Student Government’s president serves as the face of Ferris’ student body to the University administration and Big Rapids community. For the 2015-16 academic year, that face will be a happy one.
It was announced last week that resort and hospitality management sophomore Wayne Bersano won the Student Government presidential election. Bersano, Student Government’s current vice president, won with 379 votes over junior psychology major Dylan Carpenter.
“I’m always smiling and saying ‘hi.’ I like talking and being around people,” said Bersano. “We really have something special at Ferris. The diversity is so rich and when everyone comes together, that makes for a good, friendly environment.”
Bersano campaigned this semester from Germany, where he is taking courses in international relations and international business. He will return to the states in July.
In addition to the presidential election, Student Government senators were also voted for through OrgSync. Kaitlyn Patrick won for the College of Business, Lindsey Berndt for the College of Arts and Sciences, Andrew Milkey for the College of Engineering and Technology and Chris Cipko for the College of Health Professions.
Under the leadership of current President Andrew Kalinowski, Student Government has increased representation in student and community organizations to promote collaboration. Bersano plans to continue increasing comradery among organizations and in Big Rapids.
“There is power in numbers. It’s good to have student representation within Student Government,” said Bersano.
Bersano feels that his current position as Vice President of Student Government and his coursework in resort and hospitality management have helped prepare him nicely for his upcoming presidency.
“It’s not about managing people. That does play a role in being a manager, but you also need to lead and inspire the people you work with,” said Bersano. “I never want to take all the credit for myself. I want to collaborate and not lead aggressively.”
Bersano said that he’d like to start a five year plan for Student Government modeled after Ferris’ master plan. A committee will draft the plan for next year with input from any interested student organizations.
“It would create a consistency every year when a new president is elected. Then they have something to work toward,” said Bersano. “I’m really excited to find out what the students want to see happen on campus. There is a lot that we can accomplish over time.”
Bersano also mentioned that one of his goals is to expand Ferris’ annual community service project, The Big Event, even further than it has already grown. He wants to see more entertainment, more food and increased funding through sponsorships.
About the election, Bersano said there are no hard feelings between he and Carpenter, who is currently Student Government’s parliamentarian and a voting member on the Finance Division.
“We’ve already been talking and working together since the election happened,” said Bersano. “It was never a head-to-head campaign. At the end of the day, we’re still going to work together and be a team.”
Bersano was inaugurated via Skype on April 20.