Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

As the academic year comes to an end, Associated Student Government members reflect on their time in office

<p>Nyah Smith and Jules Jefferson celebrated with friends and supporters after winning Student Body President and Vice President, respectively. </p>

Nyah Smith and Jules Jefferson celebrated with friends and supporters after winning Student Body President and Vice President, respectively.

As the 2023-2024 academic year nears its end, the current Associated Student Government (ASG) staff members will step down from their positions and incoming staff will take over.

Nyah Smith served as the student body president for the 2023-2024 academic year, with Jules Jefferson as vice president.

“It has been a very impactful year,” Smith said. “It has been a year where mental health has been amplified, where showing students that they can ask for help has been a priority across campus.”

During her time in office, Smith joined the Mental Health Task Force committee, supplementing the voices of those around her and started the RedHawk Day of Service.

As the first all-Black ticket to be elected, Smith said it was important for her and Jefferson to ensure minority students were heard.

“Making sure that the voices of minority students and underrepresented students are amplified here at Miami [is important] as we know Miami is a PWI (Predominantly White Institution),” Smith said.

Though Smith wasn’t able to accomplish all of her goals this year as president, such as implementing a career clothing closet, she is confident her efforts will continue with next year’s staff, led by Student Body President-Elect Will Brinley and Vice President-Elect Babs Dwyer.

“We’re making sure that the work that we’ve begun to do is led into next year,” Smith said. “You really get nine months. You get the school year, but I think the most important thing that you can do is pass along the projects.”

Jefferson echoed this message, and said that Brinley and Dwyer are in a good place to continue what they started.

“We have left the next student body president and vice president in a good position to continue to build on some of our initiatives, and then also continue to build on the relationships that we have sustained through our tenure,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said that overall, despite the challenges, the year was a success and that student voices were magnified.

“It’s been good overall, I think there have been some challenges, and with them came a lot of tough conversations,” Jefferson said. “We worked hard to ensure that all student voices and experiences were represented and honored.”

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Grace Payne, secretary of on-campus affairs, said this year has gone really well for ASG, regardless of a few issues.

“We’ve had some challenges,” Payne said. “I think it’s been kind of rocky over the last few years. We’ve had some pretty high highs but we’ve also had some pretty low lows.”

Payne also wants to implement an accessible campus map, which Dwyer and Brinley plan to work on during their time in office.

John Day, an academic senator representing the College of Arts and Science, currently serves on the oversight, infrastructure sustainability and academic affairs committees. Day said overall, this year has been a success.

“It’s been a pretty good year,” Day said. “We’ve had a good amount … of legislation that we’ve passed this year.”

Some legislation passed includes sustainable dining procedures, Birdie safety alarms, DEI week and other events.

Day hopes that in the future, people will learn more about ASG and what the organization does outside of just funding.

“Sometimes we do have a slightly negative reputation on campus, and part of championing that is students realizing what we actually do,” Day said. “We can tangibly change our campus and make campus better.”