Kathleen Clyburn, Senior Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government (ASG) met Tuesday to elect two new positions to cabinet: secretary for public relations and secretary for sustainability initiatives.

Current senior Secretary for Public Relations Andrew Bair will be graduating after the winter term and needed a successor to take his place.

The secretary for public relations holds the responsibility of acting as a liaison between ASG, the press and the public.

Senior senator Brandon Patterson, junior senator Colleen Ryan, and junior Allison Gnaegy all ran for the position.

Patterson felt he was a good candidate because has been an active part of ASG for his entire college career and has taken part in past public relations work within the university, including PR for the Spring Fest board.  

“I have been a part of ASG for four years,” Patterson said. “I think this is very important because in order to communicate, as the PR person does, you need to understand the message and I think I really get the ASG message and so I think I can really communicate it to our audience, the student body.”

Ryan expressed her goals for ASG for the position.

“I want to not just bring in student concerns from other people through the senators, but actually bring in other people to personally voice their concerns,” Ryan said. “I also want to bring them in to Tuesdays with Courtney and Charlie, because they said their best, most successful days were when they had a topic, so I want to bring in people with topics to discuss.”

Senior Secretary for Diversity Affairs Mariah Green asked what Ryan liked about the current PR for ASG and what some of her recommendations were to help make it better.

“Last year, I worked with student concern booths and I like them, but they need to be revamped,” Ryan said. “We need to bring it together better and let students know that they exist.”

Gnaegy, although not a part of ASG, felt she would be the right candidate because she has had a lot of experience with public relations through the university including acting as the Director of Advertising and promotions for Pi Sigma Epsilon and being a part of Public Relations Student Society of America.

“The key aspect of my platform is having a brand study,” Gnaegy said. “I know you know who you are and certain groups of students interact with you as well, but I think you need to find out how other students view you and ask if there is brand awareness of ASG’s mission and of what ASG is.”

Senior senator Drew Doggett asked what made Gnaegy want to run for the position, being a non-ASG member.

“I have been watching what you do and seeing opportunities, like the brand study,” Gnaegy said. “I think since you are the student governing body, a brand study and making your efforts strategic is exactly what needs to be done. I saw the opportunity to do this and think I can do a great job.”

After an executive session, a time when senate debates and votes, the senate elected Gnaegy to the position of Secretary for Public Relations.

After recent legislation written by members of ASG, a position for Secretary for Sustainability Initiatives was created.

Senior senator Elizabeth Beumel and sophomore Molly Sweeney both ran for the position.

Beumel previously to the creation of a cabinet member position for sustainability held the position of sustainability within the senate. She believed she would be a good candidate for the cabinet position because she has had previous experience in sustainability and has been a part of the environmental committee in ASG.

“For the university sustainability goals, one of the seven is to have more sustainable transportation systems,” Beumel said. “We want to work to not only be more accommodating, but also to be more efficient and more sustainable. We are also bringing all of the environmental organizations together and I have contacted every organization and met with them.”

Sweeney felt she would be the right candidate for the position because she has had experience with sustainability including acting as the co-president of Eco Reps, which promotes sustainability in dorms on campusand is part of Green Oxford.

Some of her goals included creating a green newsletter, working with dining and engineering departments on being more sustainable, promote overall awareness with “green themes” for each month.

Junior senator Max Smith posed Sweeney a question.

“Since this is such a new position and it will take a lot of drive and determination to get things rolling and this can be a slow moving bureaucracy, what have you done to try to push through initiatives past position?”

Sweeney said she would want to get a head start on getting more people involved in sustainability. In her position at Eco-Reps she was able to get over 30 people involved and active in making initiatives.

After another executive session, the senate elected Beumel to the position of Secretary for Sustainability Initiatives.