The past and the president

The+past+and+the+president

Lindsay Pytel

[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”215″][/media-credit]Election time is here for the upcoming Quinnipiac Student Government Association (SGA) and outgoing President of SGA Ryan Lynch is finishing up a whirlwind of a term in the second week of April. In this Q&A, Lynch talks about what he’s accomplished in this position this past year and some of the challenges he faced along the way.

Q: Why did you want to become the President of SGA in the first place?

 

A: I planned on running to be the SGA President because I felt there was a lack of leadership within the organization and I could see that the organization was starting to leave its roots and the priorities were starting to shift away from the student-oriented environment. So, although there are a lot of issues going on on campus and I knew that people were very ambitious with getting big projects and initiatives completed, it all stemmed down to where we start from, and that’s internally, so I knew that I could internally, throughout my year, get Student Government excited, motivated and focused on why we’re here in the first place. And that’s something, like I said, that’s been tailored off over the past couple of years, so my priority was to make things internally a lot better–and I wanted to do that very badly.

 

Q: What is the initiative that you are proudest of?

 

A: My platform for my campaign was to begin the restructuring of the organization so it can better suit the needs of our students and that means expanding and changing the way we operate. So come next week, the plan that I ran on our [Presidents Vice Presidents] Committee has worked all year on getting a “Judicial and Ethics Board” to join the mix of our organization and I’m very proud of that because that’s going to benefit and alleviate a lot of the responsibilities of certain executive board members that take them away from working on their main responsibilities.

 

Q: What kind of legacy, as president, do you want to leave after you graduate?

 

A: I think that the legacy I’d like to leave behind is that I put my best effort into being the most diplomatic and giving every single person the opportunity to be heard, to speak and to influence others. I feel that I did not show any bias towards anyone in the organization and I believe that my leadership has inspired more people in the organization to step up and really act for what they believe in.

 

Q: So if you had one more year here, what’s something you would still like to see changed?

 

A: If I had one more year I’d like to see administration taking [SGA] more seriously, especially as we start to equip ourselves to be a better organization through the restructure. I think that in another year, we’ll be even more equipped to have a stronger voice and it’s a long-term process in order for that to happen, but next year we should be much closer to getting the respect and ears of administration so things are more student-oriented.

 

Q: Was SGA something you knew you wanted to be a part of when you first came to Quinnipiac?

 

A: I originally ran [for SGA] because a girl knocked on my door in Commons and was asking for signatures so she could get on the ballot and she had a bad attitude about it. So I looked to my roommate and I was like, ‘Hey, we can run against this girl. She’s not putting any effort into it. We should do it because we care more about it.’ That’s why I decided to run freshman year, I didn’t think anything of it. It was just a, ‘Let’s get involved. Let’s meet some new people and see what this is all about,’ and once I got in I realized that this is what I want to do for the next four years of my college career.

 

Q: Do you want to do anything like this after you leave?

 

A: No… I think that the skills that I’ve developed here, especially leadership skills, the ability to work with others with varying perspectives, backgrounds and opinions has equipped me to be a better person [and] citizen. And [these skills] will help me a lot in my personal and professional career.

 

Q: What are some difficulties you have faced as president?

 

A: I think the hardest is putting your foot down on certain people’s opinions and certain people’s motives because you want to give everybody the opportunity to speak. One of the biggest issues was to find a happy medium between being authoritative…but also giving people the opportunity to speak. I didn’t want to push anyone’s opinions to the side, but at the same time there are things that we need to get done… I thought there were some distractions that went around this year I could have put my foot down and prevented from occurring, but at the same time, being that it’s 2018 and being in the world that we live in, certain issues do need to take priority over what we are here to do in the first place, so we had to prioritize some of those things.

 

Q: What are some of those things you had to prioritize?

 

A: We’ve just had a lot of internal issues, which normally come about every single year. We did deal with our first removal of a member of the organization through impeachment. That removal has been revoked since, but that was very stressful and it was the first time in over 10 years that that has happened. So not having anyone that has dealt with that kind of situation before, it was really up to me on how we were going to go about things. I think that there was no perfect way to go about a situation like that but with the information that we had and with our policies and procedures we did the best that we could… But we try our best to work on our initiatives, work on our goals throughout the year and when certain things need to prioritized… Like situations like that, it just makes things difficult. With the judiciary branch that we’re adding that’s going to help alleviate those distractions and [other] people will be able to deal with those situations on the side while we can continue to work for the students.

 

Q: What was your reaction when you won last year?

 

A: I felt very relieved. Election week, especially now that it started last night (March 28)seeing the people running, especially for the executive board positions, it’s very stressful. I didn’t eat for like the entire week of election week. I threw up a couple of times; I woke up sick. The stress is on your head. I know there’s a big group of students that don’t necessarily care for or are that passionate about seeing their student government leaders, but the people in the organization really do care. So, when I found out that I won against Ali Munshi… The two of us ran a hell of a campaign and when I found out that I won, I was very relieved.

 

Q: How has the position affected you as a person?

 

A: It’s definitely humbled me greatly. I wouldn’t call myself an arrogant or cocky person, but freshman and sophomore year–there’s a reason why there’s older leadership (positions) on the executive board. I’ve been given so many amazing opportunities. I got to speak at the convocation of the Class of 2021, so I prepared a speech for over 2,000 people and that was a very awesome opportunity. I was a part of the university presidential search committee, so I was in the room interviewing the candidates that were going to be taking over John Lahey’s spot and I’ve also been sitting on the Board of Trustees as the only student representative. It’s been a very humbling experience, I’d have to say.