Morgan Golliver, News Editor
Junior Hermina Garic was named the next Utica College Student Government Association (SGA) president after elections for the upcoming fall 2018 semester were held last week.
Growing up in the inner city of Utica, Garic was appalled by the connections between violence and incarceration that she was witnessing in her community, which was something she didn’t understand the complexity of until high school.
“In high school, I had three mentors; my english teacher, U.S. history teacher and sociology teacher, who helped me understand what was going on,” Garic said. “We also didn’t have a student government organization, only class positions, so I didn’t understand until coming to UC what that was about.”
Garic joined SGA in the fall of 2017 and worked as the organization’s secretary after strong encouragement from current President Ann Ciancia. As secretary, Garic communicated with all the organizations on campus and made sure everyone was able to attend the SGA meetings and that every organization effectively worked together. After being a part of SGA her junior year, Garic decided she wanted to become president as she hopes to make a difference on campus.
“I ran for president because I wanted to make a change in public policy while also pushing for collaboration between organizations,” Garic said. “I also want to mentor other student leaders, because the mentors I had growing up were influential, and to empower young leaders.”
In the summer, Garic will be working on a powerpoint presentation on what it means to be in Student Government and looking at the SGA Constitution to look at what parts are not understood and address them when returning in the fall.
Ciancia, who will be graduating in May, reacted to her finals days as the leader of SGA after being involved with the organization since her freshman year.
“It feels bitter sweet,” Ciancia said. “It’s sad for me to leave SGA and UC all together. This organization and institution have been my home for the last four years. I am excited for the next year’s president, Hermina, because I have worked closely with her and she has big plans!”
During her time at UC and her involvement in SGA, Ciancia learned how to make a difference on campus, which she will incorporate into her future career.
“We made a major change from senate to Student Government Association, and this helped unify organizations on campus,” she said. “Also, I have had the opportunity to hold an executive board position for three years, and that has opened up different leadership opportunities for me by giving me confidence to run for other leadership positions in different organizations. By learning how to make a difference, I decided that I wanted to switch career paths and go to law school. For me I want to advocate for victims of all forms of sexual violence.”
Ciancia and Garic are also close friends and have already had numerous conversations about the incoming president’s term next year and left her with some “words of wisdom.”
“My one piece of advice is to listen to your fellow students and to make sure changes benefit the entire campus,” Ciancia. “Also, the position can be somewhat stressful with demands that come from all over the place, but make sure to have fun!”
Ciancia would also like to thank the UC community for giving her the chance to make a difference on campus.
“I just want to take this time to thank the UC community because by voting me in they gave me the opportunity to be the change here at Utica College,” Ciancia said. “This community gave me an unforgettable chance to be participate in an organization that has allowed me to never stop growing as a leader.”