SGA tries leadership, programs amid pandemic

Student Government Association President, Richard

Credit/Richard Flandreau

Student Government Association President, Richard “Rit” Flandreau ’22 (right) and Vice-President Kevin Chrishom ’22 (left) pose for a picture with a thumbs-up approval of the new administration.

Elisa Verdi, Crier Staff

In their first year as President and Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA), Rit Flandreau (’22) and Kevin Chrishom (’22), have been faced with a number of unexpected challenges that were unforeseen at the time of their inauguration last spring. These unique challenges have resulted in an interesting and adaptive year for SGA, as they work to create programming that complies with the college’s Community Care Covenant.

One of the first challenges the duo faced was deciding if SGA would hold meetings over Zoom or in-person during the coming school year. “Our summer conversations centered around how we were going to meet”, comments Vice President Chrishom, “We wanted to meet in person, but the Senate room was too small”. It was then decided that SGA would be able to hold in person meetings on a regular basis, socially distanced in the Melucci Theatre, located in the Jean Student Center, where they meet capacity exactly at 37 people. While the theatre’s seating does pose it’s challenges, it has so far provided a successful alternative to online or divided meetings.

Student Government Association President, Richard “Rit” Flandreau ’22 (right) and Vice-President Kevin Chrishom ’22 (left) pose for a picture with a thumbs-up approval of the new administration.

This year’s budget cuts throughout the college have also proved to be a challenge for SGA, as they work to plan events and next spring’s club appropriations. While all budgetary items are closed door conversations, President Flandreau reveals that SGA “tries to be as pragmatic as possible.” He also mentions that after clubs present their budget proposal to SGA, “The college’s finance office approves the budget. However, there is emergency funding for clubs if they need seed money for a fundraiser. The emergency funding acts as a backup plan for the backup plan”.

In regard to any Capital Projects for this year, Flandreau discusses that they are “trying to do underlying things, like creating the Racial Justice Committee and having discussion-based programs with Wayne Curie. We want the theme for this year to be Appreciation and Unity, because unity is really important for the world right now.” In addition to their bi-weekly meetings with President Favazza, SGA will soon be hosting a Q and A with Rob Brown, director of Campus Safety and Security, to discuss COVID-19 policies, parking, and what can be done about the number of baseballs smashing car windows near the Baseball field.

While programming may be difficult while following the Community Care Covenant, there are hopes for a larger event at the end of the semester. “All school Capital Projects are on hold right now”, says Flandreau, “but we are on a waiting list for putting patio chairs and tables outside of the Student Center”. “SGA has so many new members this year”, remarks Chrishom, “everyone has had to learn on the fly, and so far, we are happy with the results.”