By Alaina Jonathan and Lexie Cutmore:
Now that the election season is over, the newly appointed members for Brockport Student Government are preparing to make an impact on campus. Sophomores, Emma Chilson Cline and Sam Druzbik plan on transforming BSG into the organization students deserve. Cline and Druzbik will be taking over for the current President Joshua Matthres and Vice President Kate Demskie. The four have been working together to inform the newcomers of the way that BSG works before they pass the baton.
The duo has been working together before running for office together. As the two worked across the hall from one another, Cline being election commissioner and Druzbik being activities coordinator, they seemed to click.
“My goal for me when I was running was to make sure I was the best fit for office, and that and find someone equally as well fit for that office,” Cline said.
Gaining experience at college and participating in Reserve Officer Training Corps or ROTC, Cline decided that she wanted something different.
“I was walking past Eli’s [previous president] desk and he pulled me in and said ‘I have a job that I think you should do,’” Cline said. “So, I became election commissioner and loved everything about it.”
After becoming election commissioner, she then became Chief justice in the judiciary branch for the college.
“I’m a huge rules person,” Cline said.
Before he decided to run for VP, Druzbik had other plans. He and current VP Kate Demskie had plans to run together but that fell through. His plans afterwards was to work as activities coordinator and become a resident assistant at the college.
“Emma approached me and was like ‘I think this would be a great opportunity for us,’” Druzbik said.
The two sat down in Jitterbugs Café to discuss what the next move would be.
“She actually made a PowerPoint, because I made a joke about her having to make me a PowerPoint in order to run and she did it, so I was like ‘Let’s do it,’” Druzbik said jokingly.
Once they decided to run for office, everything else fell into place. Initially running unopposed, it was looking like they had already won the elections until two other competitors took out petitions after.
“It was very neutral, we were respectful and so were they,” Druzbik said. “It was very fair, competitive campaign.”
“I’d like to say that I could tell you every reason why we won but we ran against friends,” Cline said. “We all are aiming to do the best for the organization.”
The pair took more of a personable approach when campaigning to students. Druzbik and Cline wanted to seem genuine, they focused a lot of their time on being as open and honest with their peers as possible. In their campaign poster, they opted out of the traditional suit and tie look and dressed how they normally do. Even during midterms week, they handed out mints to students studying for a “mint-ute” of their time.
“It’s super dorky, but that’s who we are,” Cline said. “We didn’t want to take any extra time away from students because you’re busy, we get it.”
Now that they have won the election, their ideas can start to become a reality. One of the first issues the pair wants to tackle is students’ knowledge about the organization.
“A lot of people don’t even know what BSG does, so that’s a really big issue for us,” Cline said. “We are all about communication, we want to make sure students know what we’re doing.”
Many students do not realize BSG accomplishes much more than the one spring concert it arranges during Spring Fest.
“Much of the focus is on what events we’re doing rather than all of the advocating that is going on,” Cline said.
Wanting to follow in Govenor Cuomo’s footsteps, Cline and Druzbik are working on furthering sustainability on campus. The first step the College at Brockport has taken towards getting rid of plastic is making the campus straw free. Although a small step, it is something on the mind of Cline and Druzbik.
“Sustainability was a big one for us,” Cline said. “The new plastic ban that Cuomo put through that is something we’re going to have to focus on and get ahead of the curve on that.”
Cline and Druzbik believe they work so well together is because of their balanced ideals and dynamic.
“I think Sam and I really know the organization well, and it’s our job to do so,” Cline said. “I know it from a rules perspective, and he knows how it relates to students.”
As commencement approaches in May, Matthews and Demskie will step down from their positions and hand them over to Cline and Druzbik. The four have been working together to make sure the process is effortless.
“Josh called me in his office to tell me about how to protect us from a lawsuit and it’s a phone call that I make in the summer,” Druzbik said.
Nerves are running high for the new President and Vice President, but they are excited for what’s ahead.
“There’s going to be a lot of internal understanding about what we’re trying to accomplish so that the external work is actually happening and being noticed,” Cline said. “If I can’t accomplish it, I’ll find you someone who can because that’s important to me.”