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Assayer of Student Opinion.

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SGA needs your vote

Gael Araiza and Gianluca Cuevas
President Andrea Núñez, Senator-at-large Isabella Molina, and Collegiate Senator of Liberal Arts Regina Reza want you

One of the core attributes of a college’s success is the students’ input. However, with thousands of students enrolled, some students can feel like their views and voices get lost. That is where UTEP’s Student Government Association (SGA) steps in and becomes that voice to represent the entire student population. These members are also elected yearly by their fellow peers. 

This year, SGA is calling on students to cast their ballots from April 17 through April 18. 

Within the last five years, election archives on the SGA’s website show that the highest voting percentage was in 2019, with 10% of students voting. However, current SGA members would like to stress how important these elections are. 

When voting, current Senator-At-Large of SGA Isabella Molina says a vote should be based on whose ideals they resonate with the most.  

“Students should care about these elections because the primary reason for SGA’s existence is to serve the students,” Molina said. “So, the students are picking who is going to be their voice, so it’s very important that they vote for someone who resonates with them (or) who cares about the same issues they do.” 

To accommodate the large student population, SGA has a government system that is divided into the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. 

The legislative branch consists of two types of senators, collegiate and at-large. Collegiate senators represent students who are a part of one of the eight colleges at UTEP they are elected for, while the at-large candidate focuses on the entire student body.  

Because SGA prioritizes students, there are many committees that handle the needs of the student body. For example, Molina is chair of the sustainability committee, which works with Green Fund. 

“UTEP Green Fund is a fund where they invest three dollars of every student’s tuition into sustainability projects,” Molina said. “Anyone like faculty, staff, or students can submit a proposal to get any (sustainability) project passed.” 

Welfare committee runs Project Period Periodt, which provides menstrual products in women’s restrooms across campus. The Collegiate Senator of Liberal Arts of SGA Regina Reza is a part of making sure that the committee functions. 

“Another way we help our students is the appropriations committee, which is a committee that appropriates money to students who money for academic events,” Reza said. “This semester it is already closed, we already reached our limit thankfully because that means we gave all the money we could (to help students).”

Reza says one of the bigger concerns within the student body is food insecurity.

“60% of students in UTEP don’t know what they’re going to eat the next day, so we have the statistics, and we are showing (the deans) and trying to tell them, this is what students want,” Reza said. “We are students, we talk everyday with students, we have the statistics, we know what they want.” 

Although SGA has several projects that caters to the students’ needs, current President of SGA Andrea Núñez hopes to see more conversation amongst the student body about these elections so that they can have a better relationship with the association. 

“At the end of the day, we are not there for the roles, or titles, or any kind of personal benefit, but we are there to work for you all (students),” Núñez said. “I hope to see more awareness, that students know there is a student government, and (they don’t think) it’s just a student council with money.” 

Though some students may think SGA is a “student council with money”, UTEP’s SGA has proven to be compassionate, listening, and giving. Throughout the years, SGA has given back to the student population with projects that help their needs. As voting season commences, SGA officials agree it is important to get many people to vote to have a better future for the students. 

Sofia Sierra is the web and copy editor and may be reached at[email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sofia Sierra
Sofia Sierra, Web/Copy Editor
Sofia is a junior studying multimedia journalism with a minor in creative writing. She is the web and copy editor at The Prospector. After graduation, she hopes to work outside of El Paso to continue to grow as a writer.
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