SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Samantha Martinez has wanted to do this for as long as she can remember.
The senior business management major has served on Student Government every semester but one since her freshman year and knew from the start that she wanted to end up as president.
“Being Student Government president was the goal I worked toward since being a senator my freshman year,” said Martinez.
Martinez reached her goal on May 2, when she and her running mate Gabe Gessler were elected president and vice president of Student Government for the 2017-2018 school year.
Given that Martinez had devoted most of her time at Franciscan University to serving the students, she wanted to be sure to pick a vice president that desired to do the same, which she found in Gessler, a junior international business major.
Despite having some initial apprehension to choosing him for vice president, Martinez had several conversations with Gessler and came to realize that he was the most qualified candidate. “I had worked with Gabe when we were both senators and we had both been Austrian Ambassadors (while in Gaming), and experience is one of the most important parts to succeeding in these capacities,” said Martinez in explaining her pick.
For his part, Gessler was very excited to be chosen as a part of Martinez’s team and had “the time of his life” campaigning before the election. “It was a wonderful experience just getting to know people around campus and seeing how we could help them,” said Gessler.
The pair has spent significant time planning and working together on new initiatives that they hope will help enhance student life on campus. They outlined three specific plans that will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
The first is the newly formed “Dining Committee,” a part of their promise to hold student-picked meals in Antonian Hall. According to Martinez, they have currently secured student-picked Late Night on Wednesdays. A different student organization will pick the meal? each week and there are hopes of showing a movie in Antonian at the same time.
Their second goal is to buy two triad climbing walls for the Finnegan Fieldhouse. While only one is being purchased initially, Martinez said that she hopes to see students make good use of the wall so that a second one can be bought.
Lastly, Martinez and Gessler hope to purchase and install water bottle filters around campus, which is a work in progress, as they are in talks with Physical Plant about the logistics surrounding this proposal, they said.
Student Government’s new fearless leaders realize that not every student particularly cares for the organization, but they hope to change that perception.
“I hope they give us a second chance,” says Martinez. “I completely understand where they are coming from – I have experienced that myself at times – and I want to ensure everyone that we are a new administration committed to transparency.”
Gessler added that he and Martinez, as well as the rest of Student Government, realize that what they hope to accomplish is not possible without strengthening their spiritual life, which is why they have a scheduled holy hour from 7:30-8:30 every Monday before their informal meeting.
“Everything is we do is done entirely through the Lord,” said Gessler. “When we are in our holy hour, we pray over all the bills but really we’re praying for the student body, because nothing comes before our spiritual life.”