It’s almost impossible to walk across campus and not bump into Student Assembly President and communications and media arts student, Ethan Roselle. Donning his trademark glasses and a warm, inviting smile, Roselle isn’t shy about greeting fellow students and learning about what he can do to help represent their perspective and voice to the College’s faculty, staff, and administration.
Born in Valhalla, NY, Roselle spent the majority of his childhood moving across the state of New York. Constantly being “the new kid” made an indelible impression on Roselle, who learned from a very young age the importance of being kind and understanding how to adapt to new situations.
“It’s actually a pretty sad story. My mom suffered a traumatic brain injury from childbirth, but wasn’t diagnosed with it until eight years after she delivered me. Those years pre-diagnosis were definitely confusing and resulted in us moving a lot. Over time I learned about resources that could help her and help us as I took care of her, but it definitely was a long road,” shared Roselle.
When Ethan was eighteen, he was accepted to Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. As the start of the semester neared, Roselle had second thoughts about leaving his mother. He ultimately decided to defer his acceptance and enter the workforce straight from high school.
“At that time, I was working three different jobs back to back. I worked at an ice rink in Danbury, CT, at a Grand Prix New York Racing & Entertainment in Kiscko, NY, and was the primary caregiver for my mom. Within months, I was made a manager at both places. I was excelling, but being in the working world made me angry. I grew up quick. I wanted to be a college student, so I did a ton of research on programs that could help care for my mom while I was away at school. I was able to find her a home, a care-giving plan, and financial security. Once that was taken care of, I began to reapply to colleges across the state,” said Roselle.
Roselle initially wanted to attend Binghamton University, but unfortunately missed the application deadline for the fall semester. Justin Brymn, the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and EOP Liaison at Binghamton University, personally contacted Roselle and suggested that he explore the option of first studying at SUNY Broome and then transferring to Binghamton University after two years. Brymn particularly encouraged Roselle to apply for SUNY Broome’s Educational Opportunity Program and connected Ethan to SUNY Broome’s Director of EOP, Venessa Rodriguez. (Who just happens to be Justin Brymn’s life partner.) Within minutes of speaking with Venessa Rodriguez, Roselle knew that SUNY Broome was where he was meant to be.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I am here because of Venessa Rodriguez and her contagious excitement about EOP at SUNY Broome. Whenever I am worried about something, I just meet with Venessa and I instantly feel better and feel encouraged to press on,” shared Roselle.
As an EOP student, Ethan was eligible to move into the Student Village two weeks early to attend the EOP Summer Advancement Academy. He packed up his belongings and drove himself to campus. At the time, he didn’t realize just how much of an undertaking it was to move onto campus and acknowledged that the process was overwhelming. Thankfully, the EOP Summer Advancement Academy was specifically designed to help students acclimate to all portions of campus life. As part of the Advancement Academy curriculum, Venessa Rodriguez encouraged all of her students to volunteer at “Move-In Day” at the Student Village. Roselle didn’t hesitate to answer the call for support.
“I was all alone when I came to SUNY Broome. I drove three hours from Carmel, NY by myself and I thought that I could handle it. I quickly understood how nice it is to have support when you move to college, so I wanted to help other new students just in case anyone else was moving in alone like I did,” shared Roselle.
Roselle’s next EOP Advancement Academy activity included attending a student activities fair to learn about the various opportunities to get involved with campus organizations. It was during that meeting that Roselle was introduced to SUNY Broome’s Student Assembly, a Shared Governance body that discusses issues pertaining to students on campus. Members of the group discuss issues concerning campus life, review student-related campus policies, and sit alongside faculty and staff on college committees charged with making recommendations to College administration. Roselle loved the idea of being able to help make positive changes on campus and couldn’t wait to get involved.
Armed with a megaphone and a sandwich board, Roselle walked around SUNY Broome’s campus with a mission, to teach his fellow students how to vote. It was simply a bonus if they voted for him.
“I eventually created a small campaign team and they helped me spread the word about the election. Somehow it worked, because I was elected as president of the Student Assembly. I genuinely have empathy for other students, so I know that that will help me as I try to work on their behalf as president,” said Roselle.
As Student Assembly President, Roselle is required to regularly attend important campus meetings like Shared Governance, College Assembly, and budget meetings to serve as a representative of the student body. These obligations can easily become overwhelming, so Roselle is spending this semester managing his schedule to make sure that his presidential duties don’t interfere with his responsibilities as a communications and media arts student.
“I eventually want to be a director, so I have to learn everything there is about media. I know that it’s a stretch, but I also know that I can do it. In the meantime, I’ll just work on getting the campus to boost their wifi for the students.”