Johnson, Vt- Two Johnson State College Student Government Association members have been elected to positions on the Vermont State College Student Association (VSCSA). SGA President Shavonna Bent has been elected to serve as president of the VSCSA and Shelby Rosten, treasurer for the JSC SGA, has been elected to be the treasurer of the VSCSA.
Both Bent and Rosten were elected during the first VSCSA meeting of the year on September 20, 2016. Those voting included students from each of the Vermont State Colleges.
“Being elected President of the VSCSA is an exciting responsibility. I see this as a chance to work with the most dedicated leaders from each Vermont State College on issues that will affect everyone in the system,” said Bent.
Bent, a junior, has been an active member on the VSCSA since her freshmen year and has worked with other JSC students on the association. Last year, JSC students Benjamin Simone and Jacob Rogenski co-chaired the VSCSA while Bent was a voting member and attended most meetings.
“I plan to lead the VSCSA through example, which is the model I best learn from and already try to promote in my work here at JSC. By setting a positive and productive model I believe that others will be inspired to take what works for them and bring it to their campus,” said Bent.
Rosten, a sophomore, started out with the SGA last year and worked to balance a budget and track club funds throughout the school year. Her new position will include managing the VSCSA budget and tracking expenses as the year goes on.
“What I’ve learned as SGA treasurer has prepared me for this position, and I’m excited to share my experiences with the group,” said Rosten.
The VSCSA is made up of student representatives from each college in the VSC system including Castleton University, Vermont Technical College, Community College of Vermont, Lyndon State College, and Johnson State College. The members meet and report on happenings at each of the respective campuses and work together to promote positive change on the campuses across the state. Last year, the VSCSA put together a survey to determine student’s opinions on a system-wide smoking ban.
“We plan to discuss and work with other campuses on the tobacco-free initiative that has been set forth by the board. It was decided in May of 2016 that the VSC would be tobacco-free by fall of 2018. Each college is submitting a plan to implement this goal, but gathering ideas and feedback from different campuses could aid in creating the most efficient guidelines,” said Bent.
Any students interested in voicing their opinions on the smoking ban or joining a committee that will determine how the ban is implemented at JSC is encouraged to contact Bent or the JSC SGA.
Along with navigating the VSC smoking ban, the VSCSA has set a goal to create a system wide event that will band the colleges together to fight for more state funding to support the colleges. Her biggest goal for the VSCSA is to coordinate with all of the colleges and plan a protest at the state house this winter while representatives are in session.
“We want to draw attention to the issue of increased funding for higher education in Vermont. As the students who pay for 82% of the revenue of the VSC, I believe our voices will be the strongest in requesting more state funding,” said Bent.
Students interested in attending a VSCSA meeting can contact Bent at email@example.com. All students are encouraged to attend and participate in the VSCA meetings.
“If we can gather student voices from around Vermont we can work towards positive change for students now and in the future,” said Bent.