As the spring semester begins, medical laboratory science junior Cassidy Engles took the podium as the Student Government Association’s president for the first time last Tuesday.
Engels explained that she has goals that she hopes to achieve during her time in the position. Specifically, she is trying to create an effective way to increase membership and meeting attendance.
“One of my goals is to increase the membership,” Engels said. “One of the ways I plan on going through that is making our meetings [a] really welcoming environment and [making] people feel comfortable because the meetings can be kind of intimidating.”
Engels has held several positions on the SGA executive board, from being a representative for the association of medical laboratory science, to vice president last semester.
MaeLynn Huhn, the previous SGA president, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in December. This opened the door for Engles’ promotion. Having worked closely with Engels, Huhn knows what she brings to the table to take over her position on SGA. Huhn is confident that Engels will do well in her new role as president, having seen her work with the SGA last semester.
“[As] my vice president last semester, Cassidy’s really stepped up a lot with her ability to lead [and] think outside the box, [and she has] responsibility for her vision,” Huhn said. “She just improved as an overall leader in so many ways, and I’m really excited to see her do that this upcoming semester.”
Engels explained that the focus of the SGA is to help students learn about organizations and opportunities on campus. Through this focus, the SGA hopes that students find things that they can enjoy at Ferris that they may not have known about beforehand. Students are welcome to attend the meetings, whether to discuss matters on behalf of their registered student organization or simply to get an idea of what is going on around campus.
Students are not the only ones who make up part of the SGA on campus. Several faculty members are present at the meetings to ensure that they run smoothly. One of these members is interim Dean of Student Life Jana Hurley, who is a co-advisor for the SGA. Hurley explained the expectations in place for the SGA, part of which are similar to Engels’ goals.
“We expect that they keep their eye on their academic success. That they show up with both a willingness to lead and a willingness to learn. That they provide an environment that is inviting to other students who might have an interest in participating officially, or that are there representing their various interests or bringing their concerns, so that you know it’s a good environment for students to work together to achieve goals and to communicate,” Hurley said.
The SGA had its first meeting with Engels as the president last week with 11 people in attendance. Conversation between the SGA and those in attendance was encouraged several times throughout the meeting. First, Engels invited those in attendance to introduce themselves to the SGA, including which RSO or college they were affiliated with, if any. It was also encouraged for any of those in attendance to voice any concerns or issues they had during the public comment section.
SGA meetings are held every Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the ballrooms of the David L. Eisler Center. As anyone is welcome to attend, Engels encourages students to attend at least once so that they can get a feel of what SGA meetings are all about, and so they can learn the latest about what is happening around campus.