Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, May 27, 2018

Op-Ed: Sam Vervaeke is the best candidate for SG Vice President

Sam Vervaeke is the best candidate for SG Vice President, argues former SG Sen. Sameer Chintamani

Op-Ed: Sam Vervaeke is the best candidate for SG Vice President

Courtesy of Sam Vervaeke's campaign Facebook page. 

As a former Senator for the Class of 2017, I thought perhaps there would be value placed on student representation in a body elected by students. However, as senator, I saw a lack of knowledge among members of the AUSG Senate and SG executive board about what student groups, clubs and organizations desired. This would lead to a misunderstanding among members of AUSG regarding funding for student organizations, what student organizations do, and most importantly a widening gap between certain Student Government officials and the student body. This gap and confusion deeply concerned me because I believe SG is not representative of what students seek or desire.

At AU, there is a silent majority of students who may not choose to participate in organizations such as Student Government. That’s okay. Instead they may choose to participate in club sports, Greek life or other student organizations. I believe that there needs to be someone who represents this silent majority.

Let us face the facts; problems ranging from sexual assault to the issues facing the LGBTQA community do not just affect the silent majority of AU students, but all AU students. But I believe that we need someone from the silent majority to be our next AUSG Vice President. Not someone within the central SG system, but someone who has relevant and powerful experience. And that person is Sam Vervaeke.

Sam may not have the SG experience as her opponents. But that is not a criterion for the job. The vice presidential position requires someone who can connect, communicate and collaborate with students and faculty and has an open mind. Throughout Sam’s experience on the Executive Board of SIS Undergraduate Council (SISUGC), she has helped rebuild SIS Undergraduate Council from a once dormant organization to one that is helping to revitalize the SIS undergraduate student’s experience. For example, through Sam’s leadership, SISUGC is now able to have more events and programs that are designed to help the average SIS student to connect with the resources and faculty SIS has to offer. Sam’s fresh ideas, energy, and originality are what Student Government desperately needs.

Sam has the innovation, motivation, and inspiration to tackle the serious problems facing AU. But it is not just these problems that must be tackled, but also the student experience itself. As an institution of learning, AU’s student body is always changing. This ever-changing community always needs to be met with better and more interactive learning from the classroom to programs offered by the university. As we progress more into the 21st century, developing new programs at AU to meet the needs of the student experience is vital to help students become educated and active global citizens.

Sam has already played a crucial role in this process as a part of SIS Undergraduate Council. Because of her and many others’ tireless work, SIS is poised to become more student accessible in terms of academics, networking and advising in the coming fall semester. If Sam was able to do this, think what she can do as our next VP for all AU students.

We need to put the “student” back into Student Government. And in this election, Sam Vervaeke is best candidate for AUSG Vice President to make that happen. As a former member of AUSG and AUSG Senate, I strongly believe we need people like Sam Vervaeke to help bring a fresh face and leadership to SG. I hope you will consider voting for Sam Vervaeke as our next VP.

This op-ed is not by any means to diminish the work of the many members of AUSG who have sought to accomplish many honorable goals. I wish all candidates in this SG election the best of luck.

Sameer Chintamani is a junior in SIS. He was a former member of AUSG in the administration of President Pat Kelly in 2013-2014 and a former AUSG Senator for the Class of 2017 in the Fall 2014 semester.

edpage@theeagleonline.com


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