SAS Leaders Attend Government Workshop, Establish Goals

Three Nebraska Wesleyan University student leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer for a lesson in student government 101.

“The most important part of my position as student body president is ensuring that the student voice is heard and that the student senate reflects that voice in our actions,” said junior Denny Vaggalis, who will take office in August.

Vaggalis along with Student Affairs Senate (SAS) treasurer Doug Szwanek and SAS senator Lindsey Jones received plenty of good advice at the national student government workshop. They attended sessions on leadership styles, ethics, and business etiquette. They visited and shared experiences with student government representatives from large universities to those representing community colleges.

A workshop highlight was a presentation by 28-year-old Aaron Schock, the youngest member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Schock advised new student government leaders that age and inexperience should not stand in the way of passion.

“I now understand that if you’re willing to put in the effort, anything is possible,” said Jones.

By the time they departed Washington, D.C., all three NWU students had established their goals for the 2010-2011 Student Affairs Senate. Jones said she would like to see more student senators write legislation and become active participants.

“I feel that when the student body is given a chance to positively influence the university then it is our responsibility to capitalize on that opportunity,” she said.

Szwanek said as treasurer he wants to help fellow students understand the budget.

“I want to expand my role as treasurer and be a leader and the person that someone can go to and ask questions about their student organization, resolution or budget process,” he said.

Nebraska Wesleyan’s new student body president said he wants to help ensure that funds available to students are spent responsibly.

“But I would also like to see SAS do more than allocate funds,” said Vaggalis. “It would be good to see SAS take a more active role on campus in venturing into other issues that are of interest to the student body.

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SAS leaders Lindsey, Doug and Denny visit the U.S. Capitol while attending a national student government workshop.
Lindsey, Doug and Denny join NWU students Sarah Hotovy and Caitlin Bennett who are interning in Washington, D.C.