SGA president resigns, roles reassigned

SGA President Jordan Pintar and Executive Vice President Sofia Myers. Photo by Molly Burke / The Jambar

By Molly Burke

Alexander Papa has officially stepped down as Youngstown State University’s Student Government Association president after nine months. A new president and executive vice president were appointed during a meeting Feb. 13 in the Rossi Room of Kilcawley Center.

Jordan Pintar, former executive vice president, automatically assumed the role of president with Papa’s resignation in accordance with SGA’s constitution. Pintar has served as acting president since Jan. 15, when Papa took a medical leave of absence.

Taking on the role of executive vice president is Sofia Myers, the former vice president of student life. Myers was nominated for the position in accordance with SGA’s constitution, and representatives unanimously elected her at the meeting. 

With a month of serving as acting president under her belt, Pintar said the transition will be smooth. 

“It was a very unfortunate circumstance that it came so unknowingly, but I was able to transition a lot of that work, and with Sofie already having experience being one of the VPs that we have of our committees, she was able to transition that work pretty easily,” Pintar said. 

Pintar said SGA will continue with its initiatives, but her role in carrying them out will change.

“There’s a lot of things that we are already working on for this semester … Now, I have to carry that out, and I get to do it with Sofie,” Pintar said. “Our initiatives are the same and what we do to get them done are the same. It’s just kind of a matter of where I need to be now on the daily.”

For Myers, the new role is a big shift, but she said it’s an exciting change.

“It’ll be less of event planning and running my committee and more of looking at the administrative side of things — setting agendas for meetings, going to meetings with administrators and things like that, more of the academic side of things,” Myers said.

With concerns surrounding YSU President Bill Johnson’s appointment and program cuts in the Dana School of Music, SGA has been encouraging students to express their thoughts. Myers said she will use her role as executive vice president to continue listening to community voices.

“Student government acts as the direct liaison between the students and the administration. So, I think just figuring out what our reps want me to bring to the conversation and how I can accurately represent the entire student body through those meetings,” Myers said. 

Following Myers’s election, Rep. Emma O’Connell and Rep. Jenna Billet nominated each other for the position of student life vice president. Both O’Connell and Billet are on the student life committee, which is led by the student life vice president. 

Billet said she and O’Connell planned to nominate each other before the meeting.

“We both are on the [student] life committee obviously, and we’re both really enthusiastic with it,” Billet said. “We both try to come up with ideas to make it more fun for students on campus, and I feel like we both have pretty good backgrounds to hold that position.”

If elected, Billet said she will use the position to showcase the Dana School of Music and facilitate conversations between students and the administration.

“I would want to make it where we can have some sort of campus-life activity to promote the Dana School of Music,” Billet said. “Just try to be more of a voice for the students and express their concerns. If I get the leadership position, just make sure that what they’re telling me is heard.”

O’Connell said if she’s elected, she will continue planning activities to improve campus life. 

“I really see this as an opportunity to test my strength,” O’Connell said. “There’s nothing too specific that I’m hoping to accomplish. I love the events we’re doing now. I feel like they are very proactive … I want to just keep promoting all healthy and good things.”

Similar to Billet, O’Connell said she would use the leadership position to uplift voices from the Dana School of Music, as many students have recently attended SGA’s meetings in support of Dana.

“[There’s] a lot of people showing up in the gallery expressing their opinions, and I love to see that. I want to keep seeing that. I just hope to take whatever they want to see actually happening on campus,” O’Connell said. 

Representatives can still make nominations for student life vice president until the election, which will take place at SGA’s next meeting at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Rossi Room.

Pintar and Myers are running for reelection as president and executive vice president for the 2024-2025 school year. Elections for executive, representative and senate positions will take place in April.

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