Newly elected Student Government Association President Christopher Clemente and SGA Vice President Rachel Altfield have likely just breathed a sigh of relief.
With 18 new students filling in designated positions within SGA’s executive cabinet, Clemente and Altfield will be receiving some more help in achieving their platform goals for this year.
New confirmations to the SGA Executive Cabinet are as follows:
Nicholas Larkins Chief of Staff
Andre Ong Comptroller
Rachel Cohen Deputy Chief of Staff
Joshua Winograd Attorney General
Kevin Young Special Projects Manager
Emily Dovydaitis Director of Campus Life
Hannah Hollinger Health and Sustainability Coordinator
Robert Sells Facility, Safety, and Transportation
Scott Benton Athletics Specialist
Hannah Whipple Director of Student Affairs
Marklyne Joachim Diversity Initiatives Specialist
Snigdha Ila Academics Specialist
Jeff Strange Legislative Affairs Coordinator
Ashleigh Taylor Director of Commutations
Alexa Goldstein Marketing Specialist
Whitney Barnes Public Relations Specialist
Victoria Proetsch Web Coordinator
Stephanie Alfonso Graphic Designer
Clemente said that between him and Altfield alone, they’ve been able to knock out a couple of platform goals, such as the recently announced ‘all-gender’ restrooms coming to the Student Union and the 12 additional bikes purchased for the UCF's bike share program.
However, with the additional executive members, Clemente hopes to achieve all of their platform goals, as well as aid the new members achieve their own individual projects as outlined in their proposals when they applied to the executive positions.
Clemente said that, at the moment, their top priorities include increasing student safety and SGA transparency. Clemente admits they haven’t yet “made a lot of headway” with their transparency goals but have been making efforts toward that aim.
As part of that effort, he and the new Chief of Staff, Nicholas Larkins, have already started work on the creation of a President Advisory Council, which Clemente described would be akin to a “think tank” that will discuss "ideas, thoughts, and concerns" that they have not yet conceived. They hope to launch PAC at the start of the fall semester.
As chief of staff, Larkins will serve as the main assistant to Clemente and Altfield and help manage the operations of the executive cabinet.
“Rachel and I are pulled in many different directions and the chief of staff definitely helps us keep track of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, “ Clemente said.
Andre Ong is another new executive cabinet member who will fill the role of the comptroller. The comptroller is the chief financial officer who, Clemente explained, is tasked with managing their fiscal statutes, advising on fiscal policy and of course tracking the budget of the executive cabinet.
“Andre will be managing our budget and looking for ways for us to save money and spend it most effectively to enhance the student experience,” Clemente said.
A newly created position to the executive cabinet is the special projects manager, which focuses on student programming and posting events. To make room for the new position, the role of community outreach specialist was eliminated. Kevin Young is now the new special projects manager.
“Rachel and I saw in him an unparalleled dedication to student programming, and that’s exactly what we want the special projects manager to do,” Clemente said.
Some of the new executive cabinet members were officially sworn in on June 9, 2016. Currently, they are still in search for a second graphic designer.
The Judiciary Council also has seven vacancies, and there are 26 open seats for Senate. Applications are due June 28 and can be completed via KnightLink.
Gabby Baquero is the News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @Gabby_Baquero or email her at MariaB@centralfloridafuture.com