Freshman vies for SGA pres.

by Beacon Staff • April 4, 2007

He may be the baby-faced candidate set to graduate in 2010, but his fanatical desire to change things at Emerson is evident in his hands, which, while steady in idle chatter about his research writing class, begin to tremble and gesticulate wildly, his speech reaching almost light speed when a matter of policy comes up.

Scott Fisher, 18, is a freshman screenwriting major who became senator for the Visual and Media Arts (VMA) department after deciding to get involved with the Student Government Association (SGA). Fisher ran for senator last semester and was elected shortly before winter break. The reasons behind his interest in SGA were due to the number of complaints that he heard from other students.

"I thought I could go in there and get things changed," Fisher said.

His latest campaign for executive president has taken some people aback, because the position is usually held by an upperclassman.

"It's not about age or maturity," said Fisher. "It's about knowing what's wrong with the school."

His main complaint about the school lies in the promises that are made to incoming students and are not visible to the students.

"Emerson makes a lot of promises and I feel like it's time to follow through," Fisher said. "I love Emerson, but I feel like it's time to make changes."

Fisher is running against juniors and write-ins Ryan Brown and Heather Vitale, who is also running for the senator position for her class of 2008.

Although he could have ran again for the senator position he currently holds, he decided that he wanted to make bigger changes.

"I'm running because I feel that a change needs to be made," said Fisher, who became frustrated with the way SGA operated. "I feel like SGA is just going through the motions."

He has a set of aspirations for what the group will do, ranging from transgender, transfer- and international-student awareness issues, to trying to enlarge the number of sections of classes offered. He hopes to increase the number of courses that are available. As for the minority student problems he intends to try to keep the dorms open for American holidays that international students do not celebrate, open the unisex bathroom on each floor of the dorms so that transgender students do not have to pick a bathroom, and work for transfer students so that they are not the very last to register due to credit irregularities.

Candidate for organizational and political communication senator and fellow freshman Christopher Boutillier is confident in the abilities of a young student to take over, especially Fisher.

"I know him and I think he's a pretty nice guy," said Boutillier. "He would genuinely neglect his grades to work on the government."

Fisher, however, has learned to balance student government and school. The freshman started getting active in school government in the third grade.

"I had a million suggestions," said Fisher. "It was very frustrating because they didn't take it seriously."

He continued to work in various forms of government in middle and high school. After graduating in 2006 from Loyola High School, a Jesuit institution in Manhattan, Fisher was focused on New York University as his collegiate destination.

That did not last long after the option of a small school in Boston opened up.

"My guidance counselor mentioned Emerson," he said. "I came to visit and I fell in love."

That love morphed into a September move-in and a candidacy for VMA senator later that semester.

Fisher said he did not even consider running for both positions during this election even though the position of VMA senator candidate was only recently filled.

"I could have run for both positions," said Fisher, "but I didn't feel that it was fair to the students."

Associate Dean of Students Sharon Duffy knows that leadership often has nothing to do with age.

"Each SGA President with whom I have worked have had very different leadership styles, agendas, maturity, experience level, strengths, areas for improvement, but the one quality they all had was the desire to serve the needs and interests of the undergraduate student body," said Duffy. "We do not designate a year of graduation as a requirement or a prerequisite to hold a position."

Speech night was Tuesday, April 3, with voting yesterday and today, when the polls will close at midnight. The candidates will be notified of the results tomorrow.

Fisher outlined his positions on all of the issues that he had brought up in the course of his operation. He also mentioned the need for motivation and for all of the people in SGA to work as hard as they can.

"We have to push for changes," Fisher said. His hope for the thrust for changes is that they could even lead to unconventional methods and not simply the survey format of the former administration.

"It would be amazing for the incoming freshmen to see a sophomore standing up there," said Fisher. "I would like to say to the freshmen that need to go out and act. Within a year I was here. So can you."