On March 4 and 5, UTSA students willhave the opportunity to vote for their student government representatives for the 2014 – 2015 school year. Online voting for the Student Government Association’s (SGA) executive officers and senators will be available at asap.utsa.edu. To participate in the election, students must log in to ASAP using their abc123 and select the link labeled “Vote in the Student Government Election.”

The SGA’s divided into the Executive Board, the General Assembly and the Judicial Appointees. This week’s campus-wide election gives UTSA students the power to select the president, vice president, treasurer and secretary of the Executive Board and the senators of the General Assembly. As the people elected will oversee the management of a $47,650 budget, voting in the SGA election is an important task for all UTSA students.

There are five candidates running for positions on the Student Government Executive Board: Zack Dunn is running unopposed and is seeking re-election as president, Christian Kenney and Blake Ringer are running for vice president, Ileana Gonzalez is seeking re-election as treasurer and Cole Whitmore is running for secretary. All Executive Board candidates served as Student Government leaders during the 2013 – 2014 school year.

In an interview with “The Paisano”, SGA President Zack Dunn reflected that, “My team is stronger than it has ever been; and I believe that if re-elected, we can help this university maximize its potential for positive influence on a local and national scale.” Dunn reported that during their 2013 – 2014 term, the SGA facilitated the structure of the first roadrunner statue on campus, led the efforts to turn on the Sombrilla Fountain, co-sponsored candidate forums for local elections, provided a shuttle service to students who wished to vote in the 2014 Primary Elections, and unanimously passed an “End CAP” resolution through the SGA Senate.

The office of vice president is the only contested Executive Board position on the ballot this spring. The duties of the SGA vice president include presiding over and creating an agenda for General Assembly meetings, supervising the internal and external affairs of the Student Government, and representing the SGA in meetings with local institutions, business firms, agencies of government and the general public.

Sophomores Christian Kenney and Blake Ringer are the two vice presidential candidates. Blake Ringer currently serves as a Sophomore Senator, while Christian Kenney currently serves as the Student Affairs Chair. In an interview, Kenney remarked that he believes his experience working with UTSA faculty, staff, and departments to improve student experiences as Student Affairs Chair has lent him the knowledge essential to serve as vice president. Ringer was not available for comment.

Like Kenney and Ringer, Cole Whitmore — current Business Affairs Chair and COLFA Senator — is seeking her first term as a member of the Board. Whitmore stated that her experiences as an Honor College Terry Scholar, Orientation Leader, and SGA representative have fostered the organization, reliability, and initiative she believes necessary to serve as secretary. If elected, Whitmore intends to collaborate with her colleagues to increase student involvement, expand campus amenities to better serve students and establish relationships among student organizations to enrich the community.

Elected through a special election last semester, treasurer Ileana Gonzalez is the newest member of the Executive Board. She is seeking reelection unopposed this semester. In an interview last week, Gonzalez said, “Although I have only been SGA’s treasurer for a couple of months, I love my job as treasurer and wish to continue improving through next year.” Gonzalez plans to further student involvement and collaboration with the SGA through a regular publication informing and updating students on the Student Government’s progress and initiatives. Gonzalez maintained, “I want to let the students know how much Student Government can help them, and how as a team, we can achieve our UTSA Tier One dream.”

All five of the candidates for the Student Government Executive Board share Gonzalez’s enthusiasm for maximizing student experiences and the academic standing of UTSA. “Executive positions,” Gonzalez explained, “have always been filled by people who truly care about UTSA and are thirsty to see change and improvements.”

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