By Alyssa Sanford
Student Government President Casey Dowling opened the Wednesday, Feb. 3, general body meeting with a discussion about the Lion’s Gate system, now that it has been operational for a full semester.
General body members offered feedback for possible improvements to the system. Among the suggestions were calls for accessibility via mobile devices, although representatives for Lion’s Gate reiterated that the CollegiateLink system offers an app called Corq that is “pretty responsive.” The app is available on Apple and Android devices.
Members also noted that “the benefits of Lion’s Gate aren’t really clear” to the campus community, aside from the ability to register for clubs and organizations on campus. While the system is supposed to keep the campus community informed of upcoming events and circulate internal information within organizations, students tend to use email lists and Facebook to stay on top of things.
Lion’s Gate representatives assured the general body members that they would take the feedback and suggestions into consideration.
To kick off a new semester of governance, Dowling invited newly-appointed cabinet members and head senators to the front of the room for a swearing-in ceremony.
Notably, Darshak Vekaria and Dana Disarno were sworn in as vice president of Academic Affairs and alternate student trustee, respectively. They promised to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution of Student Government and the students of The College of New Jersey” in their oaths.
Theresa Holzheimer was also sworn in as the senior class council’s vice president of Public Relations.
Senators of business, education, arts and communication, humanities and social sciences and science also took their oaths.
Vice President of Administration and Finance Tyler Holzer announced an ongoing crewneck sale. Shirts are $25 apiece and are black with yellow, teal or white lettering.
Holzer also announced that Political Science Department Chair Brian Potter and Presidents’ Climate Commitment Committee (PC3) will address the general body on Wednesday, Feb. 10, to discuss ideas for sustainability on campus.
According to Holzer, Potter and the PC3 team, which was established by President R. Barbara Gitenstein in the spring of 2007, set an initial goal “to make the campus carbon-neutral by 2020.”
Vice President of Advancement Amanda Williams and Vice President of Equity and Diversity Priscilla Nunez both announced their respective committees’ co-sponsorship with the College’s Black Student Union for Black History Month.
“There are cool, fun, interesting events,” said Williams, urging general body members to attend.
Vice President of Community Relations Brittany Angiolini announced that Relay for Life will take place on Friday, April 15, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
“It’s great to have a big representation of Student Government there,” Angiolini said, by way of encouraging general body members to join the SG relay team.
Nunez proudly announced that Equity and Diversity’s event, TCNJ Epcot, was fully funded by Student Finance Board (SFB).
“We slayed it,” Nunez said of her committee’s presentation to SFB.
The event will take place on Thursday, March 24, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Student Trustee Kevin Kim announced an opportunity to apply for a Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) position. HESAA consists of “a lot of higher ed professionals” and “nine or 10 student representatives,” Kim said.
Colleges and universities in New Jersey get a certain number of representatives to advocate for students’ financial aid concerns. Dedicated representatives come from schools like Rutgers Univerisy and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), but the College doesn’t have that status at HESAA.
“If anyone has been through or has received financial aid, or has had a lot of experience with financial aid, and wants to advocate for students that need more financial aid, they want students who have received financial aid from their schools,” Kim said of preferred candidates for the seat.
Kim added, “It’s a really good opportunity for us as The College of New Jersey to have representatives on that board, but further down the line, I think we should start lobbying for having dedicated representatives since we’re The College of New Jersey, and Rutgers (University) and NJIT get one.”
The application deadline is not until the end of March. Applicants must be New Jersey residents.
Senior class president Emily Montagna announced that the semester’s first Senior Night, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9, was approved.
“We sold 83 tickets in two hours,” Montagna said.
Sophomore class President Kelsey Capestro announced that starting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the class will be tablesitting so that students can make Valentine’s Day cards for patients at children’s hospitals in the area.
“We’re hoping to get at least 150 (cards),” Capestro said. “It’s your chance to put a smile on somebody’s face for Valentine’s Day.”
Capestro added that the class is co-sponsoring a blood drive with TCNJ EMS on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Freshman class President Carly Mauro announced a late-night bake sale in Travers and Wolfe halls on Friday, Feb. 12, from 9 p.m. to midnight.