Q&A: Senator-at-large candidates running in SGA election

Editor’s note: Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

There are seven Senator-at-Large candidates running in the SGA election this year.

The candidates were contacted by The Scribe via email to answer questions about their platform and will fill the seven senator-at-large positions in SGA.

Candidates include: Emmanuella Appiah, Syndeed Ayman, Hayley Crist, Zachary Hoffa, Chi Idika, Bennett Mallot and Aiyanna Quinones.

Senator-at-Large candidate Zachary Hoffa (he/him)

Zachary Hoffa. Photo via the Student Government Association.

Hoffa is a criminal justice major with an emphasis in forensics and a passion for the legal world and politics. He decided to run for the position because he wanted to use the time he spends at UCCS in a meaningful way.

Why do you think you’re a good fit for this position?

To put it simply, it is because I listen. Whether it be a student, someone with more knowledge than me on any one particular issue or my own colleagues, I do not seek to play the game of who the intellectual superior is, but rather allow myself to become the vessel for change that you want to see.

What are your goals for this position/what changes do you want to make?

The reserve fund is emptying. First and foremost on my list is not only conserving the fund, but [expanding] it. Beyond that, recent events have raised concerns over safety. Due to this, it is imperative that the student government association shows more cooperation than ever. I plan to be the spearhead of that.

SGA is projected to go into the next fiscal year with a fairly empty reserve fund. How do you plan to address issues with lack of funding?

The most important thing is to spend less. Increasing costs via the students is certainly necessary to fight against rising general costs, but in the end, it is meaningless if we cannot get spending under control.

This will mean encouraging other streams of cash flow for clubs while putting more consideration into the amount of money we should be granting. It will be uncomfortable, but what will be more uncomfortable is not having any money at all. If this is to be fixed, the best time is now.

Is transparency with the student body important to you? If so, how do you plan to ensure it? If not, explain why.

Transparency is incredibly important. For anybody to say it isn’t, [that] is a red flag. The job for us, as senators, is to make change for you, the student. How can we be trusted in doing that if you are shut out from our inner workings? To make sure this is ensured, I will advocate for all meetings to be open to the public and recorded for viewing pleasure online.

How do you plan to encourage student engagement with SGA?

As a big proponent of voting, I believe that as a student and civilian, [voting] is by far the most important thing you can do. A vote is more than just a number — it is a message, and coming up here, you will have an opportunity to make that message heard in our student elections.

The other candidates declined to comment.

SGA’s election week begins on March 4 and will end on March 8 at 4 p.m.. Students can learn more about the other candidates on SGA’s website.

Voting for the SGA election will be online. Students can vote here and learn more about the referendums here.

Photo from The Scribe Archives.