Executive members of USG reflect on their experience

Patrick Koster & Najee Walker, Record Editors

As SUNY Buffalo State nears the halfway point in the 2016 spring semester, United Student Government elections are soon to unfold.

Polls will be open Monday, March 28 through Wednesday, March 30 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union lower lobby. Registered undergraduate students are eligible to vote and should bring some form of ID.

With the end of the spring semester also comes the end to three USG Executive Board members’ time in office. USG President Derek Jorden, Executive Vice President Emily Leminger, and Treasurer Diaisha Richards will be leaving their positions in May.

The Buffalo State seniors have shared many experiences working as a member of USG in their time attending college.

Jorden was elected as USG president last spring, and said he was honored to have been elected.

“My experience as a president has been amazing, the amount of love and respect I get from students is amazing. I always tell students that I am an average student. I go to class and I am liable to bomb a test as well. I tell students that I do this for the average student that thinks that they can’t amount to anything. I tell students that if I could do it, they could as well. This term has had its up and downs, but overall, it has been amazing and I am so honored that I was chosen to do so.”

Leminger has been with USG for four years, serving two in her current position.

“Being the EVP was such an interesting experience for me,” Leminger said. “I got to see USG from all different aspects, as a senator, an AVP and the EVP for two years. There were a lot of ups, getting to know students I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet, learning personal and professional skills, and learning a lot about myself will be my best memories. As for downs? I’m taking everything as a learning experience, any of my setbacks taught me how to be a better leader. It’s really hard to see people graduate and go when you’ve been with them for so long, though.”

Richards said she will miss USG, as it helped her grow as both a student and leader.

“My experience as treasurer is a great learning and humbling experience,” Richards said. “It helped me hone great skills and also helped me decide what I actually want to do as a career. An up would have to be learning and grasping everything the treasurer position entailed as fast as I did. Before being treasurer, I had no financial experience, and now, I am darn good at my job! A down would have to be having treasurers from other organizations not meet deadlines and due dates or making excuses for things that I do not. If I were to give organizations’ treasurers half the excuses they gave me, they would want me impeached.”

Richards said working with Jorden was new for her, but described him as dedicated and wanting the best for USG. This year marked her second year working with Leminger.

“She is a hard working student and wants the best for USG as well,” Richards said about Leminger. “We have three different personalities and I believe that is what made us great for each other.”

“It has had its ups and downs,” Jorden said. “We are like a family. One day we love each other, the next day we don’t. Overall, at the end of the day, we have each other’s back. Any decisions we make wrong or right, we stand behind each other with those decisions.”

Leminger said although Jorden is fairly new to his position, they work together well.

“Jorden is a lot of fun,” Leminger said. “He has a lot of ideas and he keeps everyone on their toes. It’s been interesting working together as a USG veteran and a newcomer, but I think we balance each other out.”

Richards said her toughest decision working with USG was cutting each organization’s t-shirt line. For the next treasurer, she had some advice:

“To the next treasurer, I would wish them luck. I would also tell them to be dedicated to the position and do not do it for a paycheck. Stand your ground and follow your own rules.”

Jorden had some advice for the next USG president:

“I have been very involved on campus. I go to each event and I stop by to organizations’ general interest meetings. I make my presence known to the student body. I am very visible, students see me and know that I am not just a student, but someone who has their backs and is fighting for their needs. The next president has to gain the same trust I have in the students’ eyes.”

Leminger said one of her toughest decisions was helping decide who would fill open eBoard positions. For the next vice president, she said to take in every moment.

“Take all the hard lessons and begin with the end in mind (thanks Stephen Covey). Decide how you want to leave your mark, and remember why you chose to want to help students in the first place,” Leminger said. “I’d also say to utilize your resources. We have an amazing and dynamic staff and advisor; they are great people with an abundance of knowledge.

Mostly, I’d just like to thank all of the students and members of the Buff State community that supported me the last four years. They are certainly years I won’t forget. I’m really grateful for all of the amazing programs and specialties that orgs have pulled off. I’m so lucky to have experienced all of this first hand.”

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