The Student Government of Loyola Chicago hosted their annual fall banquet to outline their organization's goals for the 2023-24 school year. The event started with opening remarks from SGLC President Alexandra Brist and Vice President Benjamin Bryan where they thanked everyone for attending and explained the structure of the SGLC. Following initial speeches from Brist …
SGLC Hosts Annual Fall Banquet
The Student Government of Loyola Chicago hosted their annual fall banquet to outline their organization’s goals for the 2023-24 school year.
The event started with opening remarks from SGLC President Alexandra Brist and Vice President Benjamin Bryan where they thanked everyone for attending and explained the structure of the SGLC.
Following initial speeches from Brist and Bryan, students from the Korean Student Organization who were invited to dance for the crowd.
Multiple university officials attended the event, including dean of students Dr. Keith Champagne, President Mark C. Reed, regional vice president of Aramark Vince Phipps and Wellness Center Director Joan Holden.
The SGLC has six major organizational goals that help guide their work throughout the year, including campus experience, equity and inclusion, wellness, accessibility, safety and sustainability. Bryan and Brist gave brief descriptions of how SGLC is working to address each goal.
“We want to make sure we can, what a lot of us say, ‘Pop the SGLC bubble,’” Brist said addressing the room. “We want students, faculty and staff and everyone to know who we are and that we want to work with them.”
The efforts they listed focused on creating community spaces for students to feel comfortable and connect with each other both on and off campus, while also making them aware of SGLC as a student organization they can rely on to enhance their student experience.
Individual committee leaders and senators spoke about each of their respective categories, naming their goals for the year and going over what they have already begun working on. Some of the senators also named initiatives that are being carried over from the previous school year.
The students who spoke included chief health and wellness officer Jenna Phillips, chief sustainability officer Melissa Bornovali, Senator Sophie Buchman, Senator Ronan Valera, chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer Jerell Rogers and Senator Erin Tylutki.
Phillips said she is working closely with university officials to improve access to Title IX resources as well as improve blue light access across campus.
Valera said he wants to work on better engaging with undergraduate students by creating open forums for students to share their experiences at Loyola in classes and on campus. He also wants to create more resources for Spanish speaking students to help them and their families feel more welcomed on campus.
As the chief sustainability officer, Bornovali said she advises the SGLC’s sustainability committee and works with director of sustainability Aaron Durnbaugh and the Student Environmental Alliance.
Bornovali said some of her main focuses are finding ways to implement the recently passed ban on single-use plastics at Loyola while working with facilities to create transparency concerning changes to campus landscaping.
Buchman said she has worked with religious student organizations on campus to ensure they have access to all the resources they need to practice their religion without penalty in the classroom. She also wants to make sure past SGLC members’ work regarding the Land Acknowledgement Statement isn’t forgotten after they graduate.
Tylutki, who works at Campus Life Operations Committee, said she is in charge of networking with student organizations to tackle issues facing the student body such as residence life, transportation and facilities issues. She said she and her team focus on the student experience aspect of the Loyola community.
This year, Tylutki said the Campus Life Operations Committee is working towards being able to keep the Information Commons open to students 24 hours a day, as well as working with Loyola EMS to find new ways to keep campus safe for students. Tylutki also said the Campus Life Operations Committee is working to understand how students feel about the second-year all access meal plan requirement.
Lastly, Rogers spoke about the challenges of representing and advocating for the study body through student government. One specific action he discussed was the creation of more Spanish-language accommodations including Spanish tutoring and Spanish campus tours.
After these groups finished presenting, attendees were provided with dinner and the opportunity to network with other guests they were seated with. The banquet was closed with final remarks from Brist and Bryan thanking everyone for their time and summing up the evening.
“We are deeply excited to see where these conversations and connections lead us in the future,” Brist said in her closing remark. “Thank you for your continued dedication and enthusiasm in supporting the student body.”
The SGLC will host another banquet in the spring semester to go over what they were able to accomplish and what their goals are continuing into the school year.
This article was written by Isabella Grosso, Lilli Malone, and Hunter Minne
Featured image by Holden Green / The Phoenix