Former president returns to SA leadership

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A familiar face has returned to Student Association’s leadership.

SA President Lauren Kreiss in August appointed her predecessor, Cody McKay, as SA’s executive assistant.

McKay, who did not run for re-election, replaces Carly Lipinski, who resigned from the role.

“Out of the candidates that applied for the (executive assistant) position, Cody was the most qualified,” Kreiss said.

McKay expressed an interest in returning to the student government with a new advisor, Daniel Strasz, also coming on board.

“I knew that the position had opened up, and I had an interest in returning, so I filled out an application,” he said. “I told Lauren to make sure that she picked whoever she felt would be best for the role, and here we are. With the transition to the new advisor, I thought I would be able to effectively assist in that process.”

The executive assistant position is one of three recently filled seats in SA.

In addition to those appointments, SA started the Fall semester with news of the successful funding of another semester of the Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services’ Nightline bus route.

Sophomore supply chain management student Nolan Twardy was appointed as allocations director during a special meeting on Aug. 28. Twardy, who is serving his second year in SA, previously served as a representative and on the President’s Cabinet as an assistant to fraternities.

“As allocations director, I’m hoping to reach more individuals and RSO’s than in years past,” Twardy said, adding he also wants to reduce expenses.

Elizabeth Bihary, a junior health sciences student with a year of experience in SA, was appointed as the new campus events director on Sunday, Sept. 10.

Bihary and Twardy’s appointments follow a series of resignations from SA, with seven members having resigned since July,including former speaker Tyson McKinley.

“Tyson decided to resign due to personal opportunities and academic reasoning,” Kreiss said.

After McKinley resigned, McKenna Ciner was elected as speaker, leaving her previous role as campus events director unfilled.

Aside from appointments, members of SA are focused on funding more programs and events that are popular with students. SA passed funding for another semester of the Nightline bus route on Monday, Aug. 21, at a meeting where the association was presented with hundreds of student signatures in support of continuing the program.

The Nightline program began in March 2017, running at night Thursdays through Sundays as a way to give students greater access to the area’s nightlife and to discourage drunk driving. The bus line served 569 students during the four weekends it ran, with a single weekend record of 278 riders. It became especially popular with international and transfer students who were new to the area.

SA Ombudsman Kara Hoch in August wrote a resolution that SA’s funding of the Nightline program for this semester would be $7,500. After discussion among representatives in the House, the Nightline funding passed with a 17–2 vote.

The line will have a different route and schedule from last semester. Nightline will run from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays. The route will include downtown Saginaw, Old Town, the GTX theater and Meijer, and include service to all Saginaw Spirit hockey games.

Rides on the Nightline bus are free for SVSU students who present valid student identification and $1.50 for non-students.

SA had already been significantly contributing to Nightline’s budget, with $3,750 of the pilot program’s $10,000 budget coming from SA. Other funders of the pilot program had stated to SA members that they would only continue to fund the program if SVSU students expressed their support for it.

For Kreiss, the Nightline funding was an important way to show the student body’s support for the bus route.

“It was important for SA to get the Nightline funded, not only provide great service that impacted every individual on campus, but also show that a student-run organization was willing to fund the Nightline again,” she said.