Resignation from Student Government

Rian Fantozzi, Editor in Chief

To: Student Body of Juniata College

From: Rian Fantozzi

Subject: Resignation from Student Government

Date: February 11, 2019


My Juniata College Dear,

I have been serving on the Policy Committee of Student Government since the first Senate meeting of my freshman year. Dan Schaffer had asked for volunteers and I enlisted right away. In the years since, some of my best memories have been dinner debates in Muddy, or helping to write the SAUR constitution my freshman year. Quite a few of the best people I’ve met in my two and half years at this institution are serving on policy committee. I am constantly surprised at their mix of professionalism and friendship.

However, the time has come for me to resign from policy committee. I do not intend my resignation to be a political one; it is not the result of any of the current debates or discussions happening within our student government. Instead, it is grounded in an ethical obligation. I cannot in sound ethics maintain a role in student government and the role of editor-in-chief of The Juniatian.

After careful consideration, I have decided to choose the continuation of my role in our newspaper over my role in student government. You, the members of Juniata College, deserve the most accurate reporting on the actions of our student government. During the semester that The Juniatian has been publishing, I have recused myself from editing any pieces on student government for content and have not been writing on student government in anything but an op-ed capacity.

This year has been a turbulent one for student government. We have had three vice-presidents, two presidents, and we changed treasurers in the spring semester. The Executive Committee of Student Government seems fractured and split. Personally, I am concerned for the effectiveness of our government. Through my resignation, I will now be bringing you the most accurate and precise version of the story I am capable of.

Our student government matters. Every club and JAB event is funded through our student activities fee. Our student government holds the purse strings to that money, even if they rarely exercise that power. Our student government matters. They are the ones who we elected or who volunteered to take upon themselves the duty of speaking for the students of our College. Our student government matters. We are stakeholders in the future of our College, and they give us the ability to control that future.

Through our formal interface with the administration of our College, we can help bring into being the changes we want to see made on this campus. We can bring about a more sustainable Juniata—committed to being a leader in the fight against climate change. We can bring about a more diverse Juniata—providing students with an environment that no one feels uncomfortable in so that they may thrive. We can bring about a more united Juniata—where we recognize that it is the issues at hand that are the enemy, not each other.

We are not in high school anymore. The students of Juniata College have control over the future of the institution. This kind of responsibility is new to many of us. Most of our high schools did not depend on our success for their continued survival. Most of us, myself included, have yet to fully realize both the burden and the opportunity this affords us.

While at college we are given access to a sandbox where we get to define how we approach situations. The way in which we handle the situations we are thrown into says a lot about the people that we are. While we are in this sandbox, we are given one last chance to grow beyond who we were coming in, before we are thrown into a world without a clear path and without clear milestones. We have chosen a liberal arts lifestyle. We have chosen to be adaptive humans. At the end of the day, we chose Juniata College.

I chose Juniata College because I recognized the potential that exists here. Juniata College has the ability to have a pivotal role in the Huntingdon community, in the community of students that makes it up, and through them, the communities that they will go to live and work in. Here we can develop and learn the skills needed to accomplish what we want.

But, our College is only as strong as we make it. If we want ethical leaders in the world, we must be them here. If we want to be successful scientists, writers, business people or artists: we must do so here. Together as a College, there is no challenge too great for us. We are given the tools to the sandbox, we must take them and build the sandcastle.

I am stepping down from my role as an Approvals Board member and a policy committee member. I am stepping up to the role of providing a unified voice for the students of Juniata College.




Policy Committee & Approvals Board