Since his first year at Elon University, Kyle Porro has been a member of SGA, and on March 29, 2016, Porro was inaugurated as SGA executive president. His stated goals were to increase sustainability and inclusivity on campus.
On March 31, 2017, Porro’s term ends. With regard to his goals, he said that there is always room for improvement and growth, but that SGA has done a good job this year.
Porro, a finance major and environmental and sustainability minor from Wyckoff, New Jersey, partnered with the Office of Sustainability on a bike-sharing program to increase sustainability on campus.
Together, they organized bike docks to be placed outside of Danieley Neighborhood and Moseley Center for people to borrow bicycles to use around campus. The program is set to begin in the spring.
In North Carolina, former Gov. Pat McCrory signed the controversial House Bill 2, which required people had to use the bathroom that corresponded with their sex assigned at birth.
“That was an interesting time,” Porro said. “Our hope was to unify the students in kind of saying, ‘This is what our stance is.’ We will always remain ... as inclusive as possible.”
Porro drafted a resolution in response to the bill. He wanted everyone to feel welcome regardless of their background.
“In our executive term, we were the first private institution to publish an opposition to HB2 in North Carolina,” said SGA Executive Vice President Mark McGann.
Porro and other members of SGA expressed the need to be more gender- and sexuality-inclusive surrounding Homecoming court. Homecoming royalty allowed for there to be no gender-specific labels, so that any gender can be crowned, including same-sex couples.
Getting people on board with a new initiative, such as Homecoming royalty, was one of the most difficult parts of Porro’s presidency. Many of these initiatives were delayed because of the need for approval and funding.
“We’re trying to start a ball, and we actually just got the approval,” Porro said. “We’ve been having the conversation since October.”
Porro’s difficult path
Another difficult aspect of Porro’s presidency was increasing student involvement. He noticed that many people were not attending meetings because they were “not the most welcoming,” so he took this into consideration and changed the structure of SGA meetings.
A town hall meeting was held on the first Thursday of every month that all students were welcome to attend and voice their opinions or concerns. There was a new topic for each meeting, and Porro noted a larger turnout.
“One of his priorities as executive student body president has been to unite the campus as well as unite SGA as an organization,” said Kelsea Johnson, senior class president.
The future ahead
Porro hopes for the future of SGA and Elon that inclusivity and sustainability are more prevalent on campus. The foundation has been set, and he hopes it continues to expand. He wants to look back in five to 10 years and be able to say that he was part of the change.
Porro’s future is on his mind as his final year draws to an end, and he faces decisions about his life post-graduation.
“I’m thinking two paths. I applied to law school, so I’m waiting to hear back about that,” Porro said. “I would love to, regardless of what field I wind up getting into — if I practice law, if I go public sector — I would love to somehow be connected with environmental issues and working toward sustainability.”
Porro’s passion resonated with students and other SGA members.
“He, in my opinion, in my four years here at Elon, has been by far the most successful, and he’s gotten the most done in his presidency,” McGann said. “He has really put 100 percent of his past year into student government.”
“It was really great to see all the four years of working that he’s put into the club and how he’s really been able to transform [SGA],” said Porro’s brother and Freshman Class Vice President Konnor Porro. “It was great to just see his work ethic face-to-face,
Porro and his personality reflected well on Elon. His fellow SGA members recognize his humorous nature.
“He’s a really funny person. He has his very own eclectic style that I envy. And the mustache — the mustache is a pretty cool factor,” said Livi Murray, freshman class president.
Fewer than 100 days are left of Porro’s presidency, and he reflected warmly on the past year.
“This has been an incredible honor to serve in this position,” Porro said. “Thank you for this opportunity, and long live Elon.”