Photo courtesy of Facebook | From left to right: Johnny Srsich, Eduardo Patron, Bri Boyce, Zeina Farhat, Cole Stautberg and Ryan Fitzgerald.
The Student Government Association’s (SGA) end of term banquet was, as both the laughter and tears indicated, bittersweet. Individuals who began their terms with little more in common than wishing to serve as public servants to Xavier students found themselves at an event reaffirming that they had become a close team on the day they could no longer be one.
Senators and executives both old and new settled down at tables with plates of catered Bucca di Beppo in the Arrupe Overlook on Monday afternoon, reflecting on the past term and expressing hopes for the next.
As a gradual ease into sentimentality, the banquet opened with awards. Ryan Kambich, chair of the academic affairs committee, was awarded Rookie of the Year — an award given to exceptional senators after their first term. ZRE described Kambich’s presence as immediate upon arrival. He filled a vacancy in the Senate but brought admirable passion.
The Committee of the Year award, given to committees that demonstrated the greatest impact through outreach and programming, was given to the Student Rights and Identity committee. Just a few of their accomplishments, according to ZRE, included the “It’s on X” campaign and Sex Week.
The Senator of the Year award was awarded to Chair of the Student Rights and Identity committee Devi Jagadesan. Her passion for “It’s on X,” among other programs, was “clear from the beginning,” outgoing SGA President Zeina Farhat said. Jagadesan was noted for investing a significant amount of energy into her advocacy work against gender-based violence.
Senators had the opportunity to take the microphone to say some words, and Jagadesan shared her experiences.
“My goal was to represent the school when I came to Xavier University,” she said. She was originally on the track team, and she became increasingly involved in SGA until her junior year, when she was pulled aside by her coach for taking on too many responsibilities. He threatened to kick her off the team, to which Jagadesen said, “A couple days later, I was like ‘screw track,’” and she was able to dedicate herself fully to SGA.
ZRE thanked advisers Dustin Lewis and Leah Busam-Klenowski with small gifts and awarded the Circle of Honor, reserved for “special members of the Xavier community,” to Dr. Linda Schnoestedt.
Farhat struggled not to choke up while sharing some personal thoughts. She recalled how she tried to build a different ticket in which she would serve as vice president, but Lewis advised her not to sell herself short and told her that she could be president of her own ticket one day.
“I want to tell you all, especially those of you who are female, never sell yourself short,” Farhat said. “You are capable, talented and you are good enough to be in this position.”
The banquet concluded with the swearing-in of JBC by ZRE. New senators will be sworn in next semester. ZRE has been recognized for their higher presence and activity than last year’s executive ticket and are confident that the legacy will be upheld and bolstered further by JBC.
By: Soondos Mulla-Ossman ~Copy Editor~