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SGA president Vincent Cavataio takes PR internship with CMU facilities management

The Student Government Association president at Central Michigan University has taken an internship with the university’s facilities management office.

Vincent Cavataio, Student Government Association president

Shelby Township senior Vincent Cavataio, elected president of the CMU Student Government Association in April, recently accepted a public relations internship focusing on sustainable energy with CMU Facilities Management, Cavataio confirmed Tuesday to Central Michigan Life. He made the announcement Monday on his Facebook account.

Cavataio said Steve Lawrence, associate vice president of Facilities Management, first mentioned he was interested in hiring an intern before the school went on winter break in December. The two serve on CMU’s Strategic Planning Team together.

“He was talking about needing an intern next semester to start doing PR for (Facilities Management),” Cavataio said. “I told him I’d be happy to do it, and he offered me the position.”

Cavataio said the part-time job, in which he would work about 20 hours per week, will focus on highlighting sustainable enterprises on campus — in buildings, within curriculum and among teachers — through awards. He said he has no plans to step down as SGA president, and pointed out that he is only taking the internship and a seminar class this semester.

“Normally I’d have five or six classes, so (this) is about the same time commitment,” Cavataio said. “Maybe even less, considering the studying and other time classes take up.

“I’m very excited to be involved and learn more about the university.”

Cavataio declined to say how much he would be paid for the internship.

An email to Lawrence requesting comment was not immediately returned.

7 Comments

  1. CMU Lawyer Alum says:

    I have two thoughts about this:  First, Vince will now be a paid employee of the University whose job is to do public relations.  How can he effectively represent the interests of the students now – especially when those interests diverge from those of his employer, the Administration? 
    Second, as I recall, Vince was a pretty pro-Administration advocate during the negotiations between the Administration and the Faculty Association.  This was even true when other major student groups, including the Editorial Board of CM Life, disagreed with him.  We now know that he must have been negotiating with the Administration for this pretty cushy position – a PAID internship, for which he also gets course credit – last fall, at the same time.  I hope that CM Life does some investigating into this.  Has there ever been a PAID public relations internship in the FACILITIES MANAGEMENT department before?  Does Facilities Management NEED public relations?    

  2. CMU Lawyer Alum says:

    I’m quite serious, actually.
    I’m just an onlooker (and a successful businessperson and attorney), but I always wondered why Vince, who is supposed to be the most public advocate on behalf of the student body, never asked any difficult questions of the Administration.  When I was a student at CMU, the SGA President worked actively and publicly for the students, and wasn’t a mouthpiece for the Administration.  But Vince never questioned “Academic reprioritization” (read: Your programs are being cut in order to fund the medical school), or “Academic transformation” (read: Your classes will be online and have 500 students in them, again to fund the medical school).  Instead, he came out in support of the Administration completely.
    Now, we find out that the University will be paying him for the entire semester, and giving him course credit to boot.  And he got this position without having to apply for it, interview, or compete with other students.  I bet that there are dozens of CMU students who would have loved the chance to apply for the internship.  How hard can doing public relations for Facilities Management be?   
    I also wondered why I was the first to comment on this, until I realized that Vince announced the internship during Winter Break, when his fellow students weren’t paying attention. 
    Maybe I’m wrong, and this is all a coincidence and Vince is one lucky guy.  But, in my experience, when something smells as rotten as this, it probably is. 

    • Michmediaperson says:

      I agree with Lawyer Alum.

      First, why does the university need a part-time PR person.  We already have a big staff of marketing and public relations people.  In fact, I went on the CMU website and counted only 54 releases since last Memorial Day.

      That’s only about 7-8 releases per month.  What does this big group do with their time?
      Why add expense?  Can’t Lawrence call the Marketing and the PR Department and have them do the PR?  Save the students higher tuition and the taxpayers money!

      Also, was this job posted?  Did they do their affirmative action to make certain the position attracted a “Diverse” group of applicants?

      Conflict of interest?  I’d say yes.  Who represents the students when there is a problem with the Administration?

      I wouldn’t expect the CM LIFE Editor to take an internship with any university department.  They have to be independent.

      Ross and the Board should stop this expense.  If anyone wants to intern for free, then fine.

  3. Disgusted with CMU says:

    Hey Steve Smith….how low can you go….how low can you go?  The complete lack of ethics in this administration is appalling.  I don’t know how these people sleep at night.

  4. such phenomena like this may be universal.

  5. thanks for this share.

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