New SGA E-board talks plans for future

Rishi Shah, a sophomore finance and economics major and current treasurer of the Student Government Association (SGA), was elected as the organization’s president.

His ticket won the election, with everyone on it being elected to the Executive Board.

Photo via Instagram/shah.debonis The Shah-DeBonis ticket claimed all four executive board positions in the Student Government Association.

Shah shared his thoughts via email on his and his ticket’s win.

“I think the level of student response to our platform contributed to our win,” he said.

“We advocated for issues such as reforming the laptop program and promoting tuition transparency,” Shah said. “Things that students need to hear and issues that impact the quality of life and education at Seton Hall.”

Shah also shared what he plans to do now that he has been elected.

“The first thing on my agenda is to add an amendment to the SGA Constitution that establishes a Presidential Cabinet in order to more effectively advocate for the interests of the Seton Hall Community,” he said, adding that some senators are currently working on this amendment. Shah also said he wants to start work on forming the Cabinet and have their first formal meeting in September.

He stated he wants to start implementing their new budget policy for 2018 to 2019, which was officially passed by the SGA Senate on Monday, March 26.

“This will be a major milestone for SGA recognized organizations as the old formula based policy is no longer in place. Rather, this case by case strategy will work in the best interest of our clubs and help maintain consistency and organic development for their budgets,” Shah said.

“I will make it my duty to ensure this process goes by smoothly.”

Shah also discussed how he intends to serve the SHU community, saying he plans to do this “by working tirelessly from day one to fulfill the initiatives that I ran on during this campaign. I intend to constantly advocate for student issues and better the quality of life for current and future Pirates.”

Shah said he is “beyond grateful, honored, determined and hopeful to serve my fellow students in this new capacity.”

“My whole team worked so hard for this and I cannot picture myself working with anyone else. Without them, this would not be possible,” he said. “I am so excited to see how much we can accomplish this coming year.”

Shah wants to thank all of their supporters, the newly elected Senators and those on his ticket. “You have given me hope that servant leadership, passion and drive can actually lead to success,” he said.

Darby DeBonis, a sophomore nursing major with a second major in philosophy, was elected vice president.

She said via email that she is, “elated, but above all I am honored to have the opportunity to serve our school in this new capacity, in ways that I can’t comprehend even right now.”

She also spoke about what she thinks contributed to her win.

DeBonis said she, the other members of her ticket and the At-Large candidates did an extensive amount of outreach.

“We were able to meet and talk with various student clubs, organizations, and visit classrooms, which I believe gave us the ability to personally inform students about our goals and intentions,” she said. “This was the key to making students aware of the fact that we hear their concerns, and we are ready to work with them and the University to truly better our experiences and the experiences of future SHU students.”

DeBonis shared that one of the first things she wants to do now that she has been elected is to make sure all of the vacant Senate seats get filled. She said current SGA Vice President Violet Reed is working on this, but if the seats are not filled by April 9, DeBonis wants to see a full Senate in the first two weeks of her ticket’s administration.

DeBonis added, “I’d like people to recognize that this is the first Student Government executive board that is comprised of four individuals who come from families that have Asian heritage. Generations of our families worked hard so we could stand on their shoulders and be here, it is not something we take for granted. We can’t wait to get started.”

Divine Tanamal, a sophomore marketing and economics major, was elected treasurer.

She said that winning the election was incredible for both her and her ticket.

“We are so honored that the student body has trusted us to serve and represent them,” Tanamal said via email. “I would accredit our success to the support of our friends as well as the students who we have worked with in the past. I am confident in saying that my ticket is comprised of students reputable of being experienced and active leaders.”

As the new treasurer, Tanamal said she wants to carry out the change within the budget planning that Shah and some other senators initiated.

“The new budget plan for next year would accommodate more efficiently towards the needs of our student organizations,” she said.

Essentially, it will now be through a case-by-case method rather than implementing one uniform formula for all.”

“As someone who considers herself to be connected with the various clubs on campus, I am excited to work even closer with our student leaders and ensure that their concerns are being catered to,” she said.

Tanamal added that she thinks “student organizations are essential to sustaining a sense of community at Seton Hall.” She said that through her experience with them, she has built her social network and her “confidence to lead.”

“I plan on giving back by being transparent with their budgets and now, to lead by example,” she said. She added that students can approach her at any time and that she is open to any suggestions from them.

Amanda Giang, a freshman majoring in international relations and diplomacy with a minor in Chinese and on the pre-law track, was elected secretary.

She shared in an email that she feels honored that the student body chose her as their secretary.

“I cannot wait to serve the Seton Hall community and continue to dedicate myself,” she said, adding that she looks “forward to every second” of her term.

Giang said she wants to reach out to all SGA recognized clubs.

“I think that it is important to build and maintain relationships that clubs have with SGA as we are here for them and clubs are here for the student body. I want to know what new things they would like to see and I am here to be at their service to help in whatever way I can,” she said.

Giang spoke about what she credits with contributing to her and her ticket’s win, saying, “reaching out to the student body personally and really listening to what they wanted helped a lot.”

When campaigning, she said her ticket handed students their picture and “engaged in a conversation because it matters that students know who and what they are voting for.” She also said their social media presence helped as well because that helped students get to know them better.

Giang said she wants to serve the SHU community by making herself available to them. “I am busy and so are other students,” she said, “but they have elected me as their secretary so finding time to meet with them is of the utmost importance.”

Samantha Todd can be reached at samantha.todd@student.shu.edu.

Author: Samantha Todd

Samantha Todd is a journalism major at Seton Hall University where she serves as News Copy Editor of The Setonian. In addition, Todd received the Tim O’Brien Journalism Scholarship. You can follow Todd on Twitter @SamanthaLTodd.

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