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Cardinal Courier

Cardinal Courier

The Student News Site of St. John Fisher University

Cardinal Courier

Your First-Year Senators

A Discussion with Fisher’s Newest SGA Staff
Sophia Smith
Graphic by Sophia Smith, Photos Provided by Senators

Each year, Fisher’s Student Government Association (SGA) opens seven seats for incoming first-years to join the board. Elected by their fellow first-years, these students have the opportunity to participate in the senate and decision making. These seven senators represent all first-years on campus and are imperative in connecting the student body with the major decisions made by the school. Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to speak with five of these senators about their new duties.

“I was on Student Council in high school, but what really got me interested in this type of government was being a part of the board at a local hospital,” said Cecilia Leonard, a first-year nursing major. “SGA meetings were a bit overwhelming at first, but being on the hospital board prepared me well for it. Plus, everyone is willing to help.”

“I wanted to give voters another option to vote for,” said Vincenzo Perfetti, who ran as a write-in candidate. Perfetti was the first in Fisher SGA history to win an election as a write-in. “I’m all for democracy and I want to be a part of continuing it at Fisher.”

So far, the senators are enjoying being SGA members. “We’re all able to come together in meetings, talk over issues, and have civil conversations,” said Joshua Lopez. 

“I really like the debate aspect,” added Luciano Grande. “It’s a great way to begin making changes for students. I also get to work with Student Affairs, which is something that I’ve been interested in since high school.”

“It’s been a challenge, but it’s been fun,” Perfetti said. “We’ve been bringing up a lot of issues that need to be addressed at this school and I think that’s important.”

Even though the senators just began their time in SGA, many of them already have a clear set of goals. Grande and Perfetti have begun putting in the work to address issues around campus, such as the dining hall health code violations, while Leonard makes connections with her peers to make sure all students know they have a representative.

Meanwhile, Jake Firnstein wants to increase representation for all religions on-campus. “Not everyone has a space on campus to practice their religion, especially Muslims and Jews,” Firnstein said. “I think that would be a really great thing to bring to campus.” Firnstein is also majoring in International Studies and hopes that the SGA will give him the experience to succeed in his future career. 

Lopez also wants to make changes within the SGA. “I want it to become more inclusive and welcoming,” he said. “I want it to become a meeting for everyone to come to instead of meetings where everyone is sitting around. It can be hard for some of us first-years to speak because we’re so nervous. I want to make it more fun and give everyone a voice.”

To the senators, the most important aspect of their jobs is connecting with the rest of the student body. “I want people to feel comfortable coming up to me so I can help them solve any problems they may have,” Grande said, urging his peers to email him with any concerns.

“We’re equals,” said Leonard. “We’re not superiors, we’re people who are here to voice any concerns students may have. We’re here for you.”

Senate meetings are open to all students every Tuesday at 7:00 PM in Wilson Formal. Feel free to reach out to your First-Year Senators with any questions you may have.

Luciano Grande: [email protected]

Jake Firnstein: [email protected]

Cecilia Leonard: [email protected]

Joshua Lopez: [email protected]

Vincenzo Perfetti: [email protected]

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