Q30 Television

Q30 News: New vice president for student experience

By: Cali Kees

After former Vice President for Student Experience, Tatyana Youssef stepped down last semester, a Student Government Association special election was held, and Austin Calvo was voted to take her place.  With the impeachments, resignations, and drama that unfolded last semester, Cali Kees sat down with Calvo to discuss his plans for the semester.

Calvo has a full agenda planned: a charter review of every organization (something that is supposed to occur every year), news speakers and events for the “Your Voice, Our Quinnipiac” campaign and to continue internal training with SGA members on diversity and inclusion.

This position adds to Calvo’s already hefty schedule as he has also taken on an internship at the Connecticut State Capitol building in Hartford. Calvo said that he has yet to encounter many difficulties balancing school, SGA and his internship.

“It’s just kind of cut-down on my free time but I really don’t have a problem with that because this is what I want to be doing.  This position is what I want to be doing and this internship is what I want to be doing,” Calvo said.

He explained that the chartering process for the new organizations will be the same.  Organizations must be recognized for a year, then come to Calvo who will make sure that their charter is in line with Quinnipiac’s chartering policy.

For organizations that are already chartered, Calvo explained that he will be reaching out to each organization to let them know when they are under review.  If there are changes that need to be made Calvo is willing to work with the organizations to improve their charters.

“If there is anything you need to change I’ll send you an e-mail and you can come in and we can talk about it and you can get those changes back to me,” Calvo explained. “So we can…get your constitution up to date to how it’s supposed to be running.”

Another duty of the Vice President for Student Experience is to act as a liaison between student organizations.  Calvo has made himself accessible to members of student organizations on campus by having office hours.  He is in his office currently about 16 hours week which he is working on making more public.

“I am going to go down and talk to people in the multi-cultural suite and make sure that they are aware of those,” Calvo said.

Calvo plans to have “Your Voice, Our Quinnipiac” events this semester, even though it was one of these events last semester that landed a former SGA member in hot water with his controversial remarks.

Calvo wants to use the events to start a conversation with people who find certain subjects uncomfortable, hoping to go about planning these events in a different way.

“I want to have kind of a schedule before we go into it so I know who’s going when…I just want them to at the events come talk to me first, just so I know what they are going to say,” Calvo explained.

Last semester when Chris Montalvo, former Sophomore Class President, spoke at the “Your Voice, Our Quinnipiac” event he grabbed the mic and told the audience that “I’m here to stir the pot, I’m here to cause controversy.”

And this opening line and the rest of his speech did just that.  Calvo thinks that he could help avoid any similar situations in the future by communicating better with the speakers.

“I’m not going to [hinder] what anyone can say, but I just want to make sure they kind of…rehearse it so that it doesn’t come off as…bad,” Calvo said.

The SGA Constitution also lists membership development as a job of the VP for Student Experience.  Calvo is attempting to create a new system that will help break down barriers within SGA, forcing members to both confront subjects they are uncomfortable with and to learn more about them.

Starting over the next few weeks Calvo will be meeting with every member of SGA.

“We’re going to have a conversation about things that they’re uncomfortable with.  So if I know that someone’s uncomfortable about a specific topic and…there’s an event coming up in March on that topic…I can be like hey, you should go to this event,” Calvo explained.

Calvo is going to require SGA members to attend two events that fit the criteria he feels need growth over the course of this semester, hoping that this type of training can continue for SGA members throughout the rest of their time at Quinnipiac.

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