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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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The Statesman

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Q&A with new USG President Anna Lubitz

Q. So first, can you tell me a bit about some of the plans for USG now that you’re president?

 

A. Now that I’m President I hope to see more events on campus, more bigger, bolder events hosted by USG. I know that we have the end of the year concert, but, one aspiration that I have for USG is maybe to have semester concerts to get the community excited about, “well what’s gonna happen at the end of the semester?” I also want to incorporate more weekend life events to make. I know Stony Brook has the name of being a “suitcase school.” However, I want Stony Brook students to feel engaged on the weekend as well, through USG events and activities.

 

Q. What are some of the problems in USG that you think could be addressed this coming semester?

 

A.  Ultimately, communication. I feel like it’s very important to reach out to the students, why I think Stony Brook University as a whole needs to have its students more involved and, through effective communication, I think that we can get students to say, “Yes. This is what happened at Stony Brook. I was involved with this. I had a say in this.”

And also with regard to clubs and organizations, I’m a senator right now, and when I was going though budget hearings and a lot of clubs and organizations mentioned that they didn’t have certain emails and notifications that were pertinent for their budget deadline. I think that by increasing communication and, again, reaching out to clubs and organizations, making sure that they know what’s going on in USG that would be the best plan possible.

I feel that if we increase town hall meetings, to be multiple, more so than they are right now, then clubs and organizations will have the opportunity to come and speak to the executive council and say, “This is what we need. How can we go about making this plan come true?”

Ultimately, I would also like to send out more surveys to the campus, not so much the boring type of survey, “Oh, click this,” but make it more interactive and engaging for students to say, “Okay, yes, this is very interesting.” I know for the end of the year concert, not a lot of students knew who was coming to the campus and I, personally, as president, I would like to implement something where students can have a say in who they would like to see at the end of the year concert.

 

Q. Okay, so I know there has been talk about raising the Student Activity Fee to $100. What do you think about that?

 

A.  There are pros and cons to everything. I think that if it is raised, then clubs and organizations will have more money to enhance their activities and their events on campus, but then again, it is coming out of students’ tuition. They’re paying more money for that.

I know that the margin for the Student Activity Fee right now was very close to the vote but it did end up becoming mandatory.  But I feel that it’s important for that to become mandatory, because without the Student Activity Fee, there’ll be no USG; there’ll be no clubs and organizations overall. And I think clubs and organizations are very very important on the campus because it makes Stony Brook University a diverse campus, and different from any other university because  we have such a large majority of clubs and organizations; we have over 300 and that’s what makes us different. It makes us stand out, and I think that’s very very important and it builds a closer community as well.

 

Q. So you are going into you junior year next year. Do you—know this is looking beyond—but do you think you would run for another term as president, or do you just think it’s gonna kind of be a one-year deal ?

 

A. Yes. I cannot say for sure right now.  My plans, I might be graduating a year early, so everything depends on that, and I mean I would love to run a second term, if possible, but then again I’m not sure where my school career might be taking me.

 

Q.What are some of your plans specifically for student life and government at the school?

 

A. Well, for student life, ultimately, I want to have students engaged. And I want them to feel that this can be their second home and there’s something always to do on campus and to make USG known and raise awareness about it from a government perpective because a lot of students don’t know what USG stands for.  And it’s kind of saddening because we’re their voice for the representation. And I think that, ultimately, by having more events and activities hosted by USG, then we can ultimately raise awareness and say, “Yes, that happened at USG, and I’m a proud student of Stony Brook University.”

 

Q. And yes for the more government side of it, the senate, what kind of thing do you have?

 

A. Ultimately, I would like senators, during their office hours, to go out and actually talk to the students.

I know we’re required, as senators, four hours, two in-office hours doing business and then two senate-related, and I think that ultimately,  if somehow senators can go out and actually speak to the students and what they want to see on campus, then we can get more feedback and bring that to the senate table and say, “Yes, these are the students’ needs and concerns. Let’s put this toward action because this is what they want to see. This is their school, and we’re their voice.”

 

Q. Do you think you’ll continue with the other things you did on campus. I know you’re part of a lot of clubs and you sing at a lot of major events. So, can you do that, even as president?

 

A. Yes. I would love to continue singing because that’s one of my hobbies, and it’s good release for me, so with athletics, I would love to sing national anthems more.

But with other clubs and organizations, presidency for USG is my first priority and students’ voice, that’s ultimate right now,  other things I will remain in contact with, but again, as I said, presidency is number one, and that’s my major concern and priority right now.

 

Q. Is it true that you’re not gonna take compensation for being president?

 

A. Well, I know I posted that as my Facebook status and if I’m able to, not to, but I don’t know what the legalities are of it right know, but I would personally like to use and put that toward clubs and organizations.

 

Q. Do you think senators should be paid the amount they are now?

 

A. Well, senators were paid—we actually voted on this—$75 and then we decreased that to about $60 because, again, USG  is a service.

You know you shouldn’t run for it because you’re getting paid. You should be doing it because you actually care about the community and students and their voices.

But overall I think that you do put a lot of hours, a lot of work into it and some students may say that, “oh well it’s a job because I’m putting so much work into it,” but then again, if you truly care about what you’re doing, then money shouldn’t matter in the end.

 

Q. Do you have anything else to add?

 

A. Well I’m very very happy to be Stony Brook University’s USG president and thank you for electing me.

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