Former SGA President reflects on his service and discusses hopes for the future


Photo courtesy of the UTSA Student Government Association

Jada Thomas, Copyediting Coordinator

As graduation season approaches, the heads of several student organizations are bidding farewell to the communities they have called home for the past few years. This includes Jose Escobedo, the former president of the Student Government Association (SGA), whose term concluded a few weeks ago. Taking a trip down memory lane, Escobedo recounted his timeline in SGA: from being elected as a College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) senator to being chosen as chair on the emergency internal affairs committee, to being a business affairs chairman. He also recalled what incentivized him to run for an executive position at the end of his sophomore year.

“At that point, I chose to continue because I felt like we were on the brink of something different, special,” Escobedo said. “I didn’t know what exactly; I guess my gut feeling was like, ‘just stick with it and see what happens. And so I made the choice to stay, and from that point on it was more about exploring and seeing what the university has and being able to serve.”

To begin his junior year, Escobedo served as vice president of SGA and then the following year, he was elected to serve as president of the organization. Adding this to his first two years as a senator then as chairman, his time of leadership has changed the way he viewed certain things. As his time in SGA concludes, Escobedo notes the perspective his years of service has given him. 

“It gave me a lot of perspective. I don’t think a leader should ever view themselves as someone who has power over someone else more of someone that has a distinct responsibility to listen. That’s why I really devoted my time as president to listening to different people,” Escobedo said.

Along with allowing Escobedo to gain a fresh perspective on various aspects of leadership, being SGA president has given him several opportunities. These opportunities, such as public speaking and project work, allowed Escobedo to achieve great accomplishments — both as an individual and as a leader. 

“Personally speaking, a big accomplishment for me was, as a person, it really brought me out of my comfort zone — made me expand my horizons, and I think I’m a better person for it. I think I’m comfortable in situations that most people aren’t sometimes,” Escobedo said.

Throughout all of his years in SGA, Escobedo has also been afforded chances to work on projects that he is incredibly proud of. Escobedo described one of these accomplishments

“A couple of accomplishments that I really have enjoyed is project work. As a senator, as a chairman, even as an executive, I try to continue working on those kinds of things … our menstrual hygiene initiative, which started my freshman year and that was just more of an idea from our executives at the time and passed down to our committee,” Escobedo said. “The pandemic hit, it kinda took a pause and when we came back, I was proud to actually bring it back and continue it.”

These accomplishments are not the only thing that SGA has given Escobedo. Throughout his time in the Senate, as a chairman and on the executive board, Escobedo shared that his experiences have provided him with many lessons. However, he revealed that there was one lesson in particular that stood out amongst the others. 

“I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that if things don’t go according to your plan, it doesn’t mean it’s bad, just means that it’s different, and sometimes different’s really good,” Escobedo said.

While his time in SGA may be coming to a close, Escobedo has high hopes for the organization’s future. His vision for the future of SGA involves them taking the momentum that has been generated during his term and using it to soar to new heights. 

“I hope that this [term] was just a precursor to something really really great,” Escobedo said. “I don’t want them to look at this as the golden era because we’re just getting started. I want them to look at this as a stepping-off point for something that we really want to achieve.”

Escobedo’s time as SGA president may have come to an end, but he expresses pride in the fact that he has been able to serve. In his farewell address, Escobedo leaves the faculty, staff and student body with humble words. 

“Thank you for putting your faith in me for all these years. I hope I’ve been able to make you proud. I haven’t been perfect, but I hope the many mistakes I’ve made can be viewed with a certain indulgence. Everything I’ve done has been in your service, and it has been one of my greatest honors to have done so.”