SGA first-year cabinet and multicultural senators discuss plans for the year

Katie Langley, Copy Editor

Quinnipiac University’s newly elected first-year cabinet and multicultural senators are prioritizing parking, off-campus transportation, sustainability and racial diversity. 

Students voted in the Student Government Association (SGA) elections on Sept. 21, electing a class of 2025 cabinet and two multicultural and identity (M&I) senators. 

Kalleen Rose Ozanic

The class of 2025 docket is as follows: President Jacob Cedor, Vice President Aiden Truckenbrod and senators Thomas Peters, Karli Monsell, Ryan Hagerman, Jamison Setzler and Sean Formantes. The M&I senators are Owenea Roberts and Jack Weitsen. 

Cedor, an international business major in the 3+1 business program, said he will use his new position of first-year president to encourage student participation. 

“I ran simply on the fact that I would use this position as a representative, not an executive,” Cedor said. 

Cedor said he plans on polling students about what changes they want to see made on campus.

“I think the only way we can truly represent students is to ask them what they want done, and act on their responses,” Cedor said. 

Cedor said It is ultimately up to the students to invite change, and that it is crucial for the first-year class to start now in order to capitalize off the next four years of opportunity. 

“Students need to continue having conversations with us, participating in polling and contacting my cabinet or myself directly so we can take their issues directly to the meeting room,” Cedor said. “We only have four years here to leave our mark. We need to start now, and we need to take advantage of every chance we get to keep improving this school for future students.” 

Hagerman, a political science major, ran his campaign on improved communication and campus beautification. 

“Coming from an arts high school, I believe that I can also find ways to use art and music to bring together the student body and make the campus a more colorful place,” Hagerman said. 

Based on his own experiences as an out-of-state student, Hagerman wants to improve campus transportation to help students traveling far distances. 

“I found when I tried planning my travel back to California that there was no way to get to the airports or even the train stations,” Hagerman said. “I look forward to using my experience as an out-of-area student to help transform Quinnipiac into the national and international school that we deserve to be.”

Monsell, a health science studies major, ran for first-year class president initially but said she is excited about her position of senator. 

“I hope to be the glue that pulls the freshman cabinet together,” Monsell said. 

As far as her goals while in office, Monsell said she wants to create a healthier environment on campus, improving the water supply and advocating for mental health.  

When it comes to campus sustainability, Peters said that he wants the university to be more strategic about waste management. 

“It troubles me to see easily compostable food being thrown away,” Peters said. “I find it concerning to see single-use plastics and littering on our campuses. Basic initiatives like more garbage containers, recycling bins and potentially even food scrap compost bins could very well reduce our negative impacts on the environment.” 

Peters said another area he wants to see change in is parking and transportation for commuter students, advocating for more parking in the North Lot and serving on the transportation committee. 

Besides the first-year cabinet, students also elected two M&I senators. Both want to focus on improving the experience for minority students on campus. 

Roberts, a junior accounting major, said she will work to improve the university’s reputation by increasing racial diversity. 

It’s no secret that on numerous sources online that Quinnipiac is categorized as a (primarily white institution),” Roberts said. “I would like to create a more diverse QU so students, regardless of their background, will feel more open to considering QU of being their choice of school for higher education.”

Weitsen, who is a sophomore political science and law in society double major, said his plans for a more diverse Quinnipiac include increasing gender-inclusive housing, gender-neutral bathrooms, implementing pronouns on QCards and creating a “QU diversity podcast.” 

“I want to provide education to the student body with regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Weitsen said. “Over time, I hope for this education to stick with people which will help to remove the stigma of diversity at Quinnipiac University.” 

Weitsen and Roberts will be picking up where former M&I Senator Gabriella Colello left off. Collelo resigned from SGA in August, saying that there was a “perverse power dynamic” within the organization, as the M&I position is uncompensated, while SGA executive board members receive scholarships for their work. However, Weitsen and Roberts remain hopeful that they can make change from inside SGA. 

With 1,222 votes cast this election cycle, around 18% of the undergraduate population participated. However, Hagerman said he was happy with this turnout. 

“Civic engagement is the only way to truly keep the power in the hands of the people, and all of us in the freshman cabinet are impressed and encouraged by the voter turnout we had,” Hagerman said.