a list, are fulfilled, then sent all the way back down AND up the ladder again to confirm that they were completed. There has to be an easier way! I want to figure out a more direct route. Be it though an app or public spread sheet, Nolan and I want to somehow give everyone a direct portal through which they can report maintenance needs.
How will your experience as class senator help you as vice president?
As a class senator one of my responsibilities was to attend Senate every weekend. As Vice President I run the senate, and plan on challenging the class councils to contribute not only to their class, but to the student body as a whole. I fully intend to give class councils minor tasks every week in senate that will contribute to what Nolan, the Executive Board, and I are trying to accomplish. Many hands make for light work!
How do you hope to get all students involved in the decision making process regarding the issues and improvements for our school?
Aside from forming committees of students and working tirelessly to get a student in on Board of Trustee meetings, I will personally set up anonymous surveys that will go out to the student body, nearly weekly. These surveys will cover everything from ordering common concerns by priority, to choosing specifics of events, to evaluating the performance of the School's administration and the SGA administration under Nolan and I. It will be my job to give all students the opportunity to be heard, and their job to speak!