- Name and position (in both your campus SGA and SUNY SA).
Rosemary Guerra: My name is Rosemary Guerra. I’m currently my campuses SGA president as well as a SUNY SA community college representative.
Emily Altschuler: My name is Emily Altschuler and I am the Chair of Campus Safety for SUNYSA and the SGA Club rep for the Student Leadership Cabinet.
2. What is your major and year?
RG: I’m a freshman at Sullivan County Community College studying Business administration.
EA: I am a Junior Inclusive Special Education Major with a Psychology of children with exceptionalities minor at SUNY Cortland.
3. How did you get involved in both campus SGA and SUNY SA?
RG: I got involved with my campuses SGA because I wanted to be part of a student body that accomplished great things for all students. I wanted and still want to be able to advocate for all students throughout my campus. I initially got involved in SUNY SA when I went to my first SA back in November, 2016. I felt the passion that many students thought all of the SUNY campuses across NY state had.
EA: I got involved with campus sga after I was recommended to become a rep for the student leadership cabinet. It’s been one wild ride and I couldn’t imagine my life without them all. Michael Braun received an email about the opening for the Campus Safety chair and recommended that I apply for it. I’ll honestly be forever grateful for him for bringing me to this organization!
4. Why did you get involved?
RG: I felt motivated and I wanted to be part of that. I also did it because I felt there wasn’t enough women, minority women for that matter running to be a representative. If we want to make a change and be a voice for others then we also need to be able to relate and inspire others as well. I think overall I just want to be that motivating factor and inspiration other students have regardless of their background or their opinions.
EA: I started getting involved in numerous aspects on campus because I wanted to ensure that students felt supported and had a safe space to voice their concerns and needs. I know what it’s like to have your voice taken from you and I would never want someone else to feel that way. Being able to advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence has given me opportunities to connect with amazing men and women and to learn everyone’s stories.
5. Why you think it’s crucial for women to get involved in student government
RG: I think it’s crucial for women to be involved in student government because like anything it’s a learning experience. You get to meet amazing people and learn about politics and how you can make a difference not only on your campus but in your community and those you talk to. Everything we do as women empowers us and unites us, that’s what we need, inspirational women not only on our campuses but the world. We pave the way for those that come after us and to see so many strong women leaders throughout the SUNY system is amazing.
EA: I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment where I was always told that women can do anything in this world. Women have incredible stories to tell, and we have come from a long line of powerful woman who paved the way for us to have a voice so why shouldn’t we use it? Becoming involved in student government is just one stepping stone to developing a sense of pride and effective power that will benefit all the amazing ladies you’re representing!
6. What is something you wish you knew when joining?
RG: I really wish I would have known how great student government was when I was younger. I want other students to see all the great benefits I see when getting involved within their respective campuses SGA’s as well as SUNY as a whole. It’s a very rewarding experience.
EA: When joining, I wish I knew the impact those that I’m working with would have on me. I was never prepared to gain a family in the process of becoming involved. These men and women have supported me like no other and I am pretty sure I have never laughed so hard in my life.
7. One tip for women who wants to get involved in either/both campus SGA and SUNY SA
RG: One tip I would give women who want to be involved in student government or anyone for that matter would be just do it. Sometimes we tend to hold ourselves back because we don’t think we can accomplish certain things. SUNY has a great support system and you learn as you go. Don’t be afraid to push those boundaries that other people want to but can’t,be that motivational force that drives students to also want to follow in your footsteps.
EA: My biggest tip would simply be JUST DO IT. This opportunity will change your life and you will change others. Trust me on that. If you’re afraid your voice won’t be heard, there are so many others that will lift you up to make that voice louder.
8. Who inspires you?
RG:The people who inspire me are the women in my family, without them I wouldn’t be as resilient as I am today. All the strong leaders throughout different campuses inspire me to be better and be more aware and involved.
EA: My biggest inspiration in life are my mom and my sister. They are both two of the most hardworking women I have ever met. I am so grateful to love two people that would go above and beyond for anyone.
9. One fun fact nobody knows about you.
RG: One fun fact about me would be that I initially started college at 17 for Architecture.
EA: My fun fact is that I love to sing opera.