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Matt Marotti has officially taken office as Marist Student Government Association’s (SGA) Student Body President (SBP) and enters his “First 100 Days” of planning and executing the promises he offered throughout his campaign.

Marotti begins his term as SBP with plans of eliminating office “bureaucracy,” getting direct student feedback, increasing SGA’s presence on social media, and increase of campus spirit.

“Transition day” occurred on Sunday, April 2 with a brunch and club awards celebration. “We wanted to make the transition this year more about the clubs than about Student Government,” says Marotti. “Transition is an annual event just to recognize some of the hard work that has been put into our community throughout this past year.”

Transition this year took place two weeks earlier than usual, giving the Marotti administration 14 additional days to map out the term. “We can have time to set the groundwork and the framework for the things we want to accomplish,” he says.

Marotti stresses the importance of utmost preparation within a new administration, aiming to avoid improper time-management or inefficiency in the office. “A lot of the time people come into this position and spend so much time planning, and then don’t have time to execute since winter break is around the corner.”

Marotti, a sophomore business in marketing and economics major from Killingworth, CT—as he describes being about the same population size as Marist College—confidently prepares to conquer his next two semesters on the job. He is working alongside sophomore, Ed Oser, as Executive Vice President.

Marotti outlines his concerns with his first few months as SBP, primarily addressing a low voter turnout for the recent election. “It was lack of mobilization,” he says. “There was not enough publicity—people had no chance to even talk about it, and with the snap of the fingers it was over.”

He emphasizes the vitality of student engagement and spirit in the Marist community. “We need to incentivize people to vote and feel like they are an important part of the community,” he says. “They can be using their voice and potentially affecting change, and I don’t think that was really driven this year—it is definitely something we need to drive next year.”

Holding faith in his new administration, Marotti claims that SGA has “some new people in key positions.” “We will have the opportunity to plan ahead and make sure that something like this [low voter turnout] doesn’t happen again,” he continues.

Marotti then outlines his concerns with instilling trust within the Student Government, encouraging the student body to utilize the association as a resource—and to instill this through direct contact and face-to-face discussion with students.

“I think when you use that form of communication and directly contact people, they will be much more likely to give you the feedback and the response that you are looking for,” he says. “We’ll likely see an initiative before the end of even this semester, with going door to door and saying to students, ‘We’re the new Student Government.’”

Readdressing low voter turnout and lack of SGA presence, Marotti reveals plans for elevated social media presence and website updates. “Communication is key after this year,” he says, adding that the new representatives will be updated on the SGA website shortly.

He then mentions the reappearance of “typical” campus issues, citing concerns with the dining hall, parking, registration and the priority point system. “It is not just about identifying the issues, it is about proposing solutions and having the right resources for those solutions.”

He claims plans to combat these issues with the SGA providing concrete, quantitative research within an online student feedback forum that is in the works and will hopefully be seen by Sept. “When you pitch these solutions to the administration, you need to provide quantitative evidence to show them how many students it is affecting.”

“They simply can’t turn that down,” he says of the Marist administration. “It forces us to jump into a plan and start executing.”

Marotti then addresses the SGA bylaws and constitution, as he and his team are working to make them more concise, to avoid “unnecessary text” and facilitate wider understanding of SGA’s specific technicalities.

“We will be getting rid of all of the unnecessary layers of bureaucracy,” he said. “People may often say that student government can be bureaucratic in the way they do things, and to some extent, I certainly agree.”

He mentions that instead of conducting SGA meetings arranged in rows of members, adjust the seat set-up into a circle in order to “make it a conversation.” He further addresses that SGA avoids proposing a bill for making a committee “if its not needed.”  “If we get rid of those layers, then we can jump right into those solutions and implementing them much sooner.”

Marotti cites his longtime desire to use his newfound position to help facilitate a greater sense of school spirit on the Marist campus. “It is not just about getting people to go to sporting events, it is the culture that surrounds it.”

As mentioned within his election campaign, sporting the tagline “#GameChanger,” Marotti plans to remodel the student center in order to “make it more welcoming so that it is a place that students want to hang out, not just a place that people go to study.”

He also wants to purchase Marist flags to hang on the lamp posts throughout campus. “We need little reminders that ‘You are a Red Fox,’ and you should be supporting that school spirit.”

As the Marotti administration enters its First 100 Days in office, the Marist SGA claims to clear blurred lines within the association and to efficiently facilitate student mobilization and “tangible change” on campus.

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