Students elect new e-board for DipCon

BY LILA EPSTEIN ’14
News Editor

Students elected a new executive board for the Diplomatic Congress. Elections were held Tuesday April 13 in Steinman College Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jared Gorin ’13, Diplomatic Congress treasurer, was elected president, replacing Elana Jaret ’12. Andrew Masterleo ’13 was elected vice president, replacing Elena Lopez ’12. Jason Port ’13 was elected treasurer, replacing Gorin. Abby Quint ’15 was elected secretary, replacing Liz Margolis ’12.

In addition, Jaret is writing the first executive annual report summarizing the activities of the Diplomatic Congress from the past year.
“Serving as president of Diplomatic Congress was one of the most challenging things I have ever done,” Jaret said. “I have represented the student body in every word, decision, and action I have taken this year. It was a responsibility I have taken very seriously, with such honor and I am really glad to have been able to make progress this year.”

According to Jaret, one of the most important accomplish- ments from the previous executive board was changing the food options to meet student needs with new venues Salsa Rico, Slice of Life, and Flavors, as well as other changes such as vertical salad bars.
In addition, the board revamped the position of class president so each president is paired with an executive board member who can oversee his or her actions. Class presidents will also be required to complete timeline forms to show what they are planning.

“Each class president will now have someone to report to,” Jaret said. “This increases accountability tri-fold.”

Another initiative of the previous board was to improve student jobs. The board has written a proposal calling for a central office for student employment, more communication between departments about employment, and that jobs offer skill-building experiences that will help students in the future. The board also worked towards bringing public speaking instruction to the College. They hope to have it available as an extracurricular with the eventual goal being its integration into the curriculum.

“My wish is for the team to carry out the public speaking initiative,” Jaret said. “There is only so much we can do in one year; we need Jaret feels positively about the ability of the new executive board to continue this progress.

“I have a lot of confidence in the new executive board and I hope the student body gives them support and respect,” Jaret said. Gorin is also optimistic about the potential of the new executive board.

“I know all of the current executive board members to an extent and believe that we will work well as a team,” Gorin said. “Each person brings a unique quality to the table and I believe that we balance each other very well. I am excited for what we can accomplish in the coming year.”

Gorin has many goals for the upcoming year.

“I want to continue with the main mission of Diplomatic Congress, which is advocacy,” Gorin said. “I want every student to feel comfortable coming to Diplomatic Congress with any questions or complaints [he or she] might have. I also want to continue increasing the transparency of Diplomatic Congress. We just added new funding clauses to our constitution that allow us to release our budget to our general assembly so we can more wisely spend our money. Finally, I want to increase the number of students that have leadership positions on campus. We currently have a few committees of the Diplomatic Congress that are made up of non-elected students; we want to increase the number of committees, increasing the number of students that have a chance to speak up on behalf of the students.”

Gorin’s previous experience includes serving as the chair of Club Council his sophomore year and serving as the treasurer of Diplomatic Congress his junior year.

“During my time as treasurer, I learned a lot,” Gorin said. “I believe that I grew as a person by being a part of the former executive board and it gave me a foundation to run for president of the Diplomatic Congress. By being a part of the executive board last year, I learned how the congress functioned and how to get things done.”

Masterleo’s previous experience includes serving on club council and as the junior class president.

“Serving on club council and as junior class president gave me a concrete role and experience with how funding works,” Masterleo said. “It was a jumping-off point for future involvement.”

He hopes this year’s executive board can continue working on the initiatives of the previous one, as well as handle new challenges the board might face.

“A lot of what the executive board works with is issues that come up,” he said. “For example, in response to students wanting different food options, the executive board brought in the new venues. A lot will depend on what issues will arise during our term on executive board.”

He also noted that the board is hoping to conduct a quality of life survey for students next year.

“Over the summer we want to put together some general questions to get the ball rolling,” he said. “Hopefully we can debut the survey in the late fall and have the results by the end of second semester of next year.”

Like Gorin and Masterleo, Port has also served on Club Council, in addition to other leadership positions. Port sees his Club Council experience as an advantage for serving on the executive board.

“Having a strong relationship with clubs allows us to identify what they want to see from student government,” Port said.

Quint is also optimistic about the future accomplishments of the executive board.

“I think as an executive board, we all bring different things to the table and we can accomplish many new initiatives that will benefit all students,” Quint said.

Gorin emphasized the importance of the student body in the governing process.

“I just want to thank the student body for electing me president and I promise to perform to the best of my abilities,” Gorin said. “If anybody would like to suggest new ideas or changes, please come approach one of us or email diplomatic.congress@fandm.edu.”

Questions? Email Lila at lila.epstein@fandm.edu.

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