The Student Government Association (SGA) held its inaugural banquet April 30 to celebrate accomplishments and look toward the future of SGA.
This was the first year Christine Schneikart-Luebbe, dean of students, has worked with the Newman University SGA.
SGA President Marisa-Nicole Zayat and President-Elect Thao Nguyen also helped coordinate the banquet. Zayat and Schneikart-Luebbe both express plans to make the banquet an SGA tradition.
“Holding the SGA inaugural banquet is an important tradition where the ‘year that was’ is celebrated and the new officers are sworn in,” Schneikart-Luebbe commented.
“It is an opportunity to celebrate all of the accomplishments of the outgoing group and to hear from the president-elect about future plans and aspirations. It was also an opportunity to acknowledge some members of the Newman community who have assisted SGA this past year.”
Schneikart-Luebbe hopes that this event inspires SGA members. She stated, “Since August, I have tried to help SGA understand the important role they play. They are the elected leaders and their job is to provide the student voice on our campus.”
Zayat added that this celebration could emphasize the importance of these members’ roles.
“We, the members of SGA, have an obligation to our constituents,” Zayat explained. “We must take this duty seriously and keep our obligation to our constituents at the forefront of our minds when voting on bills and resolutions. Consequently, by highlighting the importance of the various positions through this event, senators will perceive their importance as well as be celebrated for their accomplishments and the service they are doing for their peers by representing their constituents appropriately.”
Many people were recognized for their contribution to SGA during the banquet. To highlight the hard work and dedication to student government, three senators were chosen by their peers to receive an award.
“Senators voted for who they thought best represented the ideals aligned with each award and those were presented at the banquet,” said Schneikart-Luebbe.
Newman senior Micah VanderGriend was presented with the most dedicated senator award as well as the emerging leader of the year award. The award for exemplary commitment to SGA was given to Jonathan Liu.
“I am very proud of the professional work SGA did this year. I hope this new tradition of an annual inaugural banquet helps to underscore how valuable their work is and will continue to be,” stated Schneikart-Luebbe.
“I feel so blessed to be working with SGA. As a former SGA president myself, I know how life changing the work can be. I have been fortunate to work with SGA on several campuses. God really blessed me with my first Newman group.
“This group of senators worked hard. They were dedicated, they listened, they sacrificed, they compromised, they supported one another. They each exemplified leadership and excellence through their service and dedication.”