By Emma Ferschweiler
The College’s Student Government (SG) and Student Finance Board (SFB) kicked off the start of the semester with interest meetings held through the end of August and early September. SG and SFB used a hybrid approach to their meetings, utilizing both Zoom and in-person sessions to inform potential new members about the organizations.
SG Alternate Student Trustee Nigel Pacheco headed the Sept. 2 interest meeting held over Zoom where he gave insight on how SG functions, its expectations and upcoming dates such as this semester’s elections.
While election day is not until Sept. 23, Pacheco explained that prospective members must submit their applications by Sept. 13 and campaigning can begin on Sept. 16. Campaigning could entail candidates reaching out to supporters, blasting on social media or even handing out flyers.
SG Vice President for Advancement Alisha Srivastava said SG is meant to uphold the entire student body by advocating for it on different forums. Srivastava mentioned past projects including The Press Paws Initiatives, Loser Hall sit-in and I am TCNJ Forum.
“Almost every member of our organization has different experiences and strengths that they bring to the organization. There truly is no blueprint for a perfect SG member,” Srivastava said.
SG now has the liberty to plan in-person events because of the College being back on campus. Srivastava said among SG’s biggest hurdles is raising awareness of the work SG does and knowing that its members are there to support them.
The anticipated Spirit Week, occurring from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, and Homecoming Weekend, taking place on Oct. 2, are being coordinated with the help of the vice president for Student Services and speaker for the General Assembly along with the Student Services.
“We want to focus on the specific needs of the students and make sure they feel supported in every way possible. We plan on becoming more transparent about how Student Government interacts with the college community and administration,” Srivastava said.
SFB also started getting its business moving with the completion of two information sessions on Sept. 3 and Sept. 8. Applications officially closed on Sept. 12 and campaigning will begin promptly on Sept. 14 at 5 p.m.
Similarly to SG, SFB expressed its duty to be student advocates as well as help the daily life of the student body by allocating funds brought in by a tuition fee. SFB Executive Director Aagna Patel and Executive Assistant Neil Trivedi led the information meeting on Sept. 3 which included both online and in-person attendees.
They went over the importance of SFB in financing events, concerts, recreational activities and club initiatives. SFB will continue to play a crucial role this semester as the College plans more activities and students become more involved with the community. As an organization, SFB is coordinating SFBonding gatherings which will build upon the group’s relationships.
Trivedi said that while there are no technical requirements for members, SFB does prefer those who can work strongly in a group and have great communication skills. Trivedi said the board’s relationships remain strong and close-knit even after having to completely reorganize its structure as Covid-19 hit.
“Our goal is to always fund with full fiscal responsibility and mindfulness, while maintaining our stance as a neutral student-led board,” Trivedi said.
Positions currently available include representatives at large, senior representatives, junior representatives, sophomore representatives and freshman representatives. Applications are due by Sept. 12 at 5 p.m.
Many other clubs and organizations have struggled to return to functioning order, but SFB’s guidelines have been approved and posted on its website. Trivedi said SFB is looking forward to attending events that have been board-financed while strengthening the student body.
“It is so incredibly important for us to be able to have a board of diverse backgrounds and worldly understandings to truly represent the whole campus community,” Trivedi said.