After winning the election last week, rising senior Chris Kilner and rising junior Isabella Dolente are ready to get to work as president and vice president of Student Government.
With the election behind her, Dolente recalls the week prior to the voting as being incredibly challenging and stressful.
“We’re still recovering from campaign week. We met and spoke to so many people, everything from that week is sort of a blur,” Dolente said.
Despite the stress leading up the election, both Kilner and Dolente are now ready to focus on their Student Government duties.
“Now it’s back to reality,” Dolente said.
One task on their list is the further development of SuperFan U, an app that will help University students get more involved with sporting events on campus as well as offer financial benefits to Student Government. While SuperFan U is not currently available to University students, Kilner said integrating it would be a simple process.
“We would just need to purchase and customize it for Scranton if we did choose to go forward with it,” Kilner said. “This app means big savings for Student Government, increased attendance, increased revenue and promotion for sporting events.”
Kilner said that the app is just one of many of the issues that he and Dolente plan to address during their term.
“We’re planning to establish a task force for developing an advocacy campaign for mental illness. There is still a stigma about going to the Counseling Center for anything,” Kilner said.
Kilner personally understands the importance of counseling for students.
“When I shared my personal experience in going to the counseling center during the campaign, I had many students thank me for speaking out,” Kilner said.
Kilner continued to share plans for the term.
“We are also planning to set up a suggestion box on RoyalSync, so students can submit from their phones or laptops,” Kilner said.
Another priority is to try to have the Wellness Center open on weekends.
“The Wellness Center may be our biggest challenge,” Kilner said.
Student Government is still talking with the Wellness Center to try to come to an agreement.
“We are still working with the Wellness Center and receiving feedback. We are also speaking with nursing students and the nursing department to possibly help out the Wellness Center,” Kilner said.
Kilner said that the newly available cabinet positions of chief of staff, treasurer, director of technology and director of communications have attracted a diverse group of applicants.
“We have 11 applicants. Eight were from outside of the Senate. That kind of engagement is great,” Kilner said.
While the new administration is happy with the diverse applications for their cabinet positions, they admit that student apathy is a major concern.
Dolente encouraged students that their opinions matter to Student Government.
“We want to emphasize that students aren’t voiceless. We want students too. The senators are elected to represent everyone on campus,” Dolente said.
Dolente encourages students to speak with their senators as well as the president and vice president.
“If you see us walking on campus, come up to us and share your ideas. We want to hear from students and we are always ready to listen,” Dolente said.
Dolente said that student engagement is vital to making progress while in office.
“We want to empower students. They can trust us with their ideas. We don’t want to do nothing,” Dolente said.