New SGA officers sworn in this April include, left to right, treasurer Carson Pierce, president Mark Matulewicz and vice president Jenny Betz. Chelsea Scott of Charlotte joined the slate of officers as secretary this summer. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
A VOICE FOR PIRATES New SGA officers prepare for upcoming school year
The new slate of officers guiding East Carolina University’s Student Government Association has made transparency in campus leadership activities a top priority for the upcoming school year.
New SGA president Mark Matulewicz of Currituck, vice president Jenny Betz of Cary, treasurer Carson Pierce of Charlotte and secretary Selma Gomez of Buffalo, New York were sworn in April 20 and started work this summer. Gomez recently stepped down; the secretary position was filled by Chelsea Scott of Charlotte, who ran on the second ticket during the spring semester.
As SGA president, Matulewicz will also serve as an ex-officio member of the ECU Board of Trustees once he is sworn in at their July 17 meeting.
“We want to be open and honest with students so they understand what is taking place on their campus and how they can get involved,” said Matulewicz. “We also want our students to feel comfortable around SGA and be able to come to us and voice their concerns.”
To improve communication, the officers plan to create an SGA blog along with “Senate in a Minute” video segments compiled from senate meetings.
The leaders also hope to initiate changes that will improve the college experience for students.
“When we all decided to run, my teammates and I had really similar views,” said Matulewicz. “We just wanted to make ECU a better place in general.”
To help achieve this objective, the leaders supported the adoption of LiveSafe, an IOS and Android compatible app, which helps students use their mobile devices to report suspicious activity to police through images, video and text messages. Designed to help students feel safer on campus, the app uses Google Maps to link students who wish to walk from one place to another on campus and in surrounding areas with other trusted users. The officers will promote the app during on campus events such as Pirate Palooza and Barefoot on the Mall.
Matulewicz is a rising junior majoring in finance. He is a member of the Financial Management Association and Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and has served as an ECU Ambassador and resident advisor. He served as the director of First Year Programs and Shipmates in the executive cabinet before running for student body president his sophomore year.
Betz is a rising senior and a former member of the ECU women’s soccer team. After an injury, she hung up her cleats and became involved in student organizations. She joined ECU Ambassadors, Greek Life and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. As a sophomore, she became a senator for the College of Business.
A former student body president of Cardinal Gibbons High School, Betz said she has always enjoyed influencing a positive change among her peers.
“I want to make a more inclusive environment (on campus), especially within SGA,” said Betz. “The students are what I’m really passionate about.”
Betz is most excited about the Pirate Pickup Project, a new bus service that will transport students with long-term and short-term mobility impairments around campus.
Betz is majoring in marketing and minoring in economics. She hopes to obtain her MBA after graduation.
Rising senior Carson Pierce is a double major in political science and communication. He began in SGA as a member of the judicial council his freshman year and ran the judicial branch last year.
“I want to be the guy that funds the most organizations in the history of SGA on record,” he said. “I want to make sure that we can walk away from this and say that we’ve touched as many events and organizations at ECU and left the biggest footprint behind than any SGA administration has in the past.”
As treasurer, he plans to use his position to lighten the financial burden on students and campus organizations, with such projects as a student discount card that would also boost Greenville’s economy by encouraging student purchases in the area.
Rising junior and sociology major Chelsea Scott is an active leader on campus. She serves as the Black Student Union ambassador, Pirate 2 Pirate mentor and African Student Organization social coordinator.
Scott is excited to join the SGA team and looks forward to bringing about a positive change on campus.
By supporting her peers and serving as secretary, Scott aims to fulfill ECU’s model of service. “I hope to bring a fresh outlook to SGA and help close the gap students may feel between the student body and SGA as a whole,” said Scott.