SGA department senators run for vice president with similar goals

The Student Government Association executive vice presidential ballot features sophomores Annie Noel and William Palauskas both running on similar goals of increasing transparency in the college’s administration, and building a stronger connection to the student body.

The vice president presides over the SGA Senate, which includes class and department senators, works as co-chair of the Organizational Recognition and Review Board, and serves as a student representative at Faculty Assembly meetings, according to the SGA constitution.

Noel, the current communications studies senator, created a campaign based on what she calls “radical transparency,” and hopes to bridge the gap between administration and students if she wins the election.

The sophomore works for Rachael Rollins, the district attorney for Suffolk County, and said she compares the DA’s office to Emerson’s administration. Noel said that as vice president, she would push the college to release specific data and information about how the college is run, like she’s working to do with the DA’s office.

“If you are confidant in the work you’re doing and that it’s equitable and fair, then put the data out there,” she said. “I think just having the information available is like the first step of being held accountable. Because if it’s not out there, then there’s nothing to hold people accountable.”

Noel said she plans to create a monthly newsletter as vice president to inform students of meetings she attended with administration and the content of those meetings.

“I fully believe that SGA’s first duty is representing the students, but we also have that institutional connection to the administration, so let’s use that,” Noel said in an interview. “They’re not our enemies. Just getting into the room [with administration officials] and finding out how we can work together and utilize our strengths is something I want to emphasize as vice president.”

She served as the SGA Class of 2021 senator for one semester, and the communications studies senator for two.

As co-chair of the Organizational Recognition and Review Board, the senator said she also wants to ensure a fair and equitable recognition process for student organizations.

Palauskas, the current marketing communications senator, based his platform on similar ideas as Noel, with additional goals of making the college more sustainable, and academically flexible.

The sophomore is the Emerson Green Collective president, and said he would push the college to take steps to continue improving their sustainability as the campus grows.

“I really want to see the college work to commit to their goals for sustainability,” he said in an interview. “We’re at such a pivotal point and it’s really time to reaffirm those goals and commitments.”

Palauskas served as the SGA marketing communications senator for two semesters, and said he focused on streamlining department communications to the students.

He said he shares Noel’s enthusiasm for administrative transparency and if elected as vice president, he would work to get administrators into student spaces to create a sense of unity.

“I think there’s a lot of times like we see these faculty members as enemies, and we really shouldn’t,” Palauskas said. “At the end of the day, a lot of them are working to better this college and if we see them as allies that’s when real change starts to happen.”

SGA President Jessica Guida said she did not favor one candidate over the other.

“Each of these candidates has shown an immense dedication to SGA over the past academic year,” Guida said in an emailed statement to the Beacon. “They have both served as departmental senators and have been incredible advocates and representatives for the students in their departments. Annie and Will have the necessary experience, knowledge, and drive to be successful—whether it’s in the Vice President role or outside of it.”

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