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Undergraduate Student Government welcomes new vice president for 2023-24 academic year

Undergraduate Student Government (USG) introduced Sage Mason as its new vice president of its staff for the 2023-2024 school year. 

The vice president role came about after Jenna Gilbreath, last year’s USG president, decided an organizational restructure needed to happen, which included the introduction of  of a vice president.

“The vice president role was really added to take that burden off of the Chief of Staff and the president so they’re able to operate in their tasks better,” she said. “While someone else can manage the internal side of things and have that run smoothly as well.” 

The main role of the vice president is to focus on internal relations within USG to make sure the senators and directors are doing what needs to be done and everything within the organization is running smoothly.

USG Chief of Staff Grace Schick goes into detail about the position’s responsibilities. 

“We created that role so we felt like we were more accountable with each other, between the work we do,” she said. “As well as keeping internal members accountable for showing up to things and making sure we’re being as forward-facing with our student population as possible.” 

When the position of vice president was announced, Mason knew it hit all the areas her leadership skills lie in, and in the places she wanted to help with. 

“I love helping internally, helping others succeed rather than being the face of an organization,” she said. “I just knew it was something that I’d definitely be interested in, especially wanting to keep working with USG.”

Mason began working with USG during her freshman year of college and has previously held multiple positions, including director of student involvement and first-year intern.

“I’ve been pretty heavily involved with USG all three years that I’ve been at Kent. I’ve kind of gotten a really good look at all sides of it,” Mason said. “It honestly was just perfect timing that this position came around.”

Schick said she thinks Mason was a great pick for the vice president.

“She is a very bubbly person to have in that role,” she said. “I feel like our members can go talk to her about their work, about what’s going on in their lives. And a lot of the time I feel like she fills in where I don’t necessarily fill as far as my leadership styles.” 

USG President Juliana Buonaiuto talked about the qualities Mason brings to the role.

“She’s honestly someone I trust very much,” Buonaiuto said. “She has a strength in communication that I think is really unique to her, and she’s also just always ready for a challenge.”

There has never been a vice president in the student government at Kent State before, so Mason is working to lead the way for others who might take this position in the future.

“I think it’s really fun that I can kind of set the precedent of what I envisioned this role to be,” she said. “With my two years past experience on USG, I see where some places struggle, and I’m able to just figure those out and set the precedent for what the next vice presidents will do.”

USG senators, directors and the office of the president alike are all adjusting to the addition of a vice president.

“I think we’re still getting over a little bit of a hiccup of who you are supposed to reach out to for what, necessarily,” she said. “There’s just some slight mishaps that have happened, but I think everyone’s adjusting really well.”

“For the newcomers, it’s just natural and normal,” she said. “This is what they came into, it’s what makes sense. For returners, I feel like it’s been interesting for them to adjust to having a new role, but it’s also been really helpful for them.” 

Members of USG are hoping to have the restructuring of their organization completed by election season next year, which will start in January. Their future plans for restructuring will involve some positions having title changes, altering compensation for certain roles and ultimately deciding whether or not to keep a vice president position. 

“The structure of USG as is just needs to change in order for us to function more efficiently and to represent students more adequately,” Buonaiuto said.

Addison Foreman is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Addison Foreman, General Assignment Editor
Addison is a junior journalism major minoring in creative writing and political science. She enjoys writing about politics, government and current events. She also loves reading and hanging out with her cat. Contact her at [email protected]  

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