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Michael Cashman New Student Association President

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ He wants students to be engaged, and he's going to make it a priority as the new Student Association president at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. Michael Cashman was voted in last December and hit the ground running.

Michael Cashman "First of all, I wanted to understand why things were the way they were and how they worked," said Cashman as to why he got involved in student government in the first place. "The more you understand, the more opportunities you have to make changes for the better. If you sit on the sidelines, you can either boo or cheer. You don't have many options."

Cashman, a graduate student in counselor education student affairs from Saratoga, N.Y., has three priorities as president. First, he wants to emphasize what type of student association SUNY Plattsburgh has.

"We're students serving students," said Cashman. "As SA officers, we don't get paid. We're volunteering, working on behalf of all students."

The second priority of the 43rd administration of the SA is to emphasize student advocacy.

"We're for the students and to empower them to do it themselves. We want students to understand and to engage in all aspects of the collegiate experience. Students should take it upon themselves to get involved. For example, seniors should ask themselves, 'What can I do for future students?' This is vital for the longevity and health of the institution. This is a community, and for it to grow and flourish, students need to get involved and encourage others to get involved."

The third priority is the visibility of the SA and its strategic planning.

"We're going to take a look at the services we provide to students and see how we can make it better and to provide more. It needs to be a collaborative effort."

Cashman, who also received his undergraduate degree at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2003, said that he is looking for ideas from everyone, including students, faculty, staff and the Plattsburgh community.

"I'm also an alumnus. I had an amazing undergraduate experience here. I want to share opinions, thoughts and advocate for the students so they can have a similar type of experience."

Cashman, who is also the graduate assistant for the Center for Leadership Development, said he is thrilled to be working with President John Ettling.

"I think he's going to serve all populations very well," said Cashman. "He's very warm and inviting. I feel fortunate to be working with him."

Cashman said that he is also looking forward to working with the College Council as well as members of the Plattsburgh community throughout his term.

"It is such an awesome responsibility to serve approximately 6,000 students, plus the faculty and staff," said Cashman. "What a wonderful tradition of excellence our college has. I have 365 days in my term of office, I don't want a day to slip away that I don't do something for the students and for Plattsburgh State."

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