By: Alexis Stallard, Online Editor
Newman’s recent Student Government elections resulted in junior Ian Lecki winning the presidential seat, and he’ll take over leading the body next year.
Lecki, who ran unopposed and who served this year as an SGA senator, sat down to answer some questions about his hopes for his term.
Q: How and why did you come to the decision to run for president?
A: During my time at Hesston College, they formed a Student Government board, and I was one of the students selected to be a part of it, but when it came time to vote, the other members of the board voted for me. It had caught me off guard and it was a little out of my comfort zone in the beginning, but we were all new to it, so no one really knew how Hesston decided to run their SGA.
When I transferred to Newman, I was interested in student government but did not really know how to get involved. Towards the end of the spring of 2021, Christine Schneikart-Luebbe approached me and encouraged me to run for the Senator of the School of Business chair. Once this past fall rolled around, I had lots of ideas and talked to so many students that had expressed concern over different matters that I felt I could make a change here at Newman. I eventually thought that maybe I would attempt the Presidential role again.
Q: You have already been behind initiatives at Newman like getting free laundry in the dorms. What other projects are you hoping to tackle now as SGA president?
A: I want to emphasize that these are just goals and not promises, but a little insight into our three main focuses going into next year including mental health, student life/involvement, and improving the student well-being here on campus.
With the mental health of students, the big thing is ensuring that students know about the resources made available to them such as the Virtual Care Group. The other topics of discussion have been to hopefully engage in talks about bringing back some intramurals and hopefully finding more ways to increase student attendance at activities and sporting events on campus.
We are hoping to really dive into the student body’s concerns and tackle whatever the students feel needs to be done. The laundry was the main concern for a lot of students on and off-campus as a lot of other universities had it for free. I utilized the resources around campus and brought the change that students had been vocalizing they needed for years. We really want the students to voice their opinions and allow us to gauge what is feasible for SGA to accomplish and move forward accordingly.
Q: How do you plan to ensure good communication and connection with the student body?
A: The most important part is gaining their trust right from the beginning of the year and maintaining that trust over the course of the year. We also want students to feel comfortable knowing they can come to any SGA member and discuss a concern, idea, or complaint that they have and trust that it will be relayed to the rest of the senators and exec board to be discussed. A lot of students have really good ideas, but they go unheard because they are unsure of where to share them. Our plan in ensuring both these things is to make sure the exec board is involved around campus. The goal is for every member of the Student Government to be involved around campus.
Q: What do you think your cabinet’s biggest strength is going to be?
A: I believe the cabinet’s biggest strength is going to be the connections we have around campus. Going through and looking at what takes place on campus, we have somebody on the exec board that either is involved or has a direct connection with that team, club, academic school, or committee. I also believe that the cabinet is filled with members that have become respected leaders around campus, which is something that will be utilized next year in creating a strong line of communication and connection with the student body.
Q: What will be your guiding model during your year in office?
A: While we are our own exec board and can’t replicate those of the past, we do still have some things we would like to bring with us going into next year such as running a tight ship, having high expectations, and expecting the Senate to be involved in activities around campus. Setting the bar high and having everyone within SGA buy into the “culture” going into the upcoming year will allow for a smooth year and lots of success.
PHOTO: Courtesy photo, Newman Athletics