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Leonty, Jimenez settling in as BSG president, vice president

Alexander Leonty (left) and Daniel Jimenez (right) are Brockport’s new student government president and vice president. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Leonty)

By Paul Cifonelli / Co-Editor-in-Chief

When they were officially elected as Brockport Student Government’s new president and vice president on Tuesday, Sept. 15, Alexander Leonty and Daniel Jimenez knew they were entering office at an unusual time. They both know there’s a lot to get done to enhance this school year, and Jimenez began helping students almost immediately after his election. 

The first of many initiatives is enhancing the virtual experience of students through all the mediums of communication we have at the school,” Jimenez wrote in an email. “We are in an unprecedented time where the creation of content and the ability to stay connected virtually is paramount to shaping the early college experiences of the incoming classes. This includes Talon TV, 89.1 The Point, and the Office of College Communications, among other media outlets Brockport uses.” 

Keeping students connected is a major concern for Leonty, the new president, as well. Despite not having many students on campus daily, he still thinks it is important for him and his fellow BSG members to keep in touch with their fellow students. 

“To connect to the student body, I would love to be able to have myself and hopefully my cabinet take initiative to really take part in our community,” Leonty wrote. “Whether that is attending meetings or events hosted by our local clubs, organizations and Greek life students, volunteering initiatives or working with Residential Life, I hope to open the floor to mentor students who might be interested in BSG and connect them to other student-leaders that they may not know, and a whole lot more ideas. All in all, I think there are many ways that I can connect to the student body, but I believe that what makes it important is that not only do I take part in many events but that we encourage other BSG staff to do the same.” 

While Leonty is looking to connect with students as much as possible by attending events, Jimenez is looking to take advantage of technology to do that. 

We plan on connecting with the student body through our avenues of social media, as well as learning and understanding the new provisions Brockport has put in place for health and safety in order to still be able to have human interaction, much like our college experience in past years,” Jimenez wrote. 

Despite taking over during a volatile time without any precedent for decision-making, Leonty feels this year has just as much potential to be great as all the others. 

This year will be great and that’s because I understand that I’m able to lead a powerful team that is ambitious and hungry to do good work,” Leonty wrote. “As much as I want to do so many new and creative things, I know that regardless we will continue to do the work that was left off from the administration before me and the ones before them. Regardless of whether we need to shut down Brockport in a couple of weeks or see the spread of COVID-19 dwindle down to a very low number, we will be great.” 

Both Leonty and Jimenez, as people of color, acknowledge that being elected as president and vice president means something, especially during this time of unrest in the U.SLeonty has experienced troubles at Brockport due to his race and wants to make sure other students don’t end up in the same situations he was in. 

“I have faced too many issues at my time at Brockport and a lot of those issues were related to my blackness,” Leonty wrote. “What made it harder is that I felt like I did not have too many leaders that looked like me. There are issues that we are dealing with that are surfacing in recent times that are bringing up very tough conversations. Being a person of color means so much and usually that means to be a token for a primarily white institution — but how I see it is that I have no other role but to be authentically and unapologetically me. I hope to be a leader and do right, and as a person of color in today’s climate, being elected as president with a vice president who is also a black male, I am happy to make history and do good work.” 

Jimenez, however, doesn’t think the current climate makes it any more important than it has been in the past. 

“It means today what it has always meant,” Jimenez wrote. “Being a person of color, there has always been a conflict between how we as leaders like to see and dignify ourselves and how the world, and perpetuators of a system of white supremacy, see us. The only difference about today’s climate is that racism is being identified as a public health crisis, amidst the largest global pandemic we have ever endured. There are people of color and allies alike expressing their frustration and overall fatigue with systems of oppression. 

Both Leonty and Jimenez will look to keep the school and BSG moving forward as normally as possible while the 2020-21 school year moves on during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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