January 20, 2016
Pitt-Johnstown’s outgoing student government President Shelby Smith swore in her former vice president, Kyle Maguire, as president Dec. 8 at a weekly student government meeting.
Smith became a student government member as a freshman: She was voted in after handing in her letter of intent, since she missed the deadline for her petitions, she said.
She said she was appointed to the commuter relations committee, which was part of campus relations and student affairs committee.
“I helped with the log cabin initiative, Wi-Fi in the academic buildings, rewriting the Student Government Association’s constitution and, I’m sure, multiple other affairs,” Smith said.
Smith was secretary for former student government president Noam Berns’ administration her sophomore year and was also part of the student policies committee, she said.
It was a productive year, and they focused on reviewing what had been completed in the previous seven-year plan and what would be implemented, according to Smith.
She said at the end of her sophomore year on student government, there were a lot of members who graduated, so she said she decided to run for president with former Vice President Nolan McGuire.
The two ran unopposed, and, Smith said, they were able to get a lot accomplished that year, such as improving Wi-Fi, privatizing the bookstore and working on a plan for a 24-hour study space for students.
“At the end of last year, Nolan graduated, and I was not sure if I would be at Pitt-Johnstown for another full year or only one semester, but I took the chance because I seriously love the position and the people I work with and decided to run again with Kyle Maguire as my vice president,” Smith said.
She said they ran against Nicholas DiGiorgio and Madison Nick, who she said would have also been an amazing president and vice president.
“Originally, it was understood that she was going to stay, and I was surprised to hear she was leaving. She served her time well and made a lot of progress with the help of student government members. I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors,” DiGiorgio said.
She and Maguire were fortunate enough to be elected, and they have been through a lot together this semester, Smith said.
“It’s a change of pace and a new administration that will bring new ideas,” Maguire said in regard to Smith leaving.
They tried to work a lot on reorganizing student government internally, so they would function better for the student body, Smith said.
“We’ve gotten a lot of scrutiny in the past for our budgeting process, so we made it a primary goal this year to change and adjust that process in any way to help the other clubs and organizations succeed,” Smith said.
She said this year, student government members have come up with great ideas, passed productive legislation and tried to reach out to the student body in order to be better leaders.
“I have been so lucky to be a part of the Student Government Association, and I would not have spent the effort and hours on it if I didn’t truly want to help my fellow students to have a voice and help make a change,” Smith said.
She said she never cared about the title, but she is proud to have had it, and she said she hopes the student body knows that she has always listened and tried to make things better for them in any way she could.
Her advice for the current student government members is to listen to other students’ problems because student government members are in a position to initiate change and are there on behalf of their constituents, Smith said.
Her main piece of advice is to always be available, even if it is for something small.
“Small things add up and can make a difference in a person’s college career over time,” Smith said.
Smith is a psychology major with a dual communication and political science minor. She has also been involved with the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority as a risk management executive board member and has been a campus relations vice president.
She has also been a tour guide, Pitt Players member and a part of Golganooza. She has been in multiple plays, has been involved in intramural sports and is a Phi Chi member.
Smith also has been an Alpha Phi Omega member, a Dance Ensemble member and a liaison. She also has been an admission’s office intern.
She has volunteered at Golden Living Center and works part-time. She won $1,000 for the business and entrepreneurial shark tank competition and has finished her college career in three and a half years.
READ MORE: Student government president graduates