USG president Emily Ancinec reflects on year, prepares for future

Pulse Editor and Pulse Editor

Emily Ancinec used a motto to help her remember what was important while serving as Undergraduate Student Government President.

“I took the motto that if I don’t speak up for the students, no one will,” Ancinec said.

Ancinec, a senior, is moving on to graduate school at Texas A&M after she graduates in May. Her term as USG president ended April 10.

“I definitely miss it,” she said. “But I’ve been enjoying the free time.”

Rob Orians, former USG vice president, said he enjoyed the experience as well.

“It was one of the best experiences I’ve had,” Orians said. “A lot of time and dedication went into the position and I’m better because of it, and I had a great time doing it.”

Orians said he also liked going through the experience with Ancinec.

“She’s got a great sense of humor,” Orians said. “We bounced ideas off of each other; she was good at motivating people.”

If she could go back and be USG president again, Ancinec said she definitely would.

“I got to have such a deeper respect for this institution,” Ancinec said.

The experience involved a lot of meetings, which is where her motto helped, she said. In frequent meetings with University administrators and faculty, Ancinec’s motto stayed on her mind.

“I really took that to heart, and I made sure that if I had a concern, I raised it or I asked questions,” Ancinec said. “I wasn’t necessarily completely challenging the system but, you know, [asking] why are we doing this.”

When the opportunity arose to speak up for students, Ancinec said she tried to make sure she took it. She gained confidence by being the voice of about 20,000 students and speaking with administrators.

“This position challenged me so that when I said something, I backed it up and I knew that this was exactly what needed to be said,” Ancinec said.

The idea of speaking up for students translated to issues USG tackled as a group, she said.

“We had a lot of interesting challenges we never saw coming,” Ancinec said.

Voting on whether Chick-fil-A and Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority would come to campus were two of the big challenges the senate faced, Ancinec said. The organization also accomplished many smaller things.

“I feel like our student voice was very strong in committees this year,” she said.

USG members now feel like more people know who they are, Ancinec said.

“I’ve heard a lot from administrators, staff and students that the image of USG has been improved this year,” she said.

As far as student representation, there was more diversity in the senate this year, Ancinec said.

“The senate was younger; it took them a while to find their voice,” Ancinec said. “But when they did find it, it was strong. They were very proactive and they had a lot of passion behind them.”

The senate had strengths and weaknesses, but former USG adviser Michael Ginsburg said they worked well together.

“I think even when they disagreed on something, they handled those disagreements well; I think they were respectful with each other,” Ginsburg said. “I think those disagreements really fostered good communication and discussion on all sides of an issue.”

Looking back, Ancinec said she might have changed things a little.

“It would have been great to be a lot more proactive,” she said. “I would have loved making this a full-time job even more than it already was.”

Ginsburg said because of bureaucracy at a university level, it can be hard for students to accomplish what they want to in only a year.

“I do think they did a good job staying on top of what they were trying to accomplish,” Ginsburg said.

Orians said his “hindsight is 20/20” when it comes to the position.

“[If I could do things differently], I would have made a bigger effort of going out and looking for more opinions,” Orians said.

Being USG president gave Ancinec the opportunity to see the University from a unique perspective and the ability to speak up for students, she said.

“Overall, I’m really glad and honored to have done what I was able to do and did this year,” Ancinec said.