This semester, the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) has added a new position. The addition of the Athletic Representative was proposed to the student body on Sept. 7 during the first Senate meeting of the year by NCSA Co-President and thesis student Grace Keenan.
“As soon as we knew that athletics was going to be a program, we knew we were going to need an athletic representative,” Keenan said. “They’re just as important members of the community as everyone else, and we want them to feel represented. Athletes and new students are in the same boat as us.”
Student senators unanimously voted in favor of creating the position, and it was added to the NSCA fall elections ballot. The results were published on Sept. 22, announcing third-year transfer student Jacob Platko’s victory as a write-in candidate with 52 percent and 177 votes, surpassing first-year student Jackson Dawson, who received 31 percent, with 108 votes. Platko said he hopes to be a voice for sports on campus.
“I want to be able to be a servant leader, and I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to set a good example,” Platko said. “I’m not afraid to speak up for what I believe in.”
Second-year and Chair of Student Life, Adom Neizer-Ashun, said that she is optimistic about the new Athletic Representative, and emphasized that she believes that “the role of representatives within NCSA is to represent everyone in the student body,” and that the representation should extend to athletes.
“I hope the athletic representative will be able to grant more perspective to the NCSA about things we have traditionally not considered in creating initiatives and student events, such as practice schedules and game times as well as necessities that are student-athlete specific,” Neizer-Ashun said.
Originally from Bradenton, Platko transferred from State College of Florida in order to pitch for the NCF baseball team. He was recruited by Athletic Director Mariano Jimenez, who previously was Platko’s high school baseball coach at Inspiration Academy. Platko is currently an Economics Area of Concentration and works as a student ambassador.
He said he feels that “it’s perceived that the athletes are not as smart,” and that he hopes to “be able to increase the [sense of] community between athletes and the rest of the campus, and the outside public as well.”
Platko said he is excited to attend the college, aside from the recent political problems.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of political issues, and I just want to get it to the point where it’s the best liberal arts school in the country. Being able to get a great education here at an honors college is more than ideal. It’s a good opportunity to meet new people, and who knows where it could go from there,” he said.
As a student representative, he said that he is looking forward to planning community engagement events and representing the needs of the athletes on campus.
“I want to get a good feel for what needs to be added in terms of resources for us, and utilizing those resources best,” Platko said.
Platko described his experience on campus positively.
“Everyone seems fairly welcoming, and I feel like we’re transitioning fairly well on campus. It’s been an enjoyable experience so far. I’ve only been on campus for a month and I think everyone does a great job of creating comradery,” he said.