A New Year Presents New Adventures as Students Select New Class President to Lead the Way Forward
By Sarayuth Pinthong
Knightly News Reporter
Nov. 8, 2016, marked another change in our nation. That was the day Donald J. Trump was elected the new President of the United States.
Central Penn College also elected a new representative of the student body. That person was Jasmine Harvey. Knightly News reporter Sarayuth Pinthong had the opportunity to sit down with Harvey as she shared some details about herself and her new position as Student Government Association (SGA) president.
KN: Central Penn College is a very diverse institution. Where are you from and how did you become a student of Central Penn?
JH: I’m from Philadelphia. I became a student because I received a letter in the mail about the school. I just took a chance and got accepted. I decided to come here to see how the campus was. I didn’t know that my cousin was attending (at) the time. We did a tour and I liked it. I enjoyed that it was a small campus and everything was so close.
KN: How long have you been a student at Central Penn and what do you enjoy about the college?
JH: This is my sixth term here. What I like most about this school is that they give their students opportunities to do what they like to do. If you really want something to be done on campus all you have to do is email somebody and they’ll get right back to you. For example, we have a cheerleading club on campus. We didn’t have that before. That was something (students) really wanted to happen and they did their best to do it.
Jasmine Harvey, student government association president at Central Penn College, poses for a photo in the ATEC building, Feb. 8. Photo by Sarayuth Pinthong
KN: Central Penn College offers a variety of academic programs. What is your major and why?
JH: I’m a corporate communications major. I selected it as my major because I love writing. I know that in the communications field there’s a lot to do. There’s always an opportunity for you in any field with the major and that’s what I love the most. I like doing and trying new things. I didn’t want to be stuck doing one specific thing for the rest of my life. I want to branch out and learn.
KN: What would be your dream job?
JH: I probably would go more to the public relations side, like marketing. Recently, I’ve found that it’s interesting to me once I took my advertising class. Afterwards, I’ve learned to enjoy the process on marketing a product, how to get it out there and how to sell it.
KN: What does “SGA” stand for and how long have you been affiliated with SGA? What roles did you hold prior to being elected as the new SGA president?
JH: SGA stands for the Student Government Association. I’ve been a part of it for about a year now. Before I became president, I was the vice president.
KN: Individuals in positions such as yours research the actions and qualities of past members so they can develop a plan of action of what works and doesn’t work toward the future. With that in mind, who was your predecessor and any reason why he/she is no longer the SGA president?
JH: Sebastine (Virella) was our SGA president of 2016 and was supposed to be for 2017. Unfortunately, he had to take some time off from school to deal with some other matters in his life. Before I stepped up to the role to take this position, we were very good friends. We had a conversation about how to move forward with SGA, like the plans he wanted to fulfill before he left the school. He has my back 100 percent and I have his. He still helps me out with meetings and event planning. I always go to him to ask questions.
KN: How were you selected as the SGA president? Was there an election of some type held for the student body?
JH: We had Morgan Littleford, our secretary, and Yuli (Sutedjo), our treasurer. Our bylaws state that if our president, or anybody, resigns, the next person up will take control. Since I was vice president, the control was assigned to me. In the fall term we had an election where the students decided who they wanted as class president.
KN: What experiences do have that can help you as the next SGA president?
JH: Being around Sebastine provided the opportunity for him to take me under his wing. I feel like just being around him and seeing how he does everything, from planning to budgeting, gave me the chance to learn how to take on the role.
KN: Can you explain the roles and responsibilities of the SGA president?
JH: If the student body has any concerns, they can come to us with the problem. During our meetings we talk about issues that were brought up to us to find solutions on how to fix them for our students as fast as possible. Recently, we had an issue about the cafeteria. We decided to go and give out comment sheets for the students to fill out which provided us with suggestions on what food and style they wanted the cafeteria to have. We took that and went to the president of Central Penn for a meeting just to discuss issues about the cafeteria and what the students wanted to see. Just from that meeting the cafeteria did change.
KN: What is your view of the Central Penn student body and are their voices being heard?
JH: I would say that the voices of our students are being heard. I feel like the staff here does care about the students. They want things to change for the better. The staff is willing to help out any way they can, as long as you bring the problem to them by stating the problem and what you want to see changed. We have comment boxes that we put out during our events. During that time, we communicate with students by asking if they have any suggestions or comments they want us to present. We have an email address on our Blackboard page as well. You can even come directly to me if anything is bothering you.
KN: Last term involved some negative incidents that attracted the attention of the staff of Central Penn along with the student body. Would you comment on that?
JH: As far as the past incidents, it just seemed like a bunch of miscommunication and not stating the problems or exactly what you wanted to see changed. It was a lot of stating opinions. When you want to see something changed, instead of opinions, state the facts … and have a plan to implement campus procedures accordingly, and in a better way.
KN: The whole picture of what’s going on isn’t always visible during certain situations. When negative situations develop, how can the SGA positively assist both the students and the staff of Central Penn?
JH: For SGA, we just take action as soon as we can. We go directly to students and staff to see what they want, and talk with both sides to come together to see what we feel needs to be brought up to the president during a meeting. If we handle the situation as soon as it happens, rather than waiting, the outcome could be better.
KN: What are your goals toward the future as SGA president and how can students get involved?
JH: My goals are for SGA to get more involved with all the clubs on campus. We do have a few plans to attend more club meetings to see how we can help other clubs, like trying to get them a budget, help with fundraisers or just be more successful. When it comes to students being involved with us, hopefully, when we go to other clubs they would see that we’re trying to help them out. Other than being the voice of the students, we also help out with community service hours. We do fundraisers to help out with the Education Foundation that gives scholarships to students.
KN: What would you like to say directly to the students of Central Penn College to help them better understand the roles of their SGA?
JH: SGA is here to help you guys out. If you don’t want to address a problem yourself, you can come to us so we can help. If you just want to start a club on campus and you need help, you can come to us. Whatever you need help with, we can help you out with it. That’s what we’re mainly here for – to help the students out in any way possible. We’re here to make your college experience the best one you have. I know that a lot of students want to do similar things that other colleges do. That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to make sure that whatever you want done on this campus, if possible, can be done so you can have that great college experience to share with your kids later in life – making good memories.
More information, inquiries or concerns can be submitted to SGA at email@example.com
To comment on this story or to suggest a story, contact KnghtlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.
Edited by Media Club President Sherri Long and club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.