To help students prepare for the upcoming Student Government Association (SGA) elections, the Paisano has contacted each student who has registered to run for a position on the Executive Board. Each candidate was asked the same questions:
1.) What experience and qualifications do you have that you believe will help you succeed in the position you are running for?
2.) Do you see any challenges ahead for SGA, and if so how do you plan on confronting them?
3.) If you could accomplish only one thing in your election position what would it be and why?
4.) Are there any major issues that need to be addressed in the upcoming year, and if so how do you plan on undertaking them?
Below are the responses for the candidates for Vice President, in alphabetical order.
As the current Vice President of Student Government, I understand what the organization needs in its vice president: an individual who supports the current president while having his goals and vision as well as building connections with the top administrators to get big-issue initiatives completed. In my last term, I focused a lot on the administration issues. I feel that at times I lost touch with the reason I signed up for student government, which was to make changes for the student body; this is something that I will make sure I don’t lose focus on this reason the second time around.
The challenges in the upcoming year for SGA begin with how we will adapt to change. Most of the current members have only seen the current president lead SGA. A brand new president coming in means a brand new vision for SGA. The organization is going to face a lot of changes so being able to adapt and grow with them is important. Another issue that SGA will face is having a strong and independent senate. Majority of the work happening inside SGA is coming from our officers and cabinet, and it does not need to be that way. Our senate shows great potential of developing campus-changing initiatives and resolutions for the student body, and we just need them to act on all the initiatives.
If I could only achieve one thing during a second term as vice president it would be to maintain the level of high quality of initiatives that we work on and the involvement with higher up administration that we have. Our student government handles bigger issues than most student governments around the country, and we take pride in that. Also want to expand the food options we have on campus in the late hours of the night. Having slim to no options of food during the late study sessions is a major concern that we hear from students. Working with Aramark, Student Activities and outside sources for future food options is definitely a high priority of mine if I do get the privilege of serving a second term.
Not only have I successfully performed my constitutional duties as a senator for my past two terms, but also I have gone out of my way to pursue initiatives within SGA that go far beyond what is required of me as a senator. Some of these initiatives include dedicating my work to two separate committees, representing the students on the university’s Parking and Traffic Committee and playing a key supporting role in SGA events whenever necessary. As a Senator, I have successfully represented my constituents on various issues that have ultimately helped this university in its journey to Tier-One. Some of these issues include extending dining hours on campus, helping students access alternative methods of connecting to the internet via Ethernet plugs, helping direct more beneficial parking regulations and attending frequent meetings with both Business Auxiliary Services and Facilities to accomplish initiatives and voice student concerns. As Vice President, I will not only keep this work ethic, but also expand upon it, so that I may utilize my role to further help the students of UTSA.
The largest challenge I see SGA facing in the future is communication with student organizations and the student body. You can ask any normal UTSA student about SGA and they will, most of the time, not know what SGA is or what we do for the university. As Vice President, I plan to remedy this by having frequent meetings with student organizations and by having a set time and place for office hours, so student leaders as well as normal, every day students can attend and voice their issues and concerns.
If I could only accomplish one thing as the Vice President of the Student Body, it would be to effectively bring a nightlife culture to the students of UTSA. This includes several initiatives such as campus lighting and extension of dining hours. I believe that the next step needed for UTSA to become a Tier-One university relies on how students perceive their campus both during the day and at night.
The main and most important issue that I will be tackling head-on if I get elected will be communication both within and outside the organization. As a representative organization, it is important that SGA maintain a good relationship with the student body and the organization of which its members are part.