Student Association

Meet the Syracuse University Student Association’s 7 recently appointed committee chairs

Sabrina Koenig | Asst. Photo Editor

Student Association reconvenes with new president James Franco, vice president Angie Pati and seven new committee chairs.

As Syracuse University’s Student Association starts to meet again for the 2017-18 academic year, The Daily Orange spoke with seven newly appointed SA committee chairs on their goals and planned initiatives for the fall semester.

Elizabeth Sedore, chair of student life

elizabethsedore

Sara Schleicher | Contributing Photographer

Elizabeth Sedore, chair of the student life committee, said she will strive to make SU a tighter community.

“My goals for the committee are really emphasizing safety and mental health for students, and also inclusivity,” she said.

Sedore, a policy studies and women’s and gender studies dual major, wants to work with the university to bring in more counselors and strengthen mental health awareness and treatment on campus.

She said she hopes SA can sponsor some stress-busting activities or support students with anxieties.

Sedore also wants to create a safer off-campus space for students by potentially implementing a shuttle system around Euclid Avenue.

Right now, Sedore said most of the plans are “in the works,” but she hopes to see change start this semester.

She added that she is happy to work with SA President James Franco and Vice President Angie Pati and believes their goals align with hers.

“Change in general is a challenge,” Sedore said. “So I think that if we want to make strides it’s going to be work and we’re going to have to be dedicated, but I don’t foresee that being too much of a problem. I hope people are passionate about what we work on and passionate about helping students.”

Alexandra Dimitri, chair of public relations

Alexandra Dimitri, chair of public relations for SA. Photo by Sara Schleicher.

Sara Schleicher | Contributing Photographer

Alexandra Dimitri, chair of public relations, said she is working on the PR committee to increase awareness of SA and what it does on campus.

She said she intends to create consistency on social media and online platforms by updating the website to be uniform and easily navigable.

SA tracks its online student engagement on two levels: numbers and how they engage with online content. Dimitri said they gauge how long a student looks at a video or post.

She said the number of people who look at a post is important, but how they process it is more important. She said she hopes she can create an online presence so students will know what SA is and what its initiatives are.

“I’m most excited to see at the end of the year where we are and see how we’ve grown — not just statistically, but be able to go up to any student and have them know not only what the student association is, but what we’re working on,” Dimitri said.

Jack Woltman and Jen Sweet, co-chairs of community engagement

Jen Sweet and Jack Woltman, co-chairs of community engagement for SA. Photo by Sara Schleicher.

Sara Schleicher | Contributing Photographer

Jack Woltman and Jen Sweet, co-chairs of community engagement for SA, said they want not only to make registered student organizations on campus feel welcome, but also to engage with the surrounding Syracuse community.

Woltman plans to work more on bringing in organizations and nonprofits that are located off campus to SA. Sweet will focus on making on-campus RSOs feel welcome and heard by SA.

“I’m just excited in terms of increasing awareness of what SA can do for students and trying to make SA as accessible as possible to RSOs and to the student body as possible,” Sweet said.

Woltman and Sweet want either Franco, Pati or themselves to go to each RSO on campus and listen to the groups’ concerns and desires. This initiative is a continuation of the listening tour Franco and Pati embarked on during their campaign last year.

Woltman said he also wants to have a open house where off-campus organizations and groups can speak with members of SA and the community engagement committee.

The open house would allow off-campus organizations to feel welcome on campus and begin building long-lasting relationships, he said.

“Making sure these nonprofits know that we’re a resource to them and making those relationships long-term and not short-term,” Woltman said of his objectives.  “A goal of mine is to make sure that every project we do is sustainable.”

Diasia Robinson and Khalid Khan, co-chairs of diversity affairs

Diasia Robinson and Khalid Khan, co-chairs of the diversity affairs committee. Photo by Sara Schleicher.

Sara Schleicher | Contributing Photographer

This is the first year SA will have a diversity committee, and they said they’re excited to see what it will accomplish.

“We are trying to get a committee that is as representative of the student body as possible,” Robinson said. “We also want to take in the ideas of the committee in order to push forward our goals and just make this role more collaborative this year.”

The two co-chairs said they intend to make Diversity Week a larger project this February by using committee resources and delegating roles to create a more representative event.

Khan also said beyond looking at people of color, they want to strive to include other minority groups, such as the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities, during Diversity Week.
“Of course Diasia has her own set of skills and expertise, and I have my own skills and expertise, I feel like we make a great team collaborating with groups on campus, off campus as well,” Khan said. “And, we really want everyone to be heard and everyone to be recognized as well.”

Malcolm-Ali Davis, chair of academic affairs

Malcolm-Ali Davis,chair of the academic affairs committee. Photo by Sara Schleicher.

Sara Schleicher | Contributing Photographer

Malcolm-Ali Davis, chair of the academic affairs committee, has several long-term goals that he hopes to start working on this semester, he said.

Davis said he will push for extended library hours and to expand summer research grants to students or internships away from SU.

He also said he wants to try to get course syllabi online before enrollment so students know the basic layout of courses before enrolling. However, he said that project may take more time and effort than SA could provide in one year.

Davis said he’s striving to have at least one academic department put their syllabi up online by the spring semester.

Davis also said he wants the Winterlude course prices lowered. As of now, he said he thinks the courses are a good opportunity, but they are more expensive than classes during the regular school year. Davis wants the university to make those courses more affordable, he said.

“I’m a student, so like every other student here I’m going through and experiencing the same things. I do think my past leadership opportunities, being part of SA, and working with different leaders … has given me the ability to champion various things,” Davis said. “I can hit the ground running. I think that’s the core of it.”

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