Zoe Kaminski, the executive vice president (EVP) for the Undergraduate Student Association (USA), is stepping up on campus and hoping to encourage others to do the same.
The role of EVP, as described by Kaminski, is “the ‘internal manager’ of the Senate, in that I am responsible for overseeing committees and all USA programming. In my role, I am also responsible for helping students create new clubs on campus and creating and amending club constitutions.”
In this role, each day looks different and collaboration is key, according to Kaminski. She says that one of her biggest projects right now is training the new House speaker, which Kaminski considers an essential part of her role due to the recent turnover rate within USA and the opportunity to teach them values like inclusion, having fun and honoring campus traditions.
Kaminski is a junior majoring in political science, English, and urban studies. Having been involved with USA as well as various other leadership roles on campus, Kaminski wanted to be EVP in order to make a larger impact on campus and, she said, to “be a voice with and for all undergraduate students.” Kaminski said she was inspired to do so by watching previous EVPs, especially her predecessor, Claire Rosenecker, who encouraged Kaminski to take a larger role in USA and to be an advocate for students on campus.
During Kaminski’s time on USA, she has been involved in many different projects and initiatives. Of these, Kaminski says she is most proud of the creation and implementation of Campus Clean-Ups during her time as Sustainability Committee chair. Kaminski says these cleanups started as a way to stay engaged with campus during the pandemic, but they quickly became a community-building activity as well.
“They really involve the entire campus community, and it's not uncommon to see the clean-ups happening with athletes, grad students, faculty and community members alike,” said Kaminski. She said it brings her joy to see all different kinds of students working together for such an impactful and sustainable activity.
As for the future of campus and the Canisius community, Kaminski is hopeful. This semester, she said, has been the exciting return to campus that everyone has been hoping for, especially with the return of many traditions that were put on pause last year.
“I'm really hoping that, as we rebuild, we can come back together and be better than ever.”