Illinois Student Government reflects on semester’s achievements

President+Raneem+Shamseldin%2C+Vice+President+Joseph+Domanski+and+Chief+of+Staff+Spencer+Haydary+listen+during+the+Illinois+Student+Government+meeting+in+the+Pine+Lounge+of+the+Illini+Union+on+Nov.+29.+Shamseldin+is+looking+forward+to+next+semester%E2%80%99s+projects%2C+including+the+possible+creation+of+a+mascot+ad+hoc+committee+to+find+a+new+University+mascot+and+the+continuation+of+the+Sexual+Assault+Prevention+Department%E2%80%99s+mission.+Haydary+will+leave+ISG+at+the+end+of+the+semester.+
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Illinois Student Government reflects on semester’s achievements

President Raneem Shamseldin, Vice President Joseph Domanski and Chief of Staff Spencer Haydary listen during the Illinois Student Government meeting in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union on Nov. 29. Shamseldin is looking forward to next semester’s projects, including the possible creation of a mascot ad hoc committee to find a new University mascot and the continuation of the Sexual Assault Prevention Department’s mission. Haydary will leave ISG at the end of the semester.

President Raneem Shamseldin, Vice President Joseph Domanski and Chief of Staff Spencer Haydary listen during the Illinois Student Government meeting in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union on Nov. 29. Shamseldin is looking forward to next semester’s projects, including the possible creation of a mascot ad hoc committee to find a new University mascot and the continuation of the Sexual Assault Prevention Department’s mission. Haydary will leave ISG at the end of the semester.

Hannah Auten

President Raneem Shamseldin, Vice President Joseph Domanski and Chief of Staff Spencer Haydary listen during the Illinois Student Government meeting in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union on Nov. 29. Shamseldin is looking forward to next semester’s projects, including the possible creation of a mascot ad hoc committee to find a new University mascot and the continuation of the Sexual Assault Prevention Department’s mission. Haydary will leave ISG at the end of the semester.

Hannah Auten

Hannah Auten

President Raneem Shamseldin, Vice President Joseph Domanski and Chief of Staff Spencer Haydary listen during the Illinois Student Government meeting in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union on Nov. 29. Shamseldin is looking forward to next semester’s projects, including the possible creation of a mascot ad hoc committee to find a new University mascot and the continuation of the Sexual Assault Prevention Department’s mission. Haydary will leave ISG at the end of the semester.

By Cori Lippert, Staff Writer

As the Illinois Student Government adjourns its meetings for the semester, new and old staff members reflect on ISG’s ongoing progress.

Student body President Raneem Shamseldin, senior in LAS, said ISG’s biggest accomplishments this year were the Sexual Assault Prevention Department and the Homecoming Parade protest.

“(The Chief issue) is important because it has never been resolved,” Shamseldin said. “When the Chief has been banned and it still is making a presence on our campus and still in the majority of University buildings (and) inside offices, then it’s an issue that hasn’t been closed.”

Shamseldin said when the issue of the Chief is resolved, then ISG will be happy to move on to other issues. Shamseldin added the Sexual Assault Prevention Department was an important part of this semester as well.

“I think going to a school where 1 in 5 women are assaulted, many men are assaulted, many members of our LGBTQ community are assaulted, it’s important that our student government plays a role in preventing these acts,” Shamseldin said. “Our sexual assault prevention department was a good start for ISG.”

Shamseldin said ISG has never had a sexual assault prevention department before. This department works toward preventing sexual assault on campus and working with other organizations dealing with sexual assault. ISG has done work with bystander intervention, but never with direct prevention.

ISG also took action in response to the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“It’s important that as a student government we are representing all of our students, so when one group of people are down or pushed down by the real government, then it’s our job to say, ‘We are with you, we support you,’” Shamseldin said.

Shamseldin said she is looking forward to next semester and to the potential creation of a mascot ad hoc committee, which will take action in finding a new mascot for the University.

Aside from the new committee and department developments, ISG will be saying goodbye to a few key staff members, including Chief of Staff Spencer Haydary.

“I have a lot of mixed emotions. Obviously I’m excited to begin the next chapters of my life, (but) I am gonna miss all the things I have been able to do in this organization,” Haydary said.

Haydary said he will miss the environment of ISG and his ability to make a mistake, pick himself back up and get back to it.

“I have always been passionate about student government, I have always been passionate about student issues. I wanted to make a difference. I saw this body as being capable of doing so,” Haydary said, who’s been a member of ISG for 2 1/2 years.

Haydary said he would tell incoming senators to learn as much as possible, to talk to everyone they can and to keep the spark of why they joined ISG in the first place.

Grace Mladenik, junior in ACES, recently joined ISG.

“I am looking forward to work on resolutions and other pieces of policy that will benefit students at the University,” Mladenik said in an email. “There are areas of concern that affect all students such as student fees, mental health and wellbeing.”

Mladenik was previously in ISG during her freshman year when it was known as the Illinois Student Senate, but she recently re-joined the organization.

“I joined because I hope to listen to students and bring their concerns to the senate body. So to have the honor of filling that very same vacancy as I did as a freshman is pretty exciting,” Mladenik said.

Mladenik is also the president of the University’s Amnesty International chapter, an organization that focuses on human rights, and hopes to get more members of that organization involved with ISG and civic engagement. She also hopes to combat food waste and food security on campus.

“Many students on this campus are food insecure, which sometimes can seem like a crazy concept, but when you’re paying student loans, textbooks, rent, and everything else that comes with the bundle of being student, the next meal can sometimes be overlooked,” Mladenik said. “I know there are many efforts already at play that get at this issue, but it’s something of concern to me as an ACES student.”

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