By: Adaobi Ezeani (Whetstone Contributor)
Student Government Association officials said they were excited about their new SGA constitution and their new adviser – a faculty member. For the past several years, the SGA adviser had been an official from student life.
“We believe in order to have a true independent Student Government Association, we do not need to have ties with any administrative office,” SGA’s Vice President Bryan Zarou said. “Many SGAs around the country have a faculty member for this reason
. With our new adviser clause in the constitution, our adviser will be elected every three years giving us, the students, the power to change if needed.”
On Jan. 30, Political Science professor Cynthia Newton was elected SGA faculty adviser.
“I was honored and flattered,” Newton said. “There was a great list of candidates that were up for the position and I honestly was surprised to have been chosen.”
Originally from Massachusetts, Newton came to Wesley from Norwich University in Vermont.
She taught at Norwich for four years and decided that it was time for a change – and a warmer climate.
“I was looking for a new job,” Newton said. “When I came to Wesley College for my interview, I loved it here and instantly I made a great connection with everyone.”
Newton was the adviser for the Student Government Association for a year and a half at Norwich. This was important to the SGA.
“Dr. Newton has experience working with SGA, as she has done it at her former institution,” Zarou said. “With a faculty member, we will have no ties with any administration and our students can speak candidly and freely without feeling as if they are staring into the eyes of an administrator. This keeps SGA fluid and transparent, yet still working together to improve Wesley.”
Newton said she is working to make a smooth transition into her position, trying to understand what her position entails. Newton said she hopes to be able to provide the advisory support the organization needs, to continue to make the SGA a strong organization, and for it to listen to student voices and complaints and act on them.
Zarou said the change in advisers had nothing to do with former adviser Sarah Smith’s performance.
“Sarah was a phenomenal adviser and the reasons we sought to change advisers had nothing to do with Sarah’s performance,” Zarou said. “Actually, Sarah’s performance as an adviser was great. She provided us with the information we needed, gave us the proper assistance we needed and helped us for two years. If Sarah was a member of the faculty, I think she would still be our adviser.”
Newton said she was impressed with student involvement at Wesley.
“I am so excited and quite impressed with how strong the student government is already,” she said. “Student planning from what I have seen so far and student involvement on campus is really strong.”