USG Lacks VP of Student Affairs in Fall 2015


Leighton Magoon, USG President, is confident in finding a new VP before the end of the fall semester. (PHOTO BY JESS LUSZCZYK/THE OBSERVER)


As students begin to fill their seats on campus, one seat remains empty: the student affairs vice presidency in United Students Government (USG). Last year’s election, which decided both the current president and secretary for USG, did not have a candidate run for election in the race for Vice President of Student Affairs. In fact, the incumbent vice president Gabriella Besada, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC ‘16), did not seek re-election—and creating a search for the next vice president of student affairs.

Leighton Magoon, (FCLC ‘17) and USG President, is not at all worried about the position of vice president of student affairs remaining unfilled. He said, “The position will definitely be filled in the fall semester, no one needs to worry about going a full academic year without a vice president of student affairs.”

According to the USG Constitution, available in full on USG’s club page on Orgsync, the vice president of student affairs is the chairperson of the student affairs committee, which is responsible in coordinating town halls for the general student population, facilitating dialogue between USG and academic departments, and “organizing all USG programming, including all formals.” This includes planning Winterball, which is currently being handled by the president and Dorothy Wenzel, the advisor to USG, according to Magoon. All other responsibilities are currently inactive until the academic year begins in early September.

In September, there will most likely be another election alongside freshmen Senate elections, as the USG Constitution states, “If there are any positions still vacant from the April election, the elections committee will fill those positions at the September election.”

“I am completely confident that we will find a new VP within the fall semester, I have no doubt about that.”  – Leighton Magoon

Even if the position remains vacant after the September elections, the USG board can “nominate qualified students to fill the position and choose based on a majority [vote] of the USG Assembly.”

Whoever the future vice president may be, they are in for a strenuous workload, according to the former VP. Gabriella Besada, (FCLC ‘16) and former USG vice president of student affairs, said “Anyone who is interested in the position should expect a great deal of responsibility and a considerable time commitment.”

“With that responsibility comes the opportunity to make quite a difference if one really charges forward with proposed systematic changes and ideas that reflect the general student sentiment,” Besada continued.

Magoon has already reached out to a slate of candidates over the summer, and has received back considerable interest. “I reached out to a couple of people I thought would be good for the job, and I received a lot of enthusiasm back about it. Now that we’ve reached August, people have started thinking about it, and I’ve been getting these positive responses as we go into the year,” he continued, explaining his confidence in the position being filled.

And it is important that there is a new vice president of student affairs, as Magoon said, “this year, the student affairs vice president will chair the Winterball committee with a representative from CAB [Campus Activities Board] … I’ve been filling in on that over the summer, since the position is not filled.”

Until then Magoon expects a good year, and has faith in filling the currently vacant position. He said, “I am completely confident that we will find a new VP within the fall semester, I have no doubt about that.”

The former vice president agreed on the importance of the position, she said, “A lot got done during the last academic year and several of the programming events would have never happened without student affairs.”
“Like any position, it comes with its stresses, but it teaches you a lot about yourself,” she added.