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SG members reflect on past year of governance

By Alyssa Sanford
News Assistant

Candidates, both old and new, vied for seats on Student Government’s cabinet, as well as positions as class council heads and school senators, on Tuesday, April 28, marking the end of election season and another successful year of governance in SG.

On Wednesday, May 6, SG members will hold their final meeting of the semester and formally make the transition between the current cabinet and elected cabinet.

According to current Executive Vice President Michael Chiumento, the cabinet speaker and vice president of Advancement positions have yet to be selected. A campus-wide email from Kevin Kim, the alternate student trustee and chair of the elections committee, sent on Monday, April 27, mentioned that some positions were not open to a vote because there weren’t enough candidates running for the positions. These positions and freshman class council positions will be voted on in the Fall 2015 semester.

Casey Dowling, the newly elected president for next year, is looking forward to another year of governance.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to serve the students of TCNJ again,” Dowling said. “Student Government has a strong and dedicated group of students and I am excited to see what we can all work together to accomplish in the coming year.”

Javier Nicasio, the new executive vice president, spent the past year serving on the cabinet as the vice president of Equity and Diversity.

“I have been able to advocate on issues that revolve around diversity,” Nicasio said of his time on the committee, citing projects like “I, Too, Am TCNJ,” “TCNJ Epcot” and the Bias Response team that deals with intolerance on campus. As executive vice president next year, Nicasio is eager to “continue to advocate on behalf of the student body on a variety of issues.”

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous, but I am very enthusiastic about my new position,” Nicasio said. “If I had to describe myself in one word I would say that I was hard working. I put 110 percent into everything that I do, and as executive vice president, I will continue to work hard in improving our campus.”

Graduating senior Mike Chiumento, the executive vice president of SG from 2014 to 2015, has mixed feelings about leaving his post behind after three years of service to the campus community as a part of SG.

“Part of me is glad to be closing such an important chapter of my college experience and another part of me would love to be able to keep serving TCNJ students for another year,” Chiumento said.

In particular, Chiumento is immensely proud of the work that he has done and overseen this past year, especially of projects like the Middle States review commission and changes to the college’s online and blended learning policies. Though it is not always easy to advocate for a wide variety of on-campus issues, Chiumento believes it’s important because “they impact students every single day in countless ways.”

Chiumento is confident in Dowling’s and Nicasio’s leadership capabilities, however, he does have some advice for his successors.

“Be confident from the get-go, hit the ground running before and throughout the summer, and recognize that some things are out of (your) control and will inevitably go wrong,” Chiumento said. “In those moments, (President) Matt Wells and I came to realize that we could be confident in our organization to bounce back and persevere.”

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