Get to know the student body executive officers
By Adena Rice, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the 2017-18 student government executive members who will be installed this week (March 15).
President Ross Lordo
Hometown: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Major: Public health
Why did you run for president?
"Firstly, I was brought up a Gamecock. I grew up coming to football games, baseball games, pretty much any and all sporting events to which my parents would bring me. Upon coming to the University of South Carolina, I saw the tremendous amount of opportunities available to students. I knew I wanted to make a difference on this campus and student government was the best way to do it.
My freshman year I was a member of the freshman council and sequentially, became a member of the Senate where I served as president pro tempore. I saw an ability to not only develop as a person but to give back to a university where the opportunities and experiences are limitless. After spending the year as vice president and coming up on three years in student government, I would not change a thing about my path. It has afforded me relationships that I will always cherish with both peers and administrators, but even more importantly, it has instilled in me a love for this university that is unparalleled. As president, it is my hope to continue to be able to work for students, to make a difference, and to always make them proud."
What was the key to your success in this election?
"Our campaign was primarily focused on the impact that unity and teamwork could bring to student government. The key to success for us was sticking to our mission, which was working together and believing in each other. We built a team of over 100 people who had the same vision we did and that was what made all the difference. As a candidate, it becomes obvious very quickly that you are only as good as the team around you. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have been surrounded by individuals who have a deep passion for this university and a strong desire to make a lasting change."
Vice President Dani Goodreau
Hometown: New London, Wisconsin
Major: Political science
Why did you run for vice president?
"I believe that public service is a purpose greater than each individual to connect the needs of both our students and our university. I joined student government a year ago to bring the voice of a minority demographic — student veterans — to the table where decisions are made. Through my previous military service and experiences in student government this past year, I found that I have a unique perspective while making decisions for our student body. I have worked hard to bring student veterans voice to a larger platform. I ran for student body vice president to continue to strengthen our university’s individual voices."
What are your plans now that you’re in office?
"Our biggest goal is to unify the executive and legislative branches. Student government has made incredible strides to work for the legacies of diverse demographics, and this will strengthen further when both sides of the aisle are working together for the purpose of all students. The beginning of my term will focus on strengthening our student Senate and transitioning the oversight to the president pro tempore in preparation for next year’s fourth executive position. This will allow me to focus on initiatives that the Momentum ticket has pledged to the student body."
Treasurer Merritt Francis
Hometown: Tewsbury, New Jersey
What are your plans now that you’re in office?
“One thing that has really come to my attention recently is that student programs that are in place right now, Walk Home Cocky, Carolina Closet and Gamecock Pantry, are not getting the exposure that they should be getting, and they’re not utilized like they should be. These are phenomenal programs that every student should know about and that a lot of students who should be using them, are using them. I don’t think that’s the case. I contacted all of their program directors saying, ‘I would love to sit down with you. As a student program, these are going to be your expectations. You’re expected to carry out these programs because not only is it cool that you’re doing this, but it’s going to help people.’ That’s special, so that’s the first thing I’ve been working on. Just going over the proposed budget right now, kind of tweaking it to fit our format of what we want to do. We have a lot of initiatives that we plan on carrying through. So working on the budgets and the programs are the first two things I’m really focusing on right now."
What are you excited for during your term?
“I think if you asked me this at the beginning of the campaign my answer would have been totally different. It would have been I’m excited to deal with the budget, and I am still very excited to do that. I love numbers, and I’m a very quantitative thinker. I’m very excited to do that. But over the course of the campaign, what really just got me so excited is the opportunity to meet all these amazing people on campus that I never would have had the chance to meet if I didn’t run. So I say what I’m most excited for is just meeting more people that I would have never met before. It’s just cool to be active on campus and meet hundreds or thousands of people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet.”
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