SGA creates first-year council


Rebeca Trejo/The Maroon

Jessica Molina

This fall, the Student Government Association decided to welcome freshman into their organization in a different way: through First-Year Council.

Previously, freshmen students could run for a senate seat, a position in the Legislative Branch, their first semester, no experience needed. However, in an attempt to create a more qualified Senate, the SGA executive branch has decided to exclude freshman senate positions from the elections in the fall semester.

The new program is designed to be more of a learning experience, introducing students to SGA as a whole without the responsibility of being a senator. In the spring, freshman will have the opportunity to run for Senate.

Natalie Paul, SGA vice president, said she is ecstatic to get the First-Year Council up and running this year.

Paul will head the council along with assistance from Edwin Unzalu, director of spirituality and social justice, Brian Cutter, director of programming, and Courtney Williams, SGA adviser.

Fallon Chiasson, new First-Year Council member and mass communication freshman, said that she felt that the first week of school was full of decisions and confusion.

In an effort to alleviate the amount of pressure on first-year students, this program is designed to be a learning experience more than anything. They have the opportunity to experience SGA and figure out how they best fit without committing themselves to the responsibilities upperclassmen typically hold in the other SGA positions.

“First-Year Council is an incredible idea to show freshman the different branches of SGA without the freshmen having to make a rash, uninformed decision,” Chiasson said.

First-Year Council students will meet each week during the fall to build leadership skills and learn how to transition skills learned in high school to a college setting. In addition to weekly meetings, they will be able to sit in on other SGA meetings to determine which area they feel is a better fit for them personally.

“I believe strongly on taking the time to build our future campus leaders because someone took the time on me,” Paul said.

Abigail Justice, SGA communication liaison, said that this year, 49 new students applied for various positions throughout SGA. Due to the large number of students, they decided to spend the time that would normally be an election period to work with the students in order to build a more equipped Senate.