USG and President Conway-Turner work to give students more input for graduation

Franklin Hagler, Staff Writer

Students in the class of 2015 will be able to submit various ideas on how to get their favorite choices for keynote speakers for their graduation ceremony.

Previous graduation classes at SUNY Buffalo State have been disappointed with ceremony speakers and timing.

“The speaker I had went on for 45 minutes and it was all about herself,” Liam O’Sullivan, class of 2014, said. “I really couldn’t take away anything and say I learned from it.”

United Students Government Senator Malika Cuffie, who is heading the effort with the commencement committee, encourages students to submit only serious speakers while also acknowledging that a lot of work must be done.

“This is something in its early working stages with the President but we need to make sure we don’t get carried away,” Cuffie said. “Let’s make sure we offer people we can all benefit from.”

USG and President Katherine Conway-Turner are also looking to give opportunities to students for input on how to film the graduation ceremonies. Students who are willing to shoot videos and photos are advised to contact the commencement committee as well.

“The committee has discussed the possibility of making those that do participate be able to get some sort of credit or something, plus it’s a great thing to add to the resume,” Cuffie said.

Interaction with social media and events at the end of the ceremonies will also be added in ways to improve the family experience.

The Senate also wanted to announce that Administrative Vice President of Campus Life Alicea Arias had to step down due to “school reasons.”

“Although we are USG, we are students as well and we want everyone to understand that one still has to take care of themselves first,” President Jorden said. “Graduation is always the top priority.”

The re-recognition of the International Student Organization, Criminal Justice Club, and Campus Role-Playing And Gaming Group, or CRAGG, was also voted on by senators.

Strong applause broke out when CRAGG spoke of their many events and membership numbers which reach up to 129 students.

“We take pride on giving nerds a place to be nerds,” CRAGG President Brienne Buckles said, “While also giving them a rare chance to actually socialize.”

There was also the first appointment of a football player to this year’s class of senators. Steven Crosland, a freshman from Staten Island, was unanimously voted in, becoming the ninth senator sworn in this year.

Isfak Islam, Aminata Keiru, Cynthia Lopez, Hector Rosario, Maurice Southwell, Roberto Williams, Aniekan Udofia, and Vivian Ukan were also students to be sworn over the year.

Each senator sworn in was either in their first or second year at Buffalo State, creating more balance in the Senate than before.


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