Members of Student Government Association sit in a meeting in the Thornton Administrative Center on Jan. 18. For the 2023-24 academic year, members of SGA said they want to focus on building community. Photo courtesy of Michael Sugimoto
Student Government Association announced the election results for the 87th SGA for the 2023-24 academic year in a March 23 email to the Seaver College community.
Michael Sugimoto will serve as the student body president for the 2023-24 academic year and previously served as the vice president of Administration for the 2022-23 academic year. Sugimoto and other members of the 87th SGA said they hope to create community on campus.
“I would hope that people feel comfortable coming to me or other people on student government,” Sugimoto said. “Really just trying to foster an inclusive environment, that’s something that’s super important to me.”
There are two vacant positions for the senior class senate, four for the junior class senate and two for the sophomore class senate, according to the email. Applications for these positions close April 7.
Sugimoto said he has served on SGA for the past two years and hopes to have an impact on campus.
Sugimoto said he wants to bring electric scooters to campus, which he said he has met with the Department of Public Safety about, and he wants to provide free printing for students in the library, which he hopes will begin by finals week.
Sophomore Myers Mentzer said serving as executive vice president for 2023-24 will be her third year on SGA. Myers said something she has been working on since her first year is making campus more accessible, whether through food offerings, mobility services or other resources.
A program Myers said she is working on is ‘Church Search,’ which will provide transportation for students wanting to go to off-campus religious services.
“There’s a lot of words that go behind [increasing accessibility and transportation] and like maybe good intentions,” Myers said. “But the execution is just not there yet, and I really want to come and help follow this through.”
Junior Kimberly Banda will serve next year as vice president of Administration, and she said this is her first time serving on SGA, though she has been a part of other organizations’ eboards, such as the Latinx Student Alliance.
Banda said one of her main goals is to represent the clubs on campus — such as Black Student Association, LSA and Crossroads — as well as to uplift minority voices.
Her campaign motto, Banda said, was ‘si, se puede’ — you can do it.
“I do want other people like myself to believe if I could be in this position, they can as well,” Banda said. “That’s something that I always emphasize as a Latina.”
First-year Zachary Garcia will be sophomore class senator for the 2023-24 academic year, and he said he was on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee this year. In his time on the committee, Garcia said he found a place where he could bring a voice to students — especially first-generation students and low-income students.
“I’m someone who really enjoys hearing your voice as well as any concerns that you may have,” Garcia said.
Sugimoto said a challenge he anticipates for the upcoming year is increasing education about SGA operation and transparency within SGA and Administration.
Transparency, Sugimoto said, can come in the form of a monthly newsletter with both SGA and University initiatives and video reels of SGA Wednesday meetings.
“Whether that’s having coffee with the student or just inviting them to a meeting or having lunch with them, I really want to make sure that every student really, really feels like they can make their voice genuinely heard,” Sugimoto said.
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