By Abigail Cloutier
I sat down with Galatiani “Galena” Lopuchovsky, a sophomore business major and recently appointed student trustee. We discussed her new position and what she wants to accomplish as a member of the board of trustees. For the full interview, watch JambarTV on YouTube Friday at noon.
What impacted your desire to become a student trustee?
This area has given so much to my family, I mean, my grandpa was able to find employment here. My dad’s side, the family has a [local] business, my mom was able to – [she’s] a woman in an engineering field, so she’s [a] minority in this field – she was able to bring our family from where my grandpa was into what we have now. My whole thought process was, “I want to give back to the community that brought my family up.” So I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to do so, and I’m just so grateful for everything that YSU has given me so far.
How does that impact your goals as a trustee?
Whenever you think of a board, you think of these high up distant people, and the students feel very out of touch. So, I’ve been working with the president Justin Shaughnessy and executive vice president of SGA Avery Howard, and I’ve been meeting with them every two weeks, and we’re just discussing ‘What’s going on with student government? What’s going on with the board?’ Collaborating with ideas, you know, talking about the initiatives going on with student government right now. We just met last week, and I told them, ‘This is what was happening at the board meetings.’ And we’re really trying to just bridge that gap of, ‘Hey, these university officials, they’re here to support us. I’m not here to be against us or to implement policies that are, you know, going to bring us down as students, they want us to succeed as much as we want each other to succeed.’
What was it like to participate in the first on-campus board of trustees meeting this September?
It was super, super special to have that connection. It was real. I’ve known that I’ve had the position for a few months. But just because of COVID, and there [weren’t] any meetings and nothing was going on, I never had the opportunity to – until the beginning September – to actually fulfill the position. And it was great to just realize how many things are going on in the university; you don’t realize that there’s all these different committees to ensure the success of students and ensure the success of the university. It’s not just forecasting what’s going to happen next year, but what’s going to happen in the next five years with the university and really just thinking about a bigger plan. So it was really just a surreal experience, something that I’m so grateful that me, as a student, as a sophomore engineering major here at YSU, I’m able to have that type of role and that type of experience.