The Student Government of Bryant University held its first Senate session of the year last Wednesday, September 13th. This came after a great deal of organizational change within the organization itself.
At the end of the last academic year’s Spring semester, the Student Senate ratified and implemented a new Constitution, creating the Student Government and marking the conclusion of the two-year process of drafting, reviewing, and voting that the document underwent. These new changes included the creation of two additional, separate branches: The Executive Cabinet and The Constitutional Court, as well as more explicit language that spells out each of the branches’ functions.
Subsequent to this, the new government held elections for, and made appointments to, this year’s new Executive Cabinet and Constitutional Court, as well as elections for the Senate. New Executive members include President Joseph Rinaldi (‘19), Executive Vice-President Joseph DiModica (‘19), Treasurer Harrison Garrett (‘19), Vice-President for Student Organizations Raveena Goyal (‘18), Secretary Noah Pease (‘20), and Student Senate Ranking Member Eric Aiken (‘20). Matthew Giulero (‘18), Jacob Lewtan (‘18), and Osgood “Endy” Perry (‘19) were appointed to the Court.
At the start of this year, the Government has been involved with a great deal of events. To welcome the Class of 2021, the Executive Cabinet assisted in freshman Move-In Day on September 2nd and greeted each member of the new class at igNIGHT. At the 154th Convocation, Joseph Rinaldi gave a speech Bryant’s newest undergraduates, telling them that “When opportunity knocks, answer the door!” Over the last two weeks, the government has also supplied and run hydration stations at both the Grit ‘N Wit Challenge on September 7th and the SPB’s Big B Weekend kick-off event on September 8th, handing out bottles of water to students.
Supplementing the community activity, the government has also been working legislatively. Amendments to the bylaws of the Student Government Constitution were introduced in last week’s Senate session. When asked about the changes, President Rinaldi was quoted saying that “the new updates to the bylaws help with our new governmental system’s implementation. We in the government believe that these changes will provide a springboard for us to launch from and make effective change in the interest of the student body.”
In addition to this, the new government oversaw the largest spending package in Ways and Means history, providing over four hundred thousand of Student Involvement Fee dollars to numerous clubs and organizations on the Bryant campus. When asked about WAM activity President Rinaldi reaffirmed his faith in the new Treasurer and mentioned that he “cannot wait to see the awesome enriching [the funding] will provide to campus.”
To round out the organization’s starting goals, the Student Government, spearheaded by Secretary Pease, held Freshman Senate Elections to fill the five vacant freshman seats on the Student Senate. Beginning on September 7th, with an informational session in the lounge of Hall 15, members of the executive and legislative branches opened up the nomination process for all freshmen interested in becoming a Student Senator.
Sixteen Candidates made it on the ballot and gave speeches on Sunday, September 17th. The polls opened in OrgSync on the morning of Monday, September 18th, and closed on the evening of Tuesday, September 19th. [The five winners’ names] were elected to fill the seats, with record-breaking [n-percent] student voter turnout in the freshman class. Post-election, President Rinaldi stated that he “could not be happier with the turnout. The number and quality of candidates is something to be really proud of as well.”
The winners were sworn in on Wednesday, September 20th, at the Government’s weekly Senate session in Papitto.