There have been no changes in leadership for the Class of 2019. A rumor originated from Facebook that Briae Robillard was stepping down as president of the senior class. She has stated that this is not the case, she is simply taking a brief leave of absence. Instead, the core leadership of Student Government remains intact going into the new semester.
“In the end, I did not officially resign or went through the resignation process. I am taking a medical leave from government (not the school) for the next few weeks. Vice President Allie Tolles will be taking over until after finals, but I will continue to do some smaller work where I can, and will be attending all meetings for the rest of the semester. I intend to come back next semester and pick up where I [left off],” Robillard wrote in an emailed statement.
Allie Tolles reiterated what Robillard wrote, writing in an emailed statement: “As of right now, Briae is still acting as the Class of 2019 President. I do not feel comfortable answering any further questions about this.”
The rumor originated in a Facebook post that Robillard made in the official Keene State College Class of 2019 Facebook group. The post, which has since been deleted, allegedly included Robillard stating that she would be stepping down as the president and that there were multiple positions open and available.
Advisor for Student Government Brandon Mathieu said that while the rumors about Robillard’s resignation are false, there are in fact positions open in Student Government.
“At this time, it’s my understanding that Student Government leadership has not received a formal resignation from Briae. That said, as far as Student Government is concerned, Briae is still the Class of 2019 President. Also, to clarify, per Student Government records, the Class of 2019 currently has three Class Representative spots vacant; all other positions are filled,” Mathieu wrote in an emailed statement.
While the seniors might have positions filled in Student Government, the first-year class does not. According to an Equinox article published last month, as of Halloween, the Class of 2022 was in need of a President, a Vice President, a Treasurer, a secretary, and four representatives to sit on assembly. These positions are all open for election. Vitello interviewed Sarah Wilson, the Chair of the Student Government Elections Committee, who said that she is unsure of why the involvement of first-year students has gone down. In the past, the student involvement fair has garnered enough interest and support, but that was not the case this year. Despite a campaign to promote interest in student government that involved Facebook, Instagram, and email, these positions remain vacant. Wilson has been involved in Student Government since her first year at Keene, and she said she feels that it is a great opportunity for students to get involved with what is happening on campus.
Interest in Student Government amongst first year students is not completely absent, however. First-year history and secondary education major Lydia Mardin is running as Secretary of the Class of 2022. She said that she has always had a vested interest in politics, and wants to help give her graduating class a voice. She feels that involvement from first year students is down because of the divisive political climate in America, as well as the fact that first year students are less likely to be truly comfortable in their surroundings. Mardin feels that the contemporary political climate in America discourages interest in politics and government amongst the youth. She believes that because these young adults are all new to Keene State College, and most are new to the Monadnock region, they are less interested in putting themselves out there.
Any students who are interested in joining student government can pick up a petition in the Student Government Office, on the second floor of the Student Center. Once the petition has been completed, the student may submit it to the Student Center Administration suite, on the third floor of the Student Center.
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