After joining the Student Government Association her second semester freshman year, Anne Makielski said her involvement in the organization is one of the most valuable experiences she’s had at college.
The junior political communication major was elected to the SGA executive president position last week after running unopposed. She will replace Emily Solomon, who has been executive president for three years.
“I initially never thought [running for president] was something I would do when I first joined SGA,” Makielski said. “But as I got more involved with SGA—as I served in joint session longer—I kinda started realizing that position would be the place I best would be able to serve the student body and make the most change to the school.”
After her resident assistant, who was the SGA executive vice president at the time, talked her into joining SGA, Makielski started as the executive secretary and now serves as the class of 2018 president since spring 2016.
Serving as executive secretary her first year exposed Makielski to how executive board meetings function and the rules of student government.
Makielski said she’s also gained the confidence to talk about issues on campus and organize events that would assist the student body. During her time as class of 2018 president, she’s voiced students’ concerns about the quality of Emerson food and planned informative events for her class about internships and living off campus.
Arianna Conte, class of 2018 senator and a close friend of Makielski, said there is no one she’d rather see as executive president.
“I think she’s calm and she’s focused, and that is something that can really propel our organization forward in the future years,” Conte said. “She knows the ways it can be improved and how to make it more transparent and more accessible to new members of SGA and everyone else at the college.”
Makielski said she hopes to continue to have important conversations at SGA meetings that are relevant to the campus, like discussions about diversity and inclusion and cultural competency.
She also said she wants to focus on communication with the student body more. She knows there is a lack of awareness of what SGA does and hopes to have more of a connection with the people she’s representing.
“I want to be better about hearing more concerns [from the students],” Makielski said.
“We need to reach out and ask about the issues [on campus].”
Solomon, a senior visual and media arts major, started working with Makielski in SGA two and a half years ago. Solomon said Makielski is thoughtful and considerate when making decisions.
“She’s also very insightful,” Solomon said. “She has the ability to cut through the core of things and cut through the extra noise that doesn’t matter as much.”
But Solomon said she worries people will mistake Makielski’s quietness for timidity.
“She is just more the type to listen and absorb….rather than being the one that constantly feels like she has to be talking,” Solomon said. “I would like to see her balance that a little more with feeling more comfortable in speaking, because I do think you have to do both. But I also think she is aware of that.”
Makielski is starting the transition process to be the executive president. She’s attended executive board meetings, talked to SGA advisor Sharon Duffy, and spoken with Solomon about the position. She plans to talk to Madeline Ramaley and Ian Mandt, the executive vice president and treasurer, about the future of SGA.
“I am very excited and nervous about it,” Makielski said. “I want to be able to represent the student body the best that I can and it’s a big task, but I am willing to kind of put everything I can into it.”