Q&A: SGA president and vice president candidates, Taylor Vallance and Isabella Polombo 

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

In last year’s presidential SGA election, the presidential ticket was uncontested. However, this year’s election ballot will have two presidential tickets.  

Taylor Vallance and Isabella Polombo spoke with The Scribe about their platform, experience and why they believe they are the best choice for president and vice president.  

Presidential candidate Taylor Vallance (they/them) 

Vallance is going into their senior year and is majoring in women’s and ethnic studies. They volunteered at a young age with organizations such as Silver Key and Care and Share, and they were chosen to speak at the 2021 and 2022 Student Leadership Conferences to discuss sobriety and DEI.  

Tell us a little bit about you. What are your interests? How do you get involved on campus? 

As a legacy student, I have been on and off the UCCS campus since I was six years old, and my advocacy at UCCS starts all the way back then. My mom and I ran a bake sale to highlight the inequity in pay by gender. I became an RA, where I advocated for my residents, my fellow RAs and even my superiors to have change cultivated for the betterment of us all.  

I must say that one of the most influential parts of my experience here at UCCS has come from my academics in the Women’s and Ethnic Studies Program. Without the faculty, staff and fellow students who pushed me to see the truth in the world around me as well as the potential in myself, I doubt I would have stayed a student, let alone made it to the advocacy spaces I have.  

Why are you running for this position? 

I am a concerned community member who would like to advocate for change. I have seen and known what it is like to experience inequities on this campus from finances to inaccessibility and so much more. I saw the lack of communication between departments, in departments and the communication to students, which was the most worrisome to me.  

I started getting approached and asked to consider running in the fall, and I really wasn’t sure.  However, after seeing the campus response (or lack of a clear one) to pivotal events like the budget crisis, student retention, inflation, accessibility barriers on campus and more I was motivated to apply for this position. 

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

I have been advocating on campus since childhood. Whether or not I get this role, I will continue to advocate for all students. This position just allows access to do so on a bigger and more efficient platform. I have been a student leader for the last few years of my time here, between being an RA and other involvements, and I feel this is the best next step for my advocacy. 

What are your goals for this position? 

I have few key projects I would like to see happen: 

  • Budget breakdowns and transparency reports written in digestible language from each department and upper administration 
  • Uplift MOSAIC, UCCS Staff Association, Residence Life and Housing and the Student Life offices, who each play major roles in student involvement, community building and retention on campus 
  • Continue to streamline access to information through SGA and build communication with the commuter community 
  • Hold all departments and individuals accountable for gaps in care for students, staff and faculty 

Vice presidential candidate Isabella Polombo (she/her) 

Polombo is a sophomore majoring in communication with a minor in women’s and ethnic studies. She currently serves as a senator-at-large and was president of the DoSomething.org Chapter Club at Rampart High School. Polombo also became a Flight Commander in charge of over 30 students for the Junior ROTC in her senior year of high school.  

Tell us a little bit about you. What are your interests? How do you get involved on campus? 

My interests vary from poetry, art, writing, all the way to basketball and running. In the summer of 2022, I transitioned to living on-campus as a summer conference assistant and then following, in the fall of 2022, I became an RA and have been living on campus ever since.  

As I became involved in the community, I joined SGA because I had noticed the gaps in safety, sustainability, community, accountability and transparency across campus. Through that position, I have worked on and am currently working on projects with different senators, judicial board members, organizations, clubs, committees and associations on campus. 

Why are you running for this position? 

I am running for this position because I believe that this position fulfills a personal life mission that I have: helping and advocating for those around me. This position gives me the opportunity to connect students with upper leadership, to have discussions with people like Colorado University student governments, the chancellor, the Board of Regents and CU’s president.  
Enough has not been advocated for, and I know that I will do all I can to advocate for the students at UCCS. We are running on transparency, inclusion and advocacy. 

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

I believe I am the best candidate to support and advocate for students. Being vice president means advocating for students’ needs on a larger scale, uplifting all voices, creating an environment that feels safe and welcoming for all within and outside of SGA being transparent about policy, legislation, difficult conflict and all things that are inherently related to students.  

I also believe, as someone who has been in SGA, that I can strongly uphold an environment that will protect the mental well-being of those I work with and uphold the work and credit of others. 

What are your goals for this position? 

My goals for this position include the following: 

  • Create better lines of communication between departments including Residence Life and Housing, Student Life, the Wellness Center, the University Center and others.  
  • Advocate for and hold accountable upper administration for current lack of transparency on important aspects of campus, including but not limited to the budget model crisis, fight for 15, anything finances related, etc.  
  • Create an environment that allows an increase in commuter students at events held on campus, including advocacy for a space for commuter students.  
  • Create an SGA that upholds and uplifts all individuals involved based on their values and hard work for the community. In addition, setting the standard, by changing how the internal structure works in SGA, to value the mental health and well-being of all members in SGA.  

Photos courtesy of SGA candidates.