The Student Government Association has begun campaigning for their 2016-2017 elections before the student body votes on April 13 and 14.
The two candidates running for President are Jacqueline Bolden and Mizraim Reyes.
Reyes is a senator for the College of Humanities & Social Sciences Assistant Chair and president of Bearkat Democrats of SHSU.
“As president, I aim to open the doors to our student government so students can recognize one another as members of the same community, along with connecting them and establishing long-term relationships and initiatives benefiting the students that will continue long after we’ve graduated.” Reyes said. “That is the goal of my ticket, because when the students of Sam Houston raise their voices together, we raise a student body that will impact our community for years to come.”
Bolden is currently the vice president for SGA and was chief of University Affairs previously. She is also the chair for the Student Advisory Board for the Texas State University system.
“I want to make SGA more open and welcoming for students, because everyone has an opinion about this campus, but let’s voice it so things can actually get done.” Bolden said.
Bolden also mentioned her future plans if elected.
“I have already started working on ways to improve parking by talking to enrollment management to find ways to stop overcrowding our school,” she said. “I understand across the board what issues are, and I am building relationships with governing bodies of the university, so if there is an issue I take it directly to the board of regents.”
Candidates running for Vice President are Dylan McFarland, Blake Kuempel and Lesly Garcia.
McFarland has served as the chief of Rules and Regulations.
“The vice president is tasked with the enforcement of the rules and procedures, and who better to fulfill those duties than someone who has been the Chief of Rules and Regulations, and who has rewritten and revised the vast majority of the bylaws and rules and procedures of the Student Government Association,” McFarland said. “One cannot enforce the rules if they do not have the knowledge of nor the experience with the rules.”
Kuempel has been involved in SGA for two years.
“I intend to utilize my knowledge in different organizations to create a successful Senate recruitment and retention program,” Kuempel said. “I also want to promote collaboration between organizations on campus and SGA. My goal is to guide and promote a transparent and lateral relationship between students and their Student Body Government.”
Garcia has been part of SGA for three years and currently serves as chief of staff.
“This year we recruited a lot of students into the senate, but for the most part, it was always the same individuals working on SGA matters.” Garcia said. “As Vice-President, my goal is to make SGA a better organization than what it is now. To create a family of committed, dedicated, and passionate leaders who truly want to serve our student body.”
Maggie Torres is running for Secretary. She has been in SGA for two years, first as a senator then as chief of student affairs.
“I want to run for Secretary because I am seeking to do more for both my organization and the students of Sam Houston,” Torres said. “I have experience such as taking the minutes for the rules and regulations committee as well as being interim secretary for SGA whenever needed.”
Candidates running for Treasurer are Jeremy Villanueva and Gregory Curatola.
Curatola is a finance major from the honors college.
“I am running for treasurer because I know that the student body deserves to know what we’re doing with the money the university is giving us; the source of this money being students’ tuition,” Curatola said. “I’m running to ensure that all transactions made by SGA are made as public to the students as possible and transactions are always monitored so that they are used in a way that only benefits the student body.”
Villanueva said his experience as a university leader will prepare him to serve the student body in the best way possible.
“Given my leadership experience inside Student Government Association and out I would like to be elected Treasuerer to use my skills and resources to give back to the student body that has given me so much,” he said. “I’m currently Chief of Public Relations for SGA, an Orange Key and president of Kappa Alpha Order. All of these roles give me the leadership skills necessary to assure results next year. I don’t just want to make “cents.” I want to make an impact.”
Karla Victor and Ruben Gomez are running for Chief of Staff.
“I’m running for chief of staff, because I believe it’s what connects the SGA with the student body,” Gomez said. “I don’t want students asking what SGA is, or feeling uncomfortable walking in the office and asking questions. I also believe it’s important that the senators be involved with their college and try their best to recruit future senators.”
Phil Lund, the current Student Body President, felt his year as president has been a successful one.
An achievement he is most proud of was being able to open 150 free parking spaces for students in front of the Arbors. Lund said next year’s president should be prepared to make SGA their top priority and to remember the mission statement.
“Make sure you’re not pointing SGA in the direction of a program council.” Lund said. “Program Council exists for their own reason, and we are here to represent the students to the university and the state.”
Last year during elections some of the candidates suffered from vandalism of their signs and campaign materials.
Lund said that if the vandalism happens again this year, the candidate would have to file a grievance. Once the candidate files a grievance they have to hand it off to the Dean of Students right away, and from there a mini court room session would be held to determine if the accused person is guilty or not.
Vice President Bolden said her team was a victim of last year’s vandalism.
“Our signs were torn and destroyed, and we couldn’t get footage because there were no cameras in the mall area.” Bolden said. “We have a pretty good group of people running, so I would just hope that it’s a respectful election. Hopefully people uphold their integrity.”
SGA elections will be April 13 through the 14. Students will receive an email with a link for voting.