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Fall 2021 General Election Candidates

Below, you will find the ballot responses for all candidates who have filed to run in the Fall 2021 SGA General Election. Please read these responses carefully and select your preferred candidates for each position.

Candidates for Freshman Senator:

Natalia Blanco

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested in serving in the Student Government Association because of my previous background. I’ve been a member of my high school’s Student Council for three years and an Executive Member for two of them serving as Energy and Environment Chair and Student Body Historian. I’ve worked extensively with Student Council and hold it as my top priorities because of the importance of school community and service. During my high school career I have participated in various service activities as well as advocating for the school. I would like to continue this work into my college career as I believe it is important for UTSA to carry on these special traditions and incorporate new ones as I have many ideas.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I am the best candidate for my selected position of Freshmen senator because I understand how to be a leader and what it takes to engage a student body. These are the two keys in a successful Student Government. I have held previous positions in the Student Council meaning I recognize the commitment and am prepared for all work ahead. I’ve had previous experiences of being at an international school, The International School of Panamá, which has similarities with the vast background of the students at UTSA. I believe I have mastered the communication and leadership skills to engage and incorporate the importance of belongingness to the community of Roadrunners. I work well with my peers in collaboration for betterment of the school.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    I have two goals in mind when I think of school campuses and Student Government. The first goal is to achieve a sense of belonging and deep community within the school by providing opportunities for clubs, organizations, involvement through engaging with the student body, and by implicating ways to have their voice heard. The second goal is to incorporate fun and new ways to captivate the student body. Over the years I have participated in many clubs and organizations that implicate means of service, such as the National Honor Society, Key Club, and Compassion Club to list a few; in which I have formulated and carried out many fun ideas on how to attract the student body. Simple and grand ideas to focus on school spirit, which is the most important aspect of a school community.

Emily Doan

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I hope to serve in the Student Government Association in order to amplify the voices of all the incoming freshmen at UTSA!

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science on a pre-law track. In high school, I was an active member in speech and debate and have always had a great interest in policymaking and politics. I plan to implement realistic and achievable policies that serve to create an inclusive and successful campus.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    I envision the UTSA environment to be a place where all students can feel inspired to grow and prosper. In the midst of Covid-19, I believe that it is important for students to stay safe and healthy while still being able to maintain their courseload and campus experience. Through serving as Freshman Senator in the Student Government Association, I hope to make the UTSA campus a place where everyone can feel accepted and have their voices heard.

Alex Garcia Pecina

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    As an older brother, protection and leadership have been a part of my life longer than I expected. Bringing those characteristics to my education, I became a pillar of my high school as I listened and acted on the ideas of others, and continuing it in my community helped me create a safer and inclusive environment for my people. I have never feared embracing positions of power, as having those responsibilities is no stranger to me, but I am interested in this role because I pride myself in the help I give to others. Holding a seat in the Student Government Association interests me because I wish to see others happy succeed.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    For over a century, The University of Texas has provided an opportunity for students to grow in a community influenced by improvement. Coming from experiences in leadership roles I have seen as many people strive for this same idea. As captain in past sports teams, I saw teammates persevere with me to win games and tournaments. As high school Vice President, I saw dedicated students strive for a better environment as I helped guide their voice. And as a Youth Leader of my community’s church, I helped develop classes to motivate future children to dream. I aspire to maintain that belief by working with the Student Government and the Student Body.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    Arriving at my living spaces at UTSA, the first thing I felt was a sudden desire for food. I was worried about how nutritious or healthy my meals would be knowing I didn’t have a meal plan at school. Seeing as food and healthy nourishment are decided by oneself after leaving college, seeing students in recreational classes for cooking would be a goal of mine. Not only this, I would also love to see workshops in budgeting and investing, time management, first aid and emergency preparedness, and car maintenance to name a few. With a role on the senate I would try to communicate with my peers to create these classes to help students even after their achievements at UTSA.

Shalini Kumar

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    With our first “normal” year of school starting off, and us freshmen being new to campus, it is important that the student body prioritizes pushing forward a balance between school and social life. By serving as the Freshman Senator, I want to foster an environment where students and the student government work hand in hand to ensure that we can make the most out of our first year.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    Communication is so vital whether it is within the SGA team itself or with the rest of the student body. As someone who considers themselves to be an extrovert, my skill of communication allows me to be more observant of people’s needs. Being loud and vocal about the things that matter to my peers is a responsibility that I am more than happy to take on.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA is to expand its resources to foster each and every student’s passion. Many people find their passion through first-hand experiences- whether it be through an organization they join or a course they enroll in. Serving as the Freshman Senator for SGA would allow me to ensure that students have the resources to redefine themselves and manifest their passions into something substantial throughout their time at UTSA. Engaging with the student body, especially as a freshman, allows for us to create a more tight-knit community through the student government.

     

Candidate for Graduate Student Senator:

Alyssah Gonzalez

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I believe the Student Government Association is a strong resource that students can utilize on every college campus. I am interested in serving as a member of this organization as it will give me the opportunity to provide graduate students some input into what is happening or should happen with the university. I believe that building a strong connection amongst different students at UTSA will help us reach our ultimate goals.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I believe I would be a great fit for this role as I have served several positions in SGA during my undergrad. At Our Lady of the Lake University, I served as a Director of Records, Vice-President and ended it off as President for SGA. My experience and knowledge on what this organization does for college students, as well as for faculty and staff, is what I believe can set me apart from the rest and prove what I am capable of. These skills attained during my undergrad years are what I believe to be a strong asset that this campus could use.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    I believe UTSA has strong aspects all around. But, I also believe that student input should be a top priority in order to get things rolling. Especially now with the ongoing pandemic, it is important to understand what our students wants and needs are. Whether it be those that are undergraduates or those, such as myself, in graduate programs. This, along with what faculty and staff feel should be implemented or looked into. The main point being that we should collaboratively work together to reach our end goal and ensure we are exceeding expectations.

 

Candidates for College of Business Senator:

Conrad Finos

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested in serving in the Student Government Association because I did not take the chance of serving as part of the my high school studnet government association. I felt that I could have been a good team member and really helped out with operations. So that is why I am taking advantage of the opportunity here at UTSA.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I am the best candidate for this role because I have been through many leadership experiences including National Youth Leadership Training and Boy Scouts. I know how to handle a group of people as well as guiding others toward a common goal. I make sure to put an effort into my role and to always be up to date on meetings and current topics and events.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA is to make it into a campus that more people would like to come to instead of those coming just for the UT Austin Cap program. It makes me feel disappointed to see students here only coming for one year and leaving. I would really like to make UTSA a place that more people actively want to attend and a place where people are excited to go to.

Brendan Luu

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    Being in the Student Government Association would allow me to represent all students no matter what race, ethnic background, gender, or religion. The role would enable me to listen to the students and the community and provide real change that can have the ability to greatly impact all students in a positive manner. With Covid-19 still around, our daily lives have changed drastically and it's up to us as students to tackle these challenges head-on and persevere. With that said, we have to adapt and promote new ways of dealing with hardship from encouraging new mental health programs or getting students in easier contact with each other. We all need to work together. In the end, we are all roadrunners and we all want the same thing, for this university to be one of the greatest in Texas.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    Overall I have leadership experience and some of my past jobs required me to heed to the feedback of others and act upon it whether it be the previous clubs I joined during high school such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), my own company, or being involved in internships that I have personally sought out, I really do think that being qualified for a position like this takes experience and I believe I have garnered enough to make myself a perfect fit for being a Senator for the College of Business.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    I want UTSA to be a leader in student participation and have the ability for students to be the driver in enabling key changes with the Student Government Association being a key part in starting those changes by working directly between students and the faculty. UTSA has an amazing and diverse student body with many different backgrounds and ideas that deserve to be shared and acted upon.

Candidates for College of Health, Community and Policy Senator:

Joseph Nieto

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested to advocate for a healthy academic life in our university. I believe it is important to work for what our passions are, since it's what makes us who we are. By being involved in the student government association, I would be able to listen and meet what the students want/need, and that would enhance their college experience by being able to do for what they enjoy.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I believe I have established good relationships during my stay at UTSA, and as I result, I would be able to reach out to a greater amount of students and be able to listen to the majority's concerns/needs.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA is to see a healthy competition among students and that they all have the resources they need to meet their goals. SGA's goal is to advocate for students and to enhance their experience, and my vision seeks for that goal.

John Quiroz

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested in serving the Student Government Association to gain experience in advocating for students individual needs, creating and implementing policy and to serve those who need a voice.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I feel as if I am the best candidate for the position, because I have unprecedented collaboration skills in receiving ideas from constituents, a diverse background and knowledge of public health, and a great passion in advocating for my fellow students.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    I believe UTSA to be an exemplar of strategic growth and innovative excellence and SGA fosters growth and necessary changes that benefit the community as a whole.

Candidate for College of Liberal and Fine Arts Senator:

Yasmin Gonzalez Morales

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested in serving the student government association because I want to be able to help and reach out to all the students who are also new and have no idea how the school runs or works. I personally am struggling to fit my way through but I know that this pandemic has hurt everyone and everyone is just as lost. I want to help connect and help us get our voices heard.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I am one of the best candidates because I also know what if feels like to be new to a place and have no idea how to be heard or how to connect with people. I want to make sure that we can all get a say in things and also have a somewhat normal time.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA is to be able to welcome those students who wish to have a normal experience. The sophmore class has yet to even have a normal experience, not only was graduation and a normal freshmen year taken from them but also the class of 2024 they had nothing and I want the class of 23 to leave their legacy behind and not be forgotten. I want UTSA to be open to those who have been isolated for long and all they want to do is be able to go out. SGA is a association that has a very strong voice among UTSA but with this whole pandemic it has been silenced. It’s time to get our college years back.

Candidates for College of Sciences Senator:

Juan Alaniz

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested in serving SGA for many reasons, for one I feel that I accurately represent their main mottos. By showing equality, integrity, and leadership I know that I will represent the College of Science in a bright light. This will also give me the opportunity to work on teamwork and leadership skills. Serving in the Student Government Association would be a huge honor and I would try my best to take UTSA to the next step.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I am confident that I am a good fit for this position for several reasons, but most specifically because of my dedication to going above and beyond in a job. I am committed to learning any new skills on my own to succeed in this role. For example, for my previous job, I educated myself on how to read EKG readings in my free time. This allowed me to incorporate this into my role which cut down time. I know that you are seeking a self-motivated individual for this job, and I am that candidate.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA involves a more diverse and more culturally active campus. As senator of the College of Science I would actively try to represent this motto. I would like to bring more attention to the College of Science, being a part of SGA would give me the opportunity to do so.

Ethan Apawan

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I want to be part of the decision-making process on what changes and reforms can be made to improve the University experience for all students. Not only that, I want to represent the College of Sciences as it is a growing college with students that have lots of potential to do good. By being part of SGA, I want to help find ways to boost and bring out the full potential of students at UTSA from their educational endeavors to their feeling of belonging at the University.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I want to see improvement in everything I am involved in, and I do not want to be in a position if I had no passion for it. Currently, I am taking in more responsibilities that allow me to be involved with my specific College and its students. With those responsibilities comes the opportunity to see the challenges that impact students who want to make more of their college experience. I will make sure to listen to the advice of my peers to truly help the University become more inclusive and enjoyable for its students by presenting their views in SGA. I feel that my inclusion in SGA will give my peers at the College of Sciences a distinct voice in advocating for their concerns and desires.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA is for students to have a stronger sense of pride in being a roadrunner and for the University to have a better reputation in terms of student life. Students strive to do great things and mold their futures, however, there needs to be a strong sense of community on campus for them to be encouraged to improve their community and work with their fellow peers. SGA should be a force that unites the UTSA community by providing students an outlet to get their recommendations heard by the higher-ups. Students know how to be better acquainted and passionate about their fellow peers and campus, and we all need to listen to them if we want to encourage impactful change.

Megan Tompkins

  • Why are you interested in serving in the Student Government Association?

    I am interested in serving in the Student Government because I want to be an active voice for my fellow classmates. By holding an office position I will be able to express the concerns of my classmates in a more formal setting. I want bring new ideas to the attention of faculty and administration in order to fill the bridge between graduation and professional careers.

  • Why are you the best candidate for your selected position?

    I believe that I am a good fit for this position because I possess the leadership skills necessary to become an active voice for the students. I am looking to support my fellow classmates by understanding their concerns and effectively communicating their ideas with the fellow SGA members, faculty, and administration.

  • What is your vision for UTSA and how does SGA fit into achieving that vision?

    My vision for UTSA is to provide more outreach to professional programs. I feel that there is this gap between graduation and the beginning of a new career. By being part of SGA, I will be able to bring up new ideas of how to find ways for students to get involved professionally before graduation. This can lessen the anxiety felt by a new graduate by brining them a step closer to more security in the future.

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Student Spotlight

 

 

Student Body President Jose Escobedo shares about his favorite UTSA memory and what SGA will be working on this year.

 

 

Learn More about Jose


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 SGA serves the student body in the following ways:

  • Prioritizing issues that matter to you as a student
  • Representing your voice in university wide decisions
  • Hosting events that increase involvement and enhance your student experience

We look forward to working with you to make UTSA a better place for all Roadrunners!