The Student Government Association appointed five representatives to four college committees during their fourth Student Assembly meeting of the fall semester on Tuesday.
SGA appointed one of its representatives to the college’s Board of Trustees, two members to the co-curricular review board, one member to the Student Affairs and Enrollment committee, and one to the Educational Equity and Justice committee.
Class of 2022 Student Experience Senator Cassie Shelley and Communication Sciences and Disorders Senator Jake Apitz were appointed to the co-curricular review board, which oversees college co-curricular program for clubs that offer non-tuition credits. That board is made up of students, faculty, and staff who meet monthly.
Class of 2023 President Sisel Gelman will serve as SGA’s Board of Trustees Representative, charged with giving a speech to the Board once per semester. The Board is a committee of prominent donors, alumni, and community members who have the final say over major college decisions. SGA always sends a representative to the board’s semesterly meetings, which are typically in Boston in the fall and at the Los Angeles campus in the spring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall meeting will take place via Zoom.
Gelman said she hopes to use her position to advocate for students in the financial aid process.
“Education is, unfortunately, a luxury in our modern-day society and most students that I’ve talked to are like ‘oh bring up financial aid and merit scholarships,’” Gelman said in an interview. “So how can we make Emerson more accessible? I think that has to start at the top, where the big decisions are made, the Board of Trustees, and how funds are distributed.”
Gelman said she also wants to put a focus on finding ways to diversify the college.
“The student body is not very diverse, even though that’s one of Emerson’s core values,” Gelman said “[So] how can we make this predominantly white institution more inclusive, more respectful, more accessible, and closer to its actual values?”
Visual and Media Arts Senator Valencia Niamoko was appointed to the Student Affairs and Enrollment Committee, which focuses on issues surrounding student life and is including an SGA representative for the first time. Niamoko will advise the committee on issues like student housing and financial aid.
First Generation College Student Senator Priscilla Beltran will serve on the Educational Equity and Justice Committee.
Beltran said she was interested because of her prior experiences with educational equity.
“[I am interested in this position] because of how involved I am, I did kind of this work while I was in Dallas focusing on Education and Equity,” Beltran said in the meeting. “I think I have a lot to offer to the committee as well since it’s kind of my background and forte.”