Independent Student Newspaper For The University of Texas at San Antonio
The Paisano

March 02, 2015

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2015 SGA Candidate Preview: Secretary

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 Secretary, in alphabetical order.

Lauren Lopez

I began my experience with SGA at the end of my freshman year (I am now a junior). I have held the positions of Sophomore Senator, Junior Senator and University Life Awards Director. During my time I have planned various events including Scantron Giveaway and SGA Banquet, and this semester my position as ULA director has given me the opportunity to be on the Executive Board for its 2014-2015 administration. I grew alongside the members of the e-board and offered my assistance whenever possible. I have attended UTSA Day at the Capitol where students went to advocate for tuition revenue bonds and additional funding for the Hazelwood recipients at UTSA. I believe my experience with the SGA’s organization along with personal attributes such as my being organized and dependable will help me if given the chance to be SGA Secretary.

The challenges I see in the near future for student government are based on the publicity for the goals that we accomplish. Students don’t generally know what all SGA does for the student body. If given the chance I would work at making the organization a big name on campus. The secretary has responsibility of keeping members accountable and reaching out to fill open seats in the senate.

I would say making sure the students know that they can bring their concerns to SGA and we will work on them. Goals are both big and small and come to the attention of senators all the time but having an informed senate is the first step to accomplishing any goal. The more eyes we have on initiatives the better chance the initiative have to advance. The Senate has a diverse student population with unique connections.

UTSA is still such a young institution and is growing more and more each year. SGA can provide support to the institution that continues to increase its success with students. The student population is growing and with that SGA Senate is going to have to address new problems each year. Like I said previously I would work to hold the senate accountable to reaching out the constituents and making sure they attend the meetings that they commit to as members of SGA. As long as they continue to be responsible representatives, I can only imagine the new administration growing from the foundation the previous administration laid and creating a legacy for future roadrunners.

Alandra Lawrence

All of the duties for Secretary of Student Government involve working directly with the Senate. I don’t think that it is the leadership positions I’ve held in other organizations that make me the most qualified candidate. I believe my strongest qualification for this position is the two years of experience I personally have had as a part of the SGA Senate. I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand what works well and what could work better. I have unique intentions for how I will utilize this position in ways that I believe will dramatically maximize the efficiency of our organization.

As an organization I believe that even when we are doing well, we can strive to do better. In that light, I think the greatest challenge ahead of us is being even more inclusive of all students and organizations at UTSA. Currently we operate more so on delivering the message that students are welcome to come to us and voice their concerns. Where I’m hoping to improve this upcoming year is for our executive board and Senate to focus on actively outreaching to those whom we represent.

As I stated above, I have unique intentions for how I will utilize the position of SGA Secretary. For example, my intent is to allow attendance of our weekly committee meetings to be compromised of both physical presence and work contribution. As a senator if you go seven days without reaching out to students or working on your initiatives even once, you aren’t doing your job. If a senator is asked to resign from their seat due to exhausting all of their absences from consistently making no progression on their initiatives, I see that as beneficial to that senator’s constituents. If I can only accomplish one thing during my term it would be to hold the senate more accountable so that this next administration of Student Government will leave a legacy of hard work.

There are a multitude of concerns from parking to Wi-Fi to getting frozen yogurt on campus that Student Government is already working on. I think our biggest need right now is to create a better line of information to students, letting them know what matters we are currently handling. This way that they know that we are here working hard for them (for us all). Secondly, we need to work on better educating ourselves on the needs of our constituents. In this regard I plan on encouraging and participating in tabling, meeting with organizations and all other forms of outreach.