SGA Senate fills three director positions

SGA Senate The Student Government Association Senate unanimously approved its first senator for the semester at Sunday’s meeting.

Courtesy of NIU Student Government Association

Student Government Association logo

By Ashley Dwy

DeKALB — The Student Government Association confirmed three new SGA directors at their virtual meeting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Naava Ofri-Akman, sophomore acting major and dance minor, was unanimously approved to be the Director of Environmental Affairs.

Two of her biggest goals in this position are to put trash cans around DeKalb and create equal access to recycling on campus, Ofri-Akman said.

“Recycling and other environmental needs are generally overlooked by the city,” Ofri-Akman said. “There isn’t really a way to recycle — let alone even compost — and we create an inordinate amount of waste.”

Ofri-Akman said she wants to create a more sustainable presence for the university by reducing waste.

“I worked in the dining hall for half a semester and we wasted so much food by throwing it out,” Ofri-Akman said. “I want to encourage composting because we do not need to create that much waste.”

With a vote of seven in favor, three against and one abstention, senior kinesiology major Zachary Zilm was approved to be the Director of Organizational Affairs.

Zilm wants to make sure that students not only get help starting an organization on campus, but they also maintain their current status, he said. 

“I plan on going about this by just making myself available to the leaders of the organizations and finding out what problems are plaguing our organizations the most, so I know where the attention needs to be directed when trying to meet their needs,” Zilm said.

Zilm said he also plans on incentivizing organizations to plan more philanthropy events, rather than halting them altogether due to the pandemic.

“Organizations can try to do [philanthropy events] virtually or with limited attendance,” Zilm said. “I’ve noticed that a lot of the organizations are kind of suffering specifically in their recruitment and in their opportunities to do philanthropy events.”

Von-Sidney Williamson II, senior economics candidate major, was confirmed as the Director of Student Life and Cultural Affairs with a vote of 12 in favor and one abstention.

A goal of Williamson’s is to bridge the gap between NIU cultural centers, NIU Police Department and members of the student body, Williamson said.

“I feel like that’s something we don’t talk about enough on campus,” Williamson said. “Even though all these racial issues and tensions have been around, we just stick to social media and just express our opinion on social media. I feel like it’s time we take a stand on that.”

To do this, Williamson already reached out to NIU Chief of Police Thomas Phillips about an open discussion event for students to reach out and feel more comfortable with each other, Williamson said. 

“[Phillips] said he wants to reach out and sit down with all the students just to make everybody feel more comfortable and see their faces,” Williamson said. “This should be an open discussion event for all students to be involved so we can all feel comfortable knowing that they are the servants for us.”