Student government reshuffles executive ranks for second time this year

Former treasurer Ross Coleman ’22 is filling the role of vice president after Victoria Puglia ’21 stepped down at the beginning of the semester. The treasurer vacancy will be filled by chair of the budget committee and former interim treasurer Jonathan Sosa-Ponce ‘21. Puglia took over as vice president after former president Fraynette Familia stepped down last semester and was succeeded by Alisha Ghai ’20.

Although there are often changes in the student government administration at the beginning of the semester, Ghai said that there is no set protocol on how the treasurer and vice president position are filled outside of elections. Both Sosa-Ponce and Coleman were chosen because of their willingness to fulfill the roles as well as their experience in student government leadership.

“I was just really glad that we could fulfill it internally without having to go for full action, especially because we are having our elections coming up in April,” Ghai said.

Coleman ran unopposed for treasurer in the 2019 executive board elections and has been working closely with the budget committee since. Both he and Sosa-Ponce are retaining their positions on the committee, leaving no additional vacancies to be filled.

Coleman said that the specific duties of the vice president are nebulous, but that he hopes this will allow him to tailor the role to his goals.

“There’s not that many rules for what the vice presidency should be like, so I want to make it my own thing and really see how much the vice president position could get done,” he said. “What I’m trying to do is basically just lend a voice to a bunch of different committees and see how I can help with any projects that they’re working on, as well as…bringing student government more to life in general.”

Despite not being officially involved in the transition, Puglia has been working with Coleman as he takes on her former role. 

“Ross and I have had multiple conversations about what I was doing as VP, what he wants to build on, and I have given him a couple of suggestions,” she wrote in an email “The transition isn’t that tricky, especially if you are already on an [executive] position in student government.”

“He is very passionate about student government, he has very many great ideas, and is very committed to making them happen. He was a great treasurer, very dedicated, and I know he will carry that dedication forward,” she added.

Sosa-Ponce and Coleman have also been working together consistently on the budget committee since last spring, and plan to continue doing so this semester.

“I feel like the dynamics between [Coleman and me] aren’t going to change,” Sosa-Ponce said. “We’re definitely working hand-in-hand, and I still ask him questions all the time and so does he. It’s definitely a great working relationship.”

As treasurer and as current chair of the budget committee, Sosa-Ponce said his primary project is to work with the Budget Revision Committee, which Coleman started as treasurer. The purpose of the committee is to remove the “gray area” in funding allocation, and plans to release the new budget guidelines by mid-March, according to Sosa-Ponce.

“We’re trying to be fair in ensuring that every club has access to the funds, which every club does,” he said. “We want to make sure that they’re all they’re all following the same rubric, that we’re holding the same standards and in some part holding…the budget committee accountable.”

Because of his past experience in the role, Sosa-Ponce said the transition to his new role has been “very easy.”

“He’s very experienced at the role,” Ghai said. “He knows how to run the budget meetings and all that kind of stuff.”

“We are all really excited,” she added. “I have a ton of confidence in all of them in their abilities to fulfill these roles.”

Correction: This article originally said Alisha Ghai was class of ’21.

About Benjamin Fuller

Ben Fuller '21 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. He studies math and computer science, with a minor in religious studies.

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