New SGA president steps up for final semester
After serving as vice president during the 2016 fall semester, Jazmin Biernat will lead the Student Government Association as president during the spring semester.
The Lake Orion native took over for former SGA President Ian Elliott last month. Biernat graduates in May, giving her one semester to accomplish the goals she’s set for herself and SGA.
“I don’t want to leave just my mark, because I’m not that kind of person," Biernat said. "The goal that my (executive board) is working toward is that everyone on campus is represented."
On Dec. 5, SGA posted on their Facebook page that “Student Government Association President Ian Elliott announced last week he will be stepping down from his position due to personal reasons and opportunities.”
Biernat declined to comment on Elliott vacating the office or his status as a CMU student, but said the former president “helps as often as he can.”
She said Elliott has made himself available to answer questions about the position.
The new president said she and her executive board are in a unique situation. Because Biernat previously held the vice president position, she will be working closely with new vice president Anna Owens.
Biernat said she appointed Owens to the position because she felt the Midland senior was best for the job and because she has previously served as the Governmental Affairs chair.
Owens has been involved with the Student Government since she was a freshman. She’s held multiple positions including Senate Leader and Governmental Affairs chair last year, working with committees.
“The transition to (vice president) has gone really well because I’ve worked closely with staff members and each committee before,” Owens said.
As well as working with Owens, Biernat’s responsibilities include being the external communicator to the college and the media.
The legislation Biernat said she is passionate about bringing a Gender and Sexuality Center. Before his resignation, Elliott and Biernat were working toward making plans for the center more concrete. The project has been in the works for the last five years, Biernat said.
“The challenge is getting the university to say yes,” Biernat said.
Biernat said there will be more initiatives around campus to get the student body more involved with SGA, such as suggestion booths and flyers.
“We want to make the school better for the students, and for the students to know that we are here to represent them,” Biernat said. “I want to help people better understand what (SGA) is as a whole.”
Owens said she plans to run for president following Biernat’s graduation. She added there are challenges when it comes to trying to accomplish big goals in such a short amount of time.
“A challenge is always keeping people focused (through) the end of the semester when it’s warm out and people are getting ready to graduate,” Owens said. “We need to keep people on track so we can follow through with our projects.”