Graduating Student Gov. execs say goodbye

Helena Edwards, Student Government Reporter

The new Student Government executive board was sworn in on Wednesday and as the year is ending the current executive board reflected on their work for EIU.

Student Body President Noor-Ul-Haash Khamisani is a senior English major minoring in sociology and psychology, planning to pursue a master’s in public administration at Syracuse University New York.

She started as a senator in Student Government, then was committee chair for diversity affairs, as well as Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Khamisani said that her favorite memories on the executive board include the interactive events available. 

Specifically, for her she said that the “convocation speech, making the dream catcher kits with the president, sexual assault forum, minority talk, were a few of my favorite events. Another thing that makes me satisfied and grateful for my affiliations with student government were the connections and friends I have made. Lastly, the farewell speeches every year at our last meeting have always been very close to my heart.”

Khamisani has contributed towards Eastern through the hosting of several events around the theme of diversity & inclusion, community service, mental health, and sexual assault awareness. Few of the events included Minority Talk, Sexual Assault Awareness Forum, revival of Student Dean Advisory Council, Hosted Dinning with Deans, EIU SGA newsletter, and much more. 

Her advice for the next Student Body President included, “I would say don’t stress too much, there will be days you’ll have to make tough decisions and people will be mad, but other days people those same people will like you. You carry on doing you! If you are sincere with the student body, know you are on the right track. Being the SBP is not just fancy get ups, a few meetings, speeches, and popularity, it is a burden and responsibility on your shoulders that you have to carry with discipline, dedication, passion, and smart work.”

Student Body Vice President Michael Perri is a graduate student getting his master’s in political science; public administration and public policy.

As part of Student Senate, he has been senator, committee chair of alumni relations, parliamentarian, and both elected and interim Speaker of the Student Senate.

Perri’s contribution to EIU he said was through his work as a student senator setting up a barbeque to help seniors of the time graduating to network with alumni.

As Speaker of Student Senate in the fall of 2019 he worked to get a full student senate that helped Student Government do more and work to their fullest extent.

As the EVP he has laid the groundwork for future EVPs to continue Student Action Team as an organization to help raise political awareness on campus.

Perri’s advice for the next Student Body EVP included not being afraid to ask for help, especially before getting into a mess of a situation. Perri also said they should not be afraid to speak their mind, especially as a Board of Trustees member among others that are established in their careers, it can be difficult to speak your mind and voice your opinion.

Other pieces of advice he said were to keep expectations realistic and “shoot for the stars, but if you land on the moon that’s a win,” as well as his final piece of advice being simply to breath and take personal days if needed.

Student Body Vice-President of Academic Affairs Justin Richards majors in digital media technologies.

He is currently waiting to hear back from graduate schools but plans to get a master’s degree in either technology or strategic communications.

Richards was formerly a student senator, committee chair of internal affairs, parliamentarian, and interim speaker of the senate.

One way he accounts for contributing to EIU was through coordinating Panther Bash. With the help of Student Government, the University Board, BSU, Greek Life, and other various organizations. He said, “I felt like it was not only fun, but it was good for the students because we weren’t sitting in front of screens doing an event. We were getting out and having fun, we get to physically see each other and interact and to be able to provide that was a great deal of fun.”

His advice for the next Student VPAA is to, “Be persistent but also know when enough is enough and when to stop.” He also gave the advice of, “Don’t be afraid to use your voice. When we’re in these positions we have to be able to speak up. We are literally elected by the students and put into these positions to represent the entire student body. We have to use our voice and do what we feel is right.”

Skylar Coffey is a fourth semester graduate student studying political science and is planning to go to law school to study international and business/corporate law.

She was a Student Senate senator from fall 2018 to fall 2020 and committee chair for student affairs from fall 2019 to spring 2020.

She recalled that the executive board gets along better than she thinks an executive board has in a long time. She said, “We’re able to get a lot done, be serious, but when the job is done, we can laugh and enjoy our friendship.”

She said her favorite memories are “eating lunch with the executive board members in the office! It’s a simple thing, but with COVID, we’ve not been able to do much as a group.”

Coffey accounted for two events that she helped with that she felt had great impact for Eastern.

The first was the #EIUnited Against Asian Hate Virtual Candlelight Vigil.

Another event was with Richards that included putting together COVID-19 care packages for students in quarantine.

Coffey said that she cannot wait to get to work with the new student body VPSA.

“I have a lot of faith that whoever is in my position will enjoy their experience as much as I did! My advice would have to be take time for yourself every once in a while! It is easy to get caught up trying to do everything,” she said.

 

Helena Edwards can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]