Student Community Government celebrated their semi centennial anniversary this past Friday. SCG was founded Jan. 19th 1974, the same year Stephen King released Carrie, the Rubix Cube was invented and gas was 42 cents a gallon. The students of Rhode Island College in the 70’s wanted to bridge the gap between students and the administration. 50 years later SCG has spawned lawyers, activists, government officials, keynote speakers, networking giants and more.
Friday night's event was hosted by current SCG Vice President Frank Castello and Treasurer Fathia Obabiyi. Speakers included RIC President Jack Warner, attorney and former Mayor of Cranston Alan Fung, former RI Representative James Langevin, and SCG President Matthew Jacques. Each spoke with tenacity and honor. They extended their own commemoration for the organization and how their time serving had affected them.
Warner started the speaking portion providing the guests with the history of SCG. This led to Fung illustrating how this organization was pivotal for his career and his personal life. “It all starts here,” Fung stated. The group brings to someone a heightened sense of self and integrity. There is a motivation to want to be successful.” As a new RIC student and athlete during the 1992 fire of the athletic center, Fung stated it was his work on SCG specifically that prompted him to take action. Together with his classmates, they donated their class gift to go towards the rebuilding of the athletic center.
Former Rep. and fellow lead in cybersecurity James Langevin spoke more about the organization as a whole. SCG is more than just politics, it is a family of change makers. Exclaiming those who succeed are the ones who “cut their teeth in SCG prior to [their career]”. Whereas Langevin went on to government work after his time at RIC, he instilled that SCG creates all types of leaders. Former SCG President David Blais is a living example. He is using his skills from RIC and SCG while working alongside The New England Patriots.
Rhode Island College is its own world but SCG is a home all members can return to. This anniversary, also known as the gold anniversary, came after the current executive board had to rebuild from the ruins of the pandemic. Current SCG President Jacques recalled starting with a total of seven members. Now, SCG meetings are filled to the brim with students and their concerns. Jacques highlighted how over the past year SCG has taken the necessary steps to change policies that will increase students' voices and representation on campus. This year the organization has increased operational efficiency and has renewed enthusiasm and dedication. Thanks to the time, energy and passion of the current executive board and parliament SCG is once again a platform to network with a common vision.
This formal event was hosted in the Donovan Dining Center and took months of planning. Thanks to a dedicated committee the room became a beautiful banquet hall filled with esteemed alumni, students, faculty and friends, not a single table was empty. Everyone in attendance had one cohesive thought; Student Community Government is a life defining moment.