Sunday, January 24, 2021

New senators join Student Association ranks

The Plattsburgh State Student Association recently welcomed two new student senators: Tierra Chess and William Hodge.

This resulted from a recent special election that took place Sept. 15.

Speaker of the Senate Veronica Marchello said that those who were interested in a senator position had to pick up a petition at the Student Association office and that each candidate must obtain 50 student signatures and bring it back to the office before they are officially on the ballot.

Afterward, the student Board of Elections verifies that those signatures belong to actual PSUC students via the student directory.

“It can be a pretty time-consuming process for them, but we want to make sure everything’s all legitimate,” Marchello said.

Hodge, a sophomore and triple major in history education, music and theatre, serves as the global education representative for the SA Senate.

“Yesterday, I went and had a meeting with the Global Education Office, and it was a great experience to see how they are trying so hard to get the students to interact and mesh more — global and domestic students,” Hodge said.

He said he is learning more about studying abroad by serving in his position.

“No matter what your major is, no matter who you are, it’s possible — finance and everything — it’s possible. There’s no limit to where you can go,” he said.

He said a lot of people already have a strong desire to study abroad and explore different things. He mentioned a friend whom he helped making the arrangements to study abroad.

“Before you come into the position, you don’t realize how important and how much the Student Association does,” Hodge said. “The school probably couldn’t run without it.”

In addition to his duties, a flyer for fraternity and sorority life said he is the secretary of the College Theatre Association, he served as a new student orientation leader this summer and is an admissions ambassador.

Chess, the senator for campus safety and health, works with the chief of University police, the Student Health and Counseling Center and the Child Care Center at Sibley Hall.

Because both she and Hodge came in due to a special election, she said that she will only run until December, when their terms end. In January, Chess will study abroad, and she said she hopes to run for the SA Executive Council when she comes back for her junior year.

In addition to her Senate duties, she said she is also a PSUC admissions ambassador, a peer tutor at the Learning Center, a peer career assistant at the Career Development Center, secretary of Model UN and a member of several clubs.

Chess said she ran for senator because she wants to speak for others who cannot speak for themselves.

“I always have ideas,” she said. “I’m an advocate. I love to speak.”

She said that while she doesn’t view politics as a potential career field, she is quite involved in student politics because she feels that, as a citizen, it is important to know what is going on.

Marchello said their passion and drive for their positions in the Senate helps those who have been in the SA for longer amounts of time remember what got them excited about their positions in the first place.

“They’re doing extremely well,” Marchello said. “They are so passionate and so excited to be here, and it’s really a cool thing.”

Marchello said she appreciates both of them coming to her with new ideas and questions.

“It’s so exciting. We’re so happy to have them,” she said.

Email Timothy Lyman at

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