Ratliff gets ratified for Vice President of Student Organizations

By: Robert Creenan & Jesse Prieto

News Contributor & News Editor

The Undergraduate Student Association’s newest member has been appointed and approved this past Tuesday, finalizing for the moment the student bureaucrats of Canisius. This past Tuesday night, the Canisius Student Senate met in the cramped confines of the Faculty Dining Room, an issue that Executive Vice President Elias Ayoub said that they’d have to deal with, “for another few weeks.” The situation made the dining hall overstuffed and hot. And the freshman senators haven’t even been elected yet.

Regardless, the appointment of a new Vice President of Student Organizations was to go on as usual. The four candidates in attendance, Annie Niland, Darby Ratliff, Shai Fears, and Katie Parker (Samantha Sellers had dropped out of the race) stood at the front to provide their best responses over the next 45 minutes. If you missed last week’s issue talking about the candidates, here’s a brief recap of the four.

Annie Niland is a sophomore who’s part of SPB and The Griffin. She already ran for the position last year when Vance Stinson was chosen. She also was a freshman senator last year and was the main organizer for this year’s club fair during student orientation.

Darby Ratliff is a senior in her 3rd year serving as senator and is currently on the e-boards for seven clubs. If elected, she said, she would have to reorganize her extracurricular life to fit the position.

Katie Parker is a sophomore who’s on the mock trial team and Phi Alpha Delta. She has also wanted to join senate for a while and said that she made room in her personal schedule just so she can have the position.

Shai Fears is a freshman/preacher who’s been plenty involved in high school, whose main points include being class president and making the bible club the most popular club in his high school.

The candidate’s responses to questions were mostly similar to each other, as they believed that they needed to get to know student leaders, and that there’s a need for students to feel the need to join clubs. Niland kept hammering the point that she organized the club fair and how that got her contact with the club leaders. Fears brought up his many activities in high school and how he possessed the necessary leadership qualities, plus he always likes talking to people. Parker brought up how she talked to Stinson extensively on what the position entails. Darby made the points that she’s the oldest, has the experience of being in a wide variety of clubs and how she values people’s first names.

In the end, Ratliff was appointed due to her experience and ability to step into the position right away. The other candidates were told that they were all impressive and urged to participate more in campus life.

With two out of five E-Board positions already changed after the democratic election. Adding to this are rumors of a possible third party leaving his/her position at the end of this semester, causing yet another shift in the USA office. This question is pressed further by the fact that Senator Angela Graves continues to wait in limbo as Senate deliberates over how to proceed with her inability to attend meetings, yet long record of service to the college and community. All of this shift in leadership and structure raises a general question about the continuity of this year’s leadership. Still, despite such confusion, Darby Ratliff feels confident and excited about taking on this new mantle of leadership.

After running for USA President herself, Ratliff expressed her glee for another opportunity working with fellow Canisians for the benefit of the college as an executive board member. Confident, yet humble, Darby expressed her passion for working with student organizations. Her stunning background in club leadership, which remains too  copious to be listed here, suggests that she has a foot on both sides of the divide and can recognize the value in parliamentary procedure as well as the needs of student groups. “I know clubs very well,” she explained. One of the reasons she was selected was the fact that her background in both Senate and club leadership allow her to jump right into the position; making up for the three weeks of lost time while the seat lay vacant.

When asked about her goals Ratliff was frank, explaining that she wanted to take the year old position for the good that it is while “ironing out the kinks” so that future VPSOs can benefit from a simple and sound system.

“My intention is to divide [student organizational rankings] into three categories: operation, collaboration, and service.” Doing away with the Blue and Gold memberships set in place by former VPSO Stinson, Darby wants to streamline the points system to ensure that smaller clubs are not alienated. “Not every club is an RHA,” said Darby, “I was on the E-Board for three honors societies last year and they have very few events.” She went on to explain that there are different types of clubs, all of which serve a unique purpose for the community.

The Council of Representatives will also be given a facelift this semester. Taking hold of Stinson’s desire to build up a norm of collaboration between clubs, Darby would like to continue having clubs meet in divisions. However, she recognizes the detriment to smaller clubs that this can cause and expressed her desire to facilitate co-sponsorship along the way. More importantly, the COR will be reverting in form to incorporate a town hall mentality for student leaders to air grievances, communicate expectations, and commit to clear and open communication.

Over all, VPSO Darby Ratliff’s self appointed mission is this, “I think Vance did a wonderful job. I want to keep ironing out the kinks that would be found in any system the first time around, and I want to build a sustainable system that can be used by future VPSOs”  

Ratliff’s appointment closes the chapter on E-Board member Vance Stinson, who stepped down after building the position to its current stature. Dealing with student organizations, overseeing the Counsel of Representatives, and building upon her own legacy, the already heavily involved student leader faces yet another mantle of leadership in the Canisius College community.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

© 2018 The Griffin. All rights reserved.
%d bloggers like this: