My name is Dustin Stewart and I have been vested with the honor of serving as the President of the Student Government Association for the 2016-2017 academic year, and I could not be more excited. I will be introducing you to the rest of the elected Executive members later in this article, but I first want to introduce myself and what you can expect from the incoming SGA members.
I am a junior Political Science major with a Spanish minor and am completing my second year here at Armstrong State University. I have known since the 8th grade that public service was my calling in life and I am glad that Armstrong has given me the opportunity to begin my journey. I am a Savannah native. I have lived here since I was born, attended the local public schools, and was afforded the opportunity to connect with many of the local community leaders through the various groups I have been affiliated with. I have served on the Student Government Association at Armstrong as a member of Campus Union Board, Senate, and as SGA Attorney General. Other leadership roles I have held include Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Treasurer, Interfraternity Council Vice President, and on campus-wide Administration/Student Committees – among numerous other areas of involvement.
As President, you can expect me to exhibit the same level of attention and work ethic to the concerns of the full student body as I transition from the aforementioned positions to the SGA Presidency.
Your incoming SGA Vice President, Naiyill Morales, is a senior Molecular Biology major. Naiyill Morales has served on Student Government for the past two years, serving as Senate Whip and as the Director for the Liberty Center Student Council, a new auxiliary branch of the Student Government Association at the Armstrong Hinesville Campus. Naiyill brings a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the sciences, military student affairs, Hinesville campus outreach, and non-traditional students. She will continue to advocate for student concerns from both campuses and ensure proper functioning and visibility of SGA members on campus.
Your incoming SGA Treasurer, Emmanuel Diaz, is a junior Physics major. Emmanuel, or “Manny”, has
served this past year on the Student Senate Business and Finance committee as well as the Recognized
Student Organization Budget Request Committee. Manny has great experience serving in multiple leadership roles, particularly in HOLA, as a Founding Brother of the Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity, and other groups with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and will bring a much-desired perspective to student leadership. As Treasurer, Manny will ensure that RSO funding is fair and accessible and ensure effective communication with RSOs regarding available funds and processes for requesting and acquiring approved funds. Manny will also work to resolve issues regarding campus meals and other issues that pertain to the Treasurer’s office.
Your incoming SGA Secretary, Katie Anne Fopiano, is a junior Bio-Chemistry major. Katie Anne has served this year on the Student Senate Campus and Community Initiatives Committee. This year, as a member of that committee, Katie Anne worked to lay the groundwork for a potential Armstrong-Savannah Schools program that will focus on tutoring students in low academic standing, and will continue to develop this program to be a long-term partnership. Katie Anne has served in multiple leadership roles with the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority and currently is a tutor, herself, at Armstrong. As Secretary, Katie Anne will work to improve communication between School Administration, SGA, and students, including pushing to innovate current communication avenues.
Team D.A.R.E., as we called ourselves, campaigned on the Three Cs – CUB, Campus, Community. As a team, we decided during our planning phase that we wanted to initiate and fully bring to fruition at least one major accomplishment for each of the Cs. For Campus Union Board, we want to work closely with the newly, now formally established CUB Executive Board to increase collaboration among student groups and the Campus Union Board to increase student turnout and participation, and improve the major annual CUB events, namely Celebrate, Spring Fling, and the Big Show. For Campus, we want to work with all departments to promote and engage students, including increased athletic event attendance and cultural event attendance. This will involve asking larger student collaboration groups to potentially sponsor an athletic event and using student groups to spread the work about other events on campus, because guess what? THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AND BE INVOLVED IN! For the community, we are developing a potential tutoring program that would act as a partnership between Armstrong and the Savannah-Chatham schools (stay tuned for more details and how you can get involved!) and we want to work with local service-based organizations to give students greater opportunities to expand their community service resume. Community service is so much more important than it is given credit for.
Armstrong is sitting on the verge of excellence, not just in academics but in community engagement and leadership. While the University has made great leaps and bounds, specifically being honored as a top university for Veterans and Health Sciences, there is still much room to grow – and the incoming SGA Executive Team campaigned on and will continue to push for that growth, at the campus level and at the community level.
But we CANNOT do it alone. We need your help to make Armstrong what we all know it can be – a vibrant campus with boundless opportunities for everyone. Student are what allow this University to exist and we should make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure we are getting the most out of our undergraduate and graduate experiences. So, if you see us, TALK to us! We want to get to know you and we want you to get to know us. Communication and interpersonal relationships are
two of the most critical pieces to effective outcomes.
We are Armstrong students. We are Team D.A.R.E. We are Dedicated to Achieving Results for Everyone.