SGA to continue fight against academic calendar change, wants polling stations on campus Justin Gawronski says

Student Government Association President and Macomb junior Justin Gawronski is planning to pursue several changes as he finishes his term as SGA President.

In a sitdown with Central Michigan Life on Monday, Gawronski mentioned possible motions to make the Campus Ambassador a paid position and to also start talking with school and government officials to pursue making polling stations on campus, where students can vote on local, state and national elections and amendments.

With the SGA's presidential elections taking place in March, presidents often attempt to pursue major legislation in the second semester, as to allow students to vote for the legislation alongside presidential candidates. Last year, former SGA president and Shelby Township graduate student Vincent Cavataio tried to pass legislation transforming SGA into a unicameral government. The legislation was met with controversy and was dropped soon afterward.

Gawronski said no such similar motions are in the books.

"If anything, I might try to pursue something to do with a smoke-free campus," Gawronski said. "But, right now, nothing is planned."

While everything at this point is tentative, Gawronski said starting the process of making polling stations on campus will be one of his projects next semester.

"Polling places not being on campus were a big concern for students this year," Gawronski said. "There are places close to campus, of course, but we want to make voting as accessible as possible to students."

Gawronski said making Campus Ambassador a paid position could be a main focus of his administration in his last months, but the motion is only in an early planning stage.

Campus Ambassadors assist the Admissions Office in recruiting prospective students.

"I think Campus Ambassador is pretty much the most important job on campus," Gawronski said. "They recruit students to come to this campus. I know that orientation positions are highly prestigious and very competitive, but students are already here at orientation. Ambassadors have to attract those students. I want that position to be much more prestigious and much more competitive."

Gawronski said SGA's response to the provost's report on the academic calendar has yet to be decided. The findings of the provost study, which weighs the benefits and detriments of changing fall semester from 16 to 15 weeks, were scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.

SGA brought conversation of the academic calendar to the forefront, overwhelmingly supporting legislation opposing the changes. Gawronski said SGA actions regarding the provost's findings will likely be more cautious, but the SGA will still be involved.

"I think no matter what the findings of the report are, my focus will be to keep the conversation going. I feel even if the Academic Senate upholds the 15-week calendar, the conversation still needs to be had," Gawronski said. "I think a 15-week calendar could work ... but I'm of the opinion the format they have right now needs to be improved."

Gawronski said increased communication is the one aspect of his administration he would like to improve, stating that sometimes internal communcation is not expressed  as well externally and vice versa.

Overall, he said he is pleased with what his administration and the SGA have accomplished in the fall semester.

"We plan to just keep going like we're going," Gawronski said.


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