SGA appoints three new commissioners

by Beacon Staff • September 15, 2011

strongCaitlin Collins, Beacon Staff/strong

Three commissioners newly appointed at Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting called for raising student involvement at campus events and in SGA discussions.

SGA members voted unanimously to appoint Michele Mertens as the public relations commissioner, Regina Lutskiy as the GLBT commissioner, and Maria Warith as the transfer student commissioner. The three students will begin their roles immediately.

Mertens, a senior communication studies major, said she wants to improve the use of social media to promote events and actively engage students in important SGA deliberations.

“I want to really amp up SGA’s social media practice, with the main focus on Twitter,” she said. She added that because Emerson students are very attracted to social media, information would reach them more quickly through Facebook and Twitter than through mass email messaging or flyers around campus.

Lutskiy, a junior marketing communication major, said she also wants to get the attention of more students on campus, specifically those in the GLBT community.

Lutskiy, who is the vice president of Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians, and Everyone (EAGLE), added that Emerson struggles with different stereotypes on campus. She said that, as a lesbian, she is often asked if her female friends are in an intimate relationship with her.

“[Changing that] is the biggest issue I want to tackle this year,” she said.

Lutskiy was quick to add that she cannot solve the problem alone.

“It’s such a diverse school that we need everyone’s input,” she said.

Srda Vasilijevic, a sophomore marketing communication major who is gay, said he would like to see more queer studies classes at Emerson.

“We only have two to three whereas a lot of other schools have ten to fifteen,” Vasilijevic said.

Like Lutskiy, transfer student and sophomore political communication major Warith said she hopes to make students feel more included, especially those who are transfers.

Warith said this is a difficult problem to address because many transfer students live off campus and feel out of touch with the events and programs hosted on campus.

“I want to make sure that transfer students are able to take advantage of the opportunities that Emerson offers,” she said.

Matt Grossbart, who was a new transfer student in fall 2010, agrees that it is hard to include off-campus students in on-campus activities. His main concern for transfer students, however, is their orientation week experience.

“I’ve always thought that it might be better that during orientation we weren’t grouped with freshmen,” the senior marketing communication major said. “The stuff they offered for transfers in the beginning of orientation was nice, but I wish there was more. It was weird being with all the freshmen and coming from a different place.”

All the commissioners said they look forward to fulfilling their duties with the rest of the SGA members.

“There’s a lot of really talented and vibrant people in SGA,” Mertens said. “It’s an exciting time for the organization ,and I’m glad to be part of it.”