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Hello Hawks!

James Brino, SGA President

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My name is James Brino, and I have the honor and privilege to serve as the Student Government Association (SGA) President for the 2019-2020 academic year. Along with the entire elected leadership of the Student Government Association, I am here to represent all students, and share your thoughts, opinions and feedback to administration. I am proud of the executive board in place, including Juli Dajci, Sawyer D’Amato, John Lamaita, Emily Quinn, Liam Bernier, Yavana Ganesh, Olaleye Onikuyide, Jayden Rameikas, Nate Carr and Malcolm Virgil, as well as the 35 senators that have been elected.

I have recommitted and refocused the entire elected leadership of the Student Government Association to focus on cultivating a better campus community, and supporting all of our clubs and organizations. Our slogan, “For the Students, By the Students” is something we will strictly adhere to, and it is my hope that you keep us accountable to that.

Our advisor, the lovely Sue Fitzgerald, Associate Dean for Student Engagement and Inclusion and Liaison to the President is the inspiration for starting this SGA column in The Informer. We will be updating you biweekly on current projects we are working on, updates from administrators, and anything else that concerns students.

We have been working hard on a few projects, and I would like to share their updates:

The Readership Program last year delivered print copies of the New York Times and USAToday to Commons, GSU and Konover daily. SGA spent roughly $16,000 on this program during the 2018-2019 academic year. My board and I found it counterproductive that we were funding paper copies of publications while pushing an environmental and sustainability agenda on campus. In addition, many of these paper copies went to waste as only a small number of students took papers daily . We have successfully moved to digital subscriptions of USAToday, Hartford Courant, and have partnered with the University Libraries to publicizing their subscription to the New York Times (the libraries already pay for this subscription).

Jayden Rameikas, my Chief of Staff has been working with Jason Farrell from Facilities, Aramark Leadership, and Hartford business, Blue Earth Compost, Inc. to bring food scrap composting to the University Commons Dining Hall. Currently, all food scraps are disposed of in traditional trash receptacles.

Starbucks in Mortensen Library closes at 9pm each weekday, and after that time there are no food options in the building. After hearing from many students, myself and Director of University Libraries, Randi Ashton-Pritting, came together to request snack and beverage vending machines in the lower level of Mortensen Library. These machines have been installed and accept Hawk Cash, Apple Pay, Credit Cards and Cash.

This is not an all inclusive list, but rather a small sampling of the types of things my team and I will be working on this academic year. I have recommitted and refocused SGA to be more in tune with student concerns and issues.

You can contact me via email at [email protected] or by phone at 860-768-4162. Please do not hesitate to reach out to SGA for assistance. Let us all have a safe and prosperous school year!

Go Hawks!

IMAGE COURTESY OF JAMES BRINO