ASSMU Spotlight: Miller and Kolasinski
Katherine Pecora, Staff Writer
Seniors Madeline Miller and Larissa Kolasinski are two of the busiest students at Saint Martin’s University. As President of ASSMU, Miller leads the student senate and acts as a liaison between the students and the Saint Martin’s Board of Trustees. In Kolasinski’s role as Vice President, she acts as an assistant to the President and helps oversee the rest of the senators as part of the executive board.
Miller served as ASSMU Secretary during her sophomore and junior year. “I wanted to run for ASSMU President because there were a lot of things that I wanted to improve,” said Miller. Kolasinski served as the Senator of Athletics her sophomore year and Senator of Life Sciences her junior year. “I am very fortunate to have been re-elected for a third year. I wanted to participate in student government for a third year after having such positive experiences the past two years as Senator of Athletics and Senator of Life Sciences.”
Part of the President and Vice Pesidents’ job is managing the budget for all of the money that gets allocated to the clubs at Saint Martin’s. This job is very important to Miller and Kolasinski. They have spent tireless hours ensuring that they make the best decision for all clubs at the school. “Fairly allocating funds and ensuring that we aren’t wasting money is really important to me. The money is the students’ money provided from student activity fees so I take the allocation thereof very seriously,” said Miller. Kolasinski agreed with Miller’s point on the subject adding:
“A big issue in student government this year is outreach for student involvement with the new Science Initiative [science building]. Some of our other goals this year are being completely transparent with our budgeting and updating the finance code to help with budgeting for future Senates. Lastly, we want to spread awareness of ASSMU and student government on campus by hosting and sponsoring more activities to show that ASSMU does more on campus than just give out money.”
Both Miller and Kolasinski have parts of the job they love and parts that can be tougher to deal with. For Miller, the most gratifying part of her job is being able to connect with the students. “The most challenging part of my job is budget week, all the clubs want certain amounts of funding, and we only have so much to give and allocate. Sometimes we can’t give a club all the money that they want which is really tough because we want to please everyone and make sure everyone gets to do what they want to do,” said Miller. Miller is very excited to participate in the the Munch Madness food drive in March. “Additionally, I look forward to completing out senate projects and being able to reveal those to the students. I would like to say thank you to the students for allowing me to be in this position, it is an honor to serve you.”
Kolasinski finds the challenging parts of her job to be similar to that of Miller’s. “One of the most challenging parts of the job this year has been allocating the budget. We had a record number of active clubs this year [40 clubs] and our student activity fee has not been increased in years so we are still working with the same budget as last year when we had less active clubs. It has been challenging to allocate the ASSMU budget in a way that is equitable to meet the needs of each respective club.” This is an issue that both Miller and Kolasinski care deeply about. As for Kolasinski’s most gratifying part of the job, it would be being a leader for the senior class. “One of the most gratifying experiences is having an opportunity to be a student leader on campus and representing my constituents and their opinions and voices with a voting position on the Senate. One of my favorite things about my position is the opportunity to be able to interact with all the people I do. I hope that any club member or any undergraduate general assembly member feels comfortable talking to me or reaching out to me with any concerns they might have,” said Kolasinski. Kolasinski is proud of her work on the SMUbrella project this fall with Senator of Education, Olivia Alvord.
“We just completed our SMUbrella project. We just put up umbrella racks with umbrellas for use around campus. We have five pick up and drop off locations in the TUB, Harned Hall, the Library, Cebula Hall, and Parsons Hall. Please feel free to use these umbrellas to walk to classes during this winter season. If they become very popular, we can look at putting umbrellas in more buildings around campus,” said Kolasinski. Kolasinski wants to thank everyone who attends meetings on a regular basis. “Meetings are Thursdays at 11a.m. in the TUB. Just a reminder, we also have free donuts the first Friday of every month in the TUB,” said Kolasinski.