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Executives reflect on their time in SGA

By Elizabeth Saulsbury
On April 23, 2014

  • ETSU Student Government Association Vice President Robby Vance (from left), Secretary/Treasurer Alicyn Baird and President Mike Wallace headed up SGA this year.

As their terms draw to a close, the 2013-2014 ETSU Student Government Association executives believe that their time in office has been well-spent.
SGA President Michael Wallace, Vice President Robby Vance and Secretary/Treasurer Alicyn York said that they believe that they had an impact on the university during their time as the executives of the organization, both as a branch and individually.
"I think during my time in office, SGA has become more inclusive to a larger group of students," Vance said. "We have a greater variety of student representatives and activities that really aim toward engaging more of the student body."
Wallace, Vance and York have instigated many programs, renovations and projects during their time in office. These providing more nutritious dining options for students with Field of Greens and meatless Mondays, activating renovations in the Cave and the D.P. Culp University Center, and attempting to create more campus pride with programs like Bluenanza and the ETSU Pride Walk. Their administration has also seen changes to campus like the addition of the parking garage and the implementation of a $5 student fee to save the Little Bucs program.
"The most notable piece of legislation put forth by the executive team is the Little Bucs resolution," Wallace said. "After facing federal government cuts, the program was about to see closed doors. After assessing the importance of the day care, we found that benefits of the program reached far beyond parent students. Childhood development and education majors, APS job workers, and federal work study students are all a part of the Little Bucs community, and we felt that a $5 increase in student fees was an OK avenue to sustain the program and its impact on our campus community."
Wallace, Vance and York say that they feel they have positively impacted the university on an individual level, too.
"Personally, I've challenged myself to branch out to different opinions and ways of thinking to make ETSU student government a collaborative environment," Wallace said.
Vance said that in his position as vice president, he has had the opportunity to impact the university from the inside-out.
"I was very lucky to have position as vice president because it involved direct communication and oversight of the legislative body, the Senate," Vance said. "I think this gave me the chance to make a positive impact but in a more subtle manner. "
York said that she has been a strong voice for the students during her time in office.
I do believe my time in SGA has been beneficial," York said. "Personally, I feel as if I am a strong, assertive individual who isn't afraid to stand up for what is right - for what the students want. I think it has been a beneficial year because I have pushed for changes on campus such as dining that students don't have to pay extra for."
For Wallace, it has even become a step toward a career.
"Student government has shaped me into the leader I am today," Wallace said. "This experience has helped me learn about how a university works and now I plan to attend graduate school for student affairs. Being student body president has also challenged me to connect with students from all over campus and get a better pulse of the student body. Most importantly, SGA has taught me to be decisive, consistent and to lead with integrity."
Vance said that he has not only connected with many different people on campus, but has also learned life skills during his time in office.
"My time in SGA has been incredible beneficial to my life and has changed my life for the better," Vance said. "Being able to serve as a senator, secretary of state, and now vice president, I've got to make so many wonderful connections with students, faculty and staff that I would have never met otherwise. These positions have also given me so many communication and administrative tools that will help in the future."
York said that she too has learned many things during her time in office.
"Many lessons have been learned but three important ones will stay with me - respect, patience, and teamwork," York said. "I have experienced these in past leadership roles, but they took on a whole new meaning in this role. No matter who you are or what you think, others will act and think differently. That is OK. It takes our differences to make something beautiful."

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