SGA swears in new president, discusses semester plans

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SGA swears in new president, discusses semester plans

James Schooley, SGA president

James Schooley, SGA president

Amanda Lopez

James Schooley, SGA president

Amanda Lopez

Amanda Lopez

James Schooley, SGA president

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Riley Owens, SGA president, resigned and James Schooley, vice president, was sworn in as president, during SGA’s opening Spring 2019 session on Jan. 18.

Owens was not in attendance, but in an interview with The Pioneer on the same day he said he is thankful to all of the students, faculty and staff that have been supportive to him, the organization and the students.

“I have served in SGA for the past two and a half years and sadly, my time for serving my university must come to a close. I accepted a position to serve the city of Valparaiso as a police officer and get a head start on my career that was just too good to pass up,” Owens said.

Owens said he will still be attending PNW through online classes and knows that SGA will be in good hands under the new leadership.

“It has been a great honor serving as the president of the students, and I know the students are getting someone much better than me in James,” Owens said. “James’ leadership abilities and ideas are going to bring about a better community here at PNW.”

Before the announcement, Robert Rodriguez, College of Nursing senator in Westville, was sworn in as President ProTempore. He proceeded to swear Schooley in as president.

Schooley believes his previous experience as SGA CHESS senator and his involvement with various PNW committees will provide him with the necessary approach to build student camaraderie and accomplish practical goals.

“In the coming semester, I will be directing SGA’s efforts to make small-scale, tangible changes for the betterment of the students,” Schooley said.

During the meeting, Schooley put forth for discussion a proposal to change the requirement for president and vice president candidates to have served for one semester in SGA to a general requirement of one semester in a leadership role in a student organization.

Reflecting on the open SGA Senate positions and the limited number of qualifying people for the role of his own vice president, he hopes the proposal will help widen the pool of candidates who will run in the spring elections.

Autumn Bright, Chief of Staff, became Schooley’s appointed vice president and Rahim Evans was appointed Director of Outreach; Former House of Representative member, Hannah Scheffer, was sworn in as Director of Communication; Bailey Regier, senior nursing major, was sworn in as Westville Honors College senator.

The organization approved $750 in Student Leadership Travel Funds to Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.

Schooley said he will be sending an email to the students detailing his plans moving forward for the semester. He will also be meeting with Matt Dudzik, director of intramurals, soon to discuss renovating equipment and repainting the game room in SULB.

“It’s a good example of the small quality of life changes that SGA can try to tackle, just small points that SGA can put their name on that will have a direct positive outcome for students,” Schooley said.