New SGA Senators Share Their Excitement

Ten new Student Government Association (SGA) senators were selected last month as representatives of not only their grade level, but the school as a whole. Six of the new senators agreed to discuss their interview process, goals for the new school year, and even the first SGA meeting.

“I want to leave my footprint on this school and change it for the better,” freshman Garrett Brown said. As an ice hockey player, he lives by Wayne Gretzky’s quote, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

“I’m not afraid to throw my ideas and myself out there. I want Monmouth to not be afraid to throw itself out there too,” Brown said. “We are a school of diversity and we can come together with each other’s ideas and work as a community.”

Brown values the school’s phrase “Hawks Fly Together,” as displayed on the newly printed agenda books that freshmen receive. Additionally, Brown is hoping to create changes in the Study Abroad Department.

“I really want to upgrade the Study Abroad Department to give more students access to Monmouth sponsored trips.”

Sophomore Trevor Rawlik was nervous for his interview because it was a panel of about 10 people and he was the last of 34 people to be interviewed. He came in his Student Ambassador’s work polo and waited an hour before being interviewed.

Though Rawlik was nervous, he spoke about his pride and love of the University. “I want everyone to enjoy Monmouth as much as I do by attending various events, volunteering and getting involved with campus life and activities,” Rawlik said. As a senator he hopes to gain leadership skills and be able to volunteer in various activities on campus.

Rawlik described the first SGA meeting as official and comparable to real world government. “There was the classic government talk of passing motions and discussing budgets,” Rawlik said. “The meeting was a whirlwind as the position leaders conversed in almost another language.”

“I believe the one main activity that helped me gain the position was Model Congress,” Freshman Kaylie Mazza said. Mazza was an active member for all four years of her high school career. “The club really helped my public speaking and it also gave me some background on government settings,” she added. 

Before the interview, Mazza developed different questions that she might have been asked. These were questions such as, “Why are you qualified for this position?” and “What makes you think you deserve this over the other students competing for it?”

“I told myself to just breathe and be myself,” Mazza said. “If I did that, I could answer any questions thrown my way.” Mazza hopes that through SGA, she can meet other fellow students. “I want to use my position as a senator to get my foot in the door and make my freshman year a good one full of excitement.”

Freshman Meaghan Wheeler was Vice President of her high school class and participated in student government. She was also a peer leader for underclassmen her senior year of high school. Wheeler believes all these different activities helped her gain her senator position.

Yet, in the midst of all her involvement in high school, she was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, at the age of 18. “I had to dig deep for six straights of brutal chemotherapy, blood transfusions and surgeries to stand here today and call myself a cancer survivor,” she said. Wheeler wants her fellow students to know that, “no matter how deep you think it is, or it can get, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Wheeler is excited to form friendships and bonds that could last years past the four she is spending at the University. “I want to get involved and help make Monmouth University a happier and healthier place, but besides that, I want to make new friendships with new perspectives, backgrounds and ideas,” she said.

Freshman Danielle Romanowski was a part of her high school’s Peer Leadership Program. “The program dealt with building team work, communication, and leadership skills,” she said. Her hope is to get to know everyone on the senate this year and to make a difference at the University. “When I received the good news about being selected, I was so ecstatic,” Romanowski said. “I knew what an amazing opportunity it was to be on the SGA and I was excited to start attending meetings.”

Freshman Victoria Wright is excited to create a positive influence on the University. “SGA, like government and politics, has a lot to do with being able to speak your own voice, and stand up and fight for what you feel is right,” Wright said. “I think that as senators, we use our voices to solve the problems we see around campus, and we use our voices to make changes for the better of the University as whole.”

Wright remembers the first SGA meeting being so surreal to her, with her name tag in front of her seat reading, “Victoria Wright, Senator.” She said, “I was pretty quiet during the first meeting, just trying to take it all in as we discussed the different policies and procedures.”

Wright added, “We voted on if a certain club should receive money for a trip or not and it was a unanimous yes. We then proceeded to vote for freshman homecoming lord and lady out of all the freshmen senators. It was a really great meeting overall.”

In preparation for her interview process, Wright met with her orientation leader, Michael Qualiano, who is a senator himself. “He helped to give me great tips on how the interview would go down and what to expect,” she said. She also updated her resume and emphasized points that she thought the panel of senate members would find important.

SGA meetings are open to all students. Meetings are every Wednesday on the third floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center at 2:30 pm.