SGA Cabinet Members Appointed After Semester-Long Coronavirus Delay


As students impatiently debate over who will occupy the United States’ executive branch in January, Colgate Student Government Association (SGA) president Amarachi Iheanyichukwu and vice presidents Ben Becker, Usman Ahmad and Cole Boquist deliberated presidential cabinet members for the 2020-2021 academic school year. 

In an email addressed to the student body on Sept. 1, the SGA executives — first elected to their respective positions in early May — asked students to submit a resumé and 150-word statement explaining why they are suited for one of thirteen open cabinet positions. According to the email, the board expected passionate, motivated individuals who could help execute projects across campus. Students had until Sept. 8 to submit their applications. 

Given the cabinet’s critical role within the SGA, vice president of communications and senior Ben Becker explained their decision processes’ urgency. 

“It took us roughly a week, maybe less,” Becker said. “We were very much on a time crunch because normally, the senate would be operating right now and everything. We were not in an ideal situation.”

In a more typical year, cabinet members would have been announced soon after the presidential and vice-presidential elections to help facilitate Senate elections and aid other executive needs. To speed along the process, the executive board compiled a spreadsheet of potential cabinet members and highlighted portions of 37 student applications. According to Becker, the board looked for students with previous SGA experience, as the senate elections required immediate attention by positions like the elections commissioner. The panel also considered ways that students took initiative in other areas and involved themselves in outside organizations.

To date, the executive board has filled twelve of thirteen needed positions. At the time of writing, the executive has yet to receive applications for the residential life liaison and the men’s athletic life coordinator positions and is asking students to apply. Five newly appointed cabinet members spoke about their application process and role within SGA. 

Chief of Staff Lucy Briody ‘21

As the Chief of Staff, Briody is responsible for supervising all SGA activities, tracking job performance, and holding members accountable for pre-set standards. Briody’s previous experience as an SGA senator, Secretary and Parliamentarian made her well-suited for the position. Having worked with Iheanyichukwu and other vice presidents in the past, Briody trusted them to pick someone capable of the job. 

“As Chief of Staff, you’re kind of an organizer and a do-er,” Briody said. “But I think oftentimes, people don’t know where to start. And I think that my experience in SGA has enabled me to kind of help people get their ideas off the ground and move it from just an idea to something that’s actually helping the campus.”

In the future, Briody intends to find ways to support students during coronavirus and appreciate faculty who have worked tirelessly to keep students on-campus.

Election Commissioners Jace DeMar ‘21 and Shira Fischer ‘21

As the Elections Commissioners, DeMar and Fischer oversee all SGA elections and establish election deadlines and results. DeMar chose to apply after years on the class council, feeling prepared for the position after watching his roommate fill the role. In contrast, Fischer felt intrigued by the job after questioning current United States presidential election mechanisms.

The pair have already worked extensively on senate elections, testing various online petitions, tweaking election bylaws in response to coronavirus and deciding whether remote students are still eligible to fill senate positions.

“I think the biggest hurdle was just trying to figure out how to vote online and just getting the petitions and trying to find a way to do that digitally,” DeMar said.

Diversity Affairs Coordinator John Morgan ‘22

As the Diversity Affairs Coordinator, Morgan will help coordinate implicit bias training, facilitate conversation with the ALANA Cultural Center and promote dialogue about race, privilege, diversity and inclusion. Although Morgan had not previously participated in student politics, he expressed excitement over the opportunity to make a difference on campus. His work under the Office of Admissions and Link Staff particularly inspired him to improve the first-year experience.

“I really want to push this agenda of centering minority voices and making sure that the environment at Colgate is not hospitable to those types of mentalities that would discriminate and or marginalize them further,” Morgan said.

Wellness Coordinator Lauren Wolfe ‘21

As the Wellness Coordinator, Wolfe will work with various campus departments to promote a healthy living environment. As a Psychology concentration and clinical psychology intern, Wolfe felt that the position particularly aligned with her interest in the mental health field.

“At Colgate, I’ve learned a lot of different methods such as deep breathing strategies, cognitive restructuring, and emotional insight that can be used to get into a better headspace,” Wolfe said. “I want to create meaningful and impactful change on campus that reduces the stigma of seeking help. We all have a lot going on, and it can definitely take an emotional toll on people because school jobs, friends, extracurriculars, sleeping, and eating is a lot.”

Wolfe intends to implement weekly newsletters to offer physical and mental health tips as well as spread awareness of different mental health resources while working closely with the counseling center.