College calls on SGA to help promote Voice Your Choice program

An Emerson Associate Director petitioned the Student Government Association at the weekly Tuesday meeting to help promote the Voice Your Choice initiative where students can allocate $100,000 of alumni donations.

Jillian Naimo, associate director of student and young alumni engagement, asked SGA to promote the program by spreading awareness via word of mouth and social media platforms. Naimo plans to roll out social media advertisements and emails to the student body for Voice Your Choice this week.

The initiative lets students vote on the distribution of $100,000 in alumni donations. Voice Your Choice gives each class a set amount of money to spend in one of five areas. The first round of voting takes place on Nov. 16th.

On Nov. 16, students can vote to support the college’s global initiatives, academic excellence and innovative learning, the Emerson fund, community and co-curricular experiences, and student access.

Seniority determines the amount of money the initiative gives each class. The senior class votes on $50,000, juniors $25,000, sophomores $15,000, and freshmen $10,000.

“I really like this idea” Marketing Communications Senator Will Palauskas said. “I think it’s really good that it’s going to make other seniors and other students aware of the fact that money is going places”

Naimo said her office plans to promote a quiz called “Our Emerson. Our Voice. Our Choice” to help students decide for what issues they want to vote.

In spring 2019, the classes will vote on which specific issues within their areas of interest they will support.

Naimo said alumni and parent donations are important to the college since tuition only covers between 60 and 75 percent of the college’s costs. The college can access between three to five percent of its $160 million endowment at a time, according to Naimo—alumni donations allow the college to cover the rest of its costs.

News outlets like U.S. News use alumni and parent donations as a metric judge to judge alumni approval and form their college rankings, according to Naimo. For comparison, Suffolk University’s endowment is $270 million, Northeastern University’s $700 million, and Boston University’s $2 billion, according to Naimo.

SGA also appointed sophomore Jay Liu and freshman Cassie Shelly as the new international student coordinator and executive assistant, respectively.  

Liu’s past experience with student government includes work on his high school’s student council. Before SGA appointed her executive assistant, Shelly participated in her high school’s student government and underwent the Student Government Leadership Program.

News Editor Riane Roldan did not edit this article due to a conflict of interest.

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