Miami University’s Associated Student Government (ASG) held elections for the position of secretary of academic affairs – the last executive cabinet position that remained unfilled – and for two members of its steering committee at its meeting on Sept. 15.
Before the elections, ASG held a question and answer session with Steve Large, vice president of student affairs, about COVID-19-related concerns.
Questions asked included how the university plans to support hospitalized students, how it was decided that face-to-face classes would resume and how the university will ensure quarantined students’ mental health is taken care of.
Large said McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital has 17 hospital beds reserved specifically for COVID patients and that the university will provide any support hospitalized students want.
“The university is prepared to respond in whatever ways the student might need,” Large said. “We could certainly help make outreach to faculty members if a student wants us to, or to family members as well.”
Large said, though he wasn’t privy to all the information about why Miami’s administration decided to reopen campus, he doesn’t believe it was done for financial reasons.
“The truth of the matter is that Miami University is spending lots of money to actually have students here and to bring students back,” Large said. “I could understand why people might think that [finances motivated the decision], but I truly think that’s not accurate.”
Finally, Large said quarantined students will have access to telecounseling through the Student Counseling Center if they need mental health support.
Later in the meeting, ASG held an election for secretary of academic affairs. Junior business economics and entrepreneurship major Ruku Pal ran for the position.
Pal said, if elected, she would strive to empower students to use their voices, increase equity in academics and improve diverse representation in curriculum.
Senators elected Pal to the position.
ASG also held elections for two members of the steering committee. The first two members – senators Emily McClary and Becca Pallant – were appointed by Speaker of Senate Reena Murphy.
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Senators Omar Elghazawi and Danielle Stein accepted nominations to run for the open positions.
Elghazawi said, if elected, he would help senators bring “meaningful and successful” legislation to the floor every meeting, and that he would act as a resource for new senators.
Stein highlighted her experience serving on both ASG and University Senate and her passion for helping senators grow as reasons she should be elected to the committee.
Senators elected both Elghazawi and Stein to the committee.