Being a class representative goes far past the weekly emails. They plan events, correspond the classes needs to the Gonzaga Student Associated Body (GSBA) and create a unified community.
This year three new people have been elected to represent their classes in the coming school year.
Morgan Graves – senior representative
Morgan Graves, a junior political science and public relations double major, spent her sophomore and junior years in the GSBA Senate. And after working on the legislative end of student government she wanted to connect with students on a more personal level, so, she decided to run for senior representative.
“The position as senior representative does just that. It’s about planning events and making sure that the voices of your class are heard by the faculty and the administration at the university,” Graves said. “I knew that I wanted to be that middleman position, but also to be able to connect closer with our class and be able to make a difference that students wanted to see.”
Going into next year her primary goal is to bring the senior class together in their last year at GU, especially after having their junior year cut short.
“I had goals when I was running for office: I want to form a strong community among the senior class, I want to make sure we are having fun and inviting events that are incorporating everyone, I want to make sure that I am being a voice for our class,” Graves said.
She went onto say that there are even more important steps to take now because of the coronavirus and that the class will need to rebuild what was lost this semester to get back on their feet.
Graves wants to use her position to provide a voice to the class. She said she wants to incorporate the voices of cultural clubs and groups that may be overlooked into her work in the coming year.
“I think we need to make sure that when we think about our community we’re thinking about all aspects of our community,” Graves said. “I want to make sure going forward to make it a priority that I meet with other groups on campus and make sure that we are acknowledging all students and all perspectives. So, that’s going to be a focal point of my position as the senior representative.”
Ben Cibula – junior representative
Ben Cibula, a sophomore majoring in English, decided to run for junior representative because he wanted to be more involved with the GU community after participating in events like Gonzaga Experience Live (GEL), orientation weekend and working as a resident assistant (RA).
“I really want to be an accessible student representative,” Cibula said. “I want to be able to do the most I can for people who see that there needs to be changed whether it’s in the constitution or in general student life. I want to give a voice to the unheard, to use a cliché.”
Cibula said that he hopes to bring the class together in their junior year through the events he has planned that he is currently “keeping under wraps.”
“I think junior year is a time where students really come out of their shell and want to be involved with on campus activities and student government,” he said. “I see this as a really cool opportunity to connect with my class specifically and with the whole school. I think this is a time when they are really starting to get their priorities straight so I’m excited for that.”
He’s excited to start learning how GSBA works, as this will be his first position held, and is looking forward to opportunities to create change on campus that will better his class and the university.
“Starting right out of the gate junior year with an event will be a good way to get things going and to show things are in full swing,” Cibula said. “I don’t foresee it being a huge issue for students to readjust to campus life."
Even though Cibula does not see readjusting being an issue next semester he hopes to bring people together and show his presence to the class and work to find a new routine.
“I want [the junior class] to know that I’m going to do my best to plan events that will draw students and absolutely do my best to give a voice for every student who wants to be involved in student government,” he said. “Generally trying to make it a fun and respectful and safe atmosphere for everyone is my priority.”
Rianne Meskel – sophomore representative
Rianne Meskel, a first-year nursing major, was introduced to the GSBA through her work study position in the Center for Student Involvement. After spending the year watching the student government work, she decided she wanted to join.
“My big thing was I did a lot of leadership and ASB in high school and it’s always been something I was really passionate about,” Meskel said. “I knew that coming to Gonzaga it was a very leadership based school so I wanted to make sure I kept my involvement, but my freshman year I was really concerned about keeping on a tight schedule and making sure I wasn’t falling behind in classes, so I didn’t do it this year.”
She said she wants to create events that help her classmates break out of their shells and help them find their place at GU in their sophomore year especially after coming off of five months without being on campus
“Coming back from doing online classes this coming August and September I want to try to do a big mingling event because there will be people they haven’t seen for five months and so it’s a way for us to get back together and be with groups they haven’t seen for a long time,” she said.
Meskel also wants to host events like a yoga or meditation night that will help the class find a sense of calm during the school year as well as bring the class together.
“I want to have a really good community of sophomores,” Meskel said.
She really wants to focus on bringing the class together and make up for the lost part of the classes' first year.
“I’m really excited for this opportunity and I’m excited to see what I’m capable of but more importantly what our class is capable of,” she said.
The class representatives will begin their work come August when everyone is back on campus and are eager to begin their work and interact with their classes. The first year representative will be elected at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.