Students vote on GSBA Executive Board

On Wednesday, April 10, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE) announced election results for the Guilford Student Body Association (GSBA) Executive Board that will serve in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Junior Lizzy Kapuscinski was named GSBA president. Junior Librado Mendoza Sosa and Angela Morrow were named traditional co-vice president and continuing education (CE) co-vice president, respectively. Junior Rebecca Jacque will serve as treasurer, and Jaylnn Carson will be serving as secretary of GSBA for the next year. Sophomore Maya Chevalier will be serving under the Inter Club Council.

Guilford College GSBA Elections President
Lizzy Kapusinski will be the GSBA president in 2019-20./Photo Courtesy of Lizzy Kapusinski Campaign Poster

Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Tim Johnson announced the newly elected board on behalf of the OSLE, congratulating the new members in an email announcement sent to students.

“We had a high number of voters and a very close race for the candidates,” Johnson said. “At this time we would like to congratulate the following people as they will serve as your next Guilford Student Body Association Executive Board in 2019-20.”

Morrow spoke on some of her goals for the upcoming academic year.

“My plans are to help the students be able to have a clear voice when they have concerns, they have questions,” Morrow said. “I want to bring their needs and their desires to the faculty and staff, as well as being an effective communicator for what faculty and staff want students to know. I also want to see some new things brought about.”

Mendoza Sosa expressed similar sentiments, highlighting the importance of transparency and clear communication throughout the campus community.

“I also want to make sure that the school also has communication with us, like telling us about decisions before they make them, and if they do make those decisions, be straightforward about why they made them instead of beating around the bush,” Mendoza Sosa said.

Guilford College GSBA Elections Vice President
Librado Mendoza-Sosa will be the GSBA vice president in 2019-20./Photo Courtesy of Librado Mendoza-Sosa Campaign Poster

Morrow described some of the changes she is hoping to help implement around the campus community in the next academic year.

“I have ideas about donating swipes for the Cafeteria so that we can further work on food insecurity on campus,” Morrow said. “I have ideas about trying to get more meals reclaimed out of the cafeteria for students to have access to. I would love to see a lot more collaboration between clubs and different groups, not just here on campus, but also with outside clubs at other colleges or in our community. A lot of really cool things to do that I look forward to.”

Jacque expanded on this idea and hopes that the GSBA will increase emphasis on cooperative collaboration between clubs and student organizations.

“I have also noticed that not all of the clubs really get along and I want to try to fix that or do something for that to make an easier way for them to communicate better,” Jacque said. “I feel like even though clubs are supposed to collab, I don’t really see that many collabs. Even if I do see collabs, it’s like they are just making money from each other and that’s it. That’s something I wanted to work on this year also, and I don’t feel like we really did a good job with that. More club collabs and better communication between clubs.”

Mendoza Sosa hopes to increase and emphasize the importance of diversity within the GSBA and its interactions with the Guilford community. He believes that club collaborations remain an important aspect of encouraging, highlighting and embracing diversity.

“I am definitely glad that I was elected because … there is Latinx representation in GSBA,” Mendoza Sosa said. “One of my first goals is to make sure that it is continued overall, to have more representation between all minorities and all races. I want to bring everyone in so we can have a wonderful time.”

Morrow described the significance of working to create a more unified campus community.

“I think helping to bridge any divide that we can work on on campus to have a unified community in every way possible is one of the biggest things that we can work on,” Morrow said. “Because if we have unification through faculty and staff with students, we have unification from one student group to another student group, life on campus will be a lot better for everyone involved.”

According to members of the new executive board, including Kapuscinski, the transition into the Edge curriculum in fall 2019 will require a level of communication the association hopes to work toward and bring about.

“As the Edge is being implemented, especially with the new calendar, I know that there is a lot of confusion in the air,” Kapuscinski said. “I really just want to limit the confusion between students and the administration and faculty and attempt to create a very clear sense of what is going on and a clear conversation … between students and faculty.”

Morrow added similar thoughts on the topic of the Edge and potential confusion that may be present during the transitioning process.

“Transition is often difficult. I know there have been a lot of questions that students have felt like the answers have not come as quickly as they wanted or the answers have not been as specific as they wanted,” Morrow said. “I want things to go smoothly. I understand, I have had some issues with the new layout of the curriculum. I have two three-week blocks next year that don’t have any classes in them right now, so I am in the process of working through things just as much as any other student.

“As much as I am a leader, I am also a student and I understand the concerns and the needs that they have going on.”

Members of the GSBA executive board hope that more community members will find the board and association approachable and participate more actively in the work and conversations facilitated by the GSBA.

“I really, really, really want students to understand that they are welcome,” Jacque said. “I feel like a lot of students don’t feel like they are welcome at community meetings and the GSBA meetings that we have. I want them to know that they are welcome and I want more people to come out to more things about campus. We have a lot of informational stuff about what’s going on with the Edge or we have budget forums, but people don’t really show up.

“We are trying to get people to understand that we are having these things for the students and that we need them to show up so that their opinion is heard.”

Kapuscinski is looking forward to serving as GSBA president during Guilford’s first academic year with the Edge curriculum. She described the level of openness with students that the GSBA is seeking to further emphasize.

“I am completely open to talking to anyone about anything and I am open to learning about their experiences and their questions or concerns about the new year,” Kapuscinski said.