SGA candidates talk about their distinctions at Q-and-A panel

March 11, 2013

Samantha Morley
[email protected]

Executive candidates and the candidates for senator of LAS and senator of multicultural affairs, the only two competitive positions for the 2013-2014 election, were asked about their qualifications during the March 5 election panel. Here’s what they had to say.


Jasmine Caldwell

Caldwell was not present at panel. She is an actress in Theatre ‘d Art’s “Marisol,” which had a commitment the same night.

Vice President

Laura Schreiner, double major economics/business, junior/sophomore respectively

What inspired you to run for the vice president position?

Peer pressure, mostly. My friends were constantly telling me that I would be good for the position and that I should give it a try. I don’t think people really realize what the student government does. That’s something I definitely want to help with.

Do you have any previous experience with the Student Government Association?

I was a house representative in my freshman year. Then I was the senator of business in my sophomore year. I was elected to be the senate president after that.

Do you have experience with student government-like groups in high school?

Yes, I was part of Link Crew, DECA and other groups like that.

How do you think the SGA could improve?

I would like to make the SGA run more efficiently. I also think we need to put the word out more. The advertising isn’t very good. We could try more posters and announcements so students can become more involved. It’s hard seeing people not knowing what student government is. It’s so important for the school. [Students] should be interested in who your vice president is or your senator of LAS is.

Student Director of Finance

Chen Zhao, accounting/finance, junior

What inspired you to run for the student director of finance?

Because I am an accounting and finance major. My whole career setting is financing and accounting. I really enjoy doing this. I’m not really interested in political things, so I want to more concentrate on the financial side.

Where are you from?

I was born in China but grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. English is my third language. Spanish is my second. I moved to [Colorado Springs] because of family. My mother has been living [here] for almost 15 years.

How to plan to help the Student Government and UCCS?

I want to hold more events to benefit students. I feel like there’s a lot I can do for the student government and the student government can do a lot of things for students. People don’t know [about] the student government, and even though I am the only person running for this position, you can see my posters all around the campus. The reason I do it is because I want the students to be more aware of the student government.

How do you think students view the SGA?

Students think that the student government isn’t related to their life, but we actually do a lot of things, they just don’t know. I’m the chair of the [Budget Advisory Committee]. Our job is to help students organizations, student clubs make their events successful, to get more student awareness and student life more active. We are a commuter school. People don’t want to stay here. I don’t want that.

What have you done, so far, as part of the SGA? What keeps you motivated?

When I was a student representative, I spent more than 70 hours per month just for outreach to the students. I was really dedicated. I feel happy when I see people happy. I like interpersonal communications. I am a people person.

What are your primary goals?

I want to support more on-campus events so more people can participate. They can also help the student government. They can say, “Oh, the student government helped sponsor this event.” This way they promote us. Students can know that the student government is actually doing stuff. We help them, they help us. It’s a win-win-win situation. It’s good for student government, good for student clubs and also good for student body.

Senator of LAS

Brittni Gunnoe, applied mathematics, sophomore

Why makes you a better candidate than Terrin Hall?

I have a lot of experience with SGA. Going in, if I get elected, this will be my third year, and I’ve taken on a lot of leadership roles within SGA. I know a lot of what has been done and what we could try that we haven’t tried before. I’m really active on campus, and I think that’s important for people to know who you are and recognize you. I’m really passionate student government and what I do.

What inspired you to run for senator of LAS instead of staying a representative at large?

I’ve been a representative at large for a year and a half now. While I really enjoyed it, I would like to get to know the other aspects of student government because I don’t know a lot of what the senator side does. I would like to work more with the college, the deans of the college and the more professional side.

What is your past experience with student activities outside of UCCS?

I was in student government in high school for my junior and senior years. My junior year, I was student class treasurer, and in my senior year, I was student body treasurer.

Would you consider running for president of the SGA?

I would definitely. Last year, when I first ran for student government, I had a timeline that I was going to run for house of representatives and then I was going to run for senate and then I was going to run for president. I just want to make sure I have enough time to commit to it because it’s a big responsibility.

Terrin Hall, English/elementary education, junior

Hall was not present at the panel.

Senator of Multicultural Affairs

Brian Torres, political science, senior

What makes you a better candidate than Thaddeus Bland Jr.?

I have my own club here so I have experience with that. I have a strong passion for multicultural stuff. It’s how I’ve met a lot of my friends here. I want to get more people into this as well.

Thaddeus Bland Jr., business, freshman

Bland was not present at the panel.

Photos by Nick Burns | The Scribe