John Kerlicker, a sophomore dual majoring in Secondary Education and Biology, was elected President of the Student Government Association (SGA). As President, Kerlicker plans to make Pitt-Greensburg a home for all students, rather than just a university campus.
“Pitt-Greensburg is like a home … even if you don’t live on campus. I feel like it is my home,” Kerlicker said. “But, I know that’s not the case for everybody.”
Although Kerlicker doesn’t have much he would like to change on campus, he aims to be a representative for students whose voices aren’t always heard.
“It’s not all about me, and I think that whenever you’re in a role like president, you’re representing so many people,” Kerlicker said. “It can’t just be a selfish thing.”
Kerlicker was involved in student government in high school, where he was class president for two years. Because of his involvement in high school student government, Kerlicker’s community assistant suggested he join SGA during his freshman year.
During the spring semester of his freshman year, he became SGA’s Parliamentarian, whose job is to keep order during SGA meetings. Fulfilling this role as a freshman was difficult for Kerlicker.
“[Being Parliamentarian] was difficult, because I didn’t really have much authority overall,” Kerlicker said. “I was like, who am I to tell them to be quiet at meetings?”
However, serving as Parliamentarian helped Kerlicker gain confidence and find his voice in SGA. During the fall semester, he became SGA’s Treasurer.
“I learned a lot. I definitely would encourage people to be a treasurer in clubs,” Kerlicker said. “You have a big impact on the money and the allocations that [clubs] are getting. And, overall, you help them be able to do what they need to do.”
When he ran for SGA President, Kerlicker wasn’t nervous but excited to make a difference.
“Win or lose, I was still going to be in SGA,” Kerlicker said. “I didn’t give anything away … I didn’t have giant posters. I just did my fliers and tried to spread the word on social media a little bit here and there. My campaign was pretty lowkey and I did everything myself.”
Kerlicker’s favorite part of running was the support he received from other students, even though he didn’t have a large campaign. “There were so many people that showed support of me. One person would be like, ‘yeah, we voted for you!’ It really means them and their friends, but I don’t know their friends. I just know them,” Kerlicker said. “It was really, really great to see and just overwhelming. … [Other students] were as enthusiastic about it as I was.”
Kerlicker wants students to know they can always raise issues to the SGA Senate, or even join as a senator. Students who are interested in joining SGA can pick up applications from the SGA office in Chambers Hall.
“You don’t have to be serious all the time,” Kerlicker said. “If you’re looking to make a difference on campus in any way, and looking to make sure that your voice is being heard, and the voice of people who you care about,” SGA is a good place to start.