March 10, 2020
The Student Government Association (SGA) election commissioner, Mike Acevedo, organized a debate for SGA candidates in the Student Life lounge on Monday, March 2. The debate, moderated by members of the Scribe and UCCS Radio, allowed candidates to answer questions from the student body and moderators. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates
The session started out with a panel style discussion by the three presidential and vice-presidential tickets.
Aidan Meadows and Rachel Cauwels, both serving in the SGA senate, spoke in depth about their experience on campus.
“As we have said, we have both held positions in SGA and on multiple university committees,” said Meadows. “And so I think that having these connections between different clubs, between student government members and the administration as well gives us a big advantage coming to the role.” “Aidan and I can hit the ground running with solving student problems and the different concerns people have in the student body,” said Cauwels. “Rather than having to take the time to learn these processes fresh.”
Meadows mentioned some of the projects they have worked on or supported while a part of SGA. “One of the big ones is the student life renovation. This Student Life office is right in a prime place for students. And we are really trying to push and turn this into more of a hangout space. We want it to be a friendly environment and help build a community and culture,” said Meadows.
“Our MOSAIC office is thriving and has become an awesome resource for students and has truly outgrown that space,” said Cauwels.
A large portion of Meadows’ statements revolved around making campus a place for students to spend their day outside of class.
Candidates Irina Amouzou and Ryn Wayman focused on inclusivity on campus throughout the debate. “I have participated in many multicultural events on campus and the MOSAIC office has been a big part of that,” said Amouzou. “It’s a place to feel safe and comfortable but also have success to great resources. There are so many of us that not only use that space but need that space.”
They discussed making campus more ADA and wheelchair accessible. They were asked about how they would make this happen.
“The first step in the act of research. Not only students who tell us their experiences, but also top-down research on UCCS itself. There are big problems here that people who are able-bodied may not experience,” said Amouzou.
“Success as a student is not always doing your homework and going to class. It is also about mental health and physical health and having the resources to do those things.”
An audience member asked how they would apply their experience with visual and performing arts and the Ent Center.
“We want to see way more involvement from students in that area,” said Wayman. “Having on campus events better communicated is important.”
“We want to make sure are students who are participating in these events are feeling seen and that the shows are filling up,” said Amouzou.
Freshmen Sarah Lochridge and Anna Tran, who were originally candidates for this position, presented their ideas but dropped out following the debate. Senator of Business
Running for Senator of Business are Zachary Flynn and Diego Colunga.
“I am running on the platform that no matter what major you are, the [UCCS] Business school is creating leaders. I think it is really important that to create leaders, you have to fail. Put yourself into uncomfortable positions and don’t be afraid to fail. I would like to see the College of Business putting on more student-centered events,” said Flynn.
Flynn said that students learn more from experience than memorizing vocabulary.
“I chose management because I love to work with people,” said Colunga. “How many of us have worked a job where our manager treated us like trash and expected us to be grateful? We have to find out way to work together that others haven’t thought of.
“I am running for SGA because there is a huge gap in resources that we have and the people that are taking advantage of them.”
Colunga wants to make resources more available for the students who would use them. Senator of Education
Running for Senator of Education are Roaxly Diaz Delgado and Eric Boyle.
Diaz Delgado was asked about how well students in the College of Education are represented in SGA. “I think we are not well represented,” said Diaz Delgado. “The reason I’m running is because first it is my area of study and second because I have become a part of the campus through involvement. I will be intentional with my actions to move forward with student concerns with representation.” \
Diaz Delgado also mentioned making communication stronger between faculty and students regarding their needs.
“The fundamental thing when it comes to outreach is communication,” said Diaz Delgado.
“I think it is very clear that there is a representation problem when it comes to the College of Education,” said Boyle. “In some SGA matters they hold a heavy hand in activities and extracurriculars. I am running on a platform where I want to build a better culture on campus. There is a lack of a college experience that you might dream about in high school.”
Boyle talked about how he wants to get professors involved in student activities so that students are more involved, because students do not spend the time to look at bulletin boards or read emails.