Updated 12:04 p.m. Monday: The Student Government Association voting link is available. Read about the candidates below. Students will be asked to vote for one senator to represent their school — School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and School of Education and Kinesiology.
By The Mesquite Editorial Board
Voting for Student Government Association senators begins Monday online.
Jolene Des Roches, SGA adviser and director of student life and wellness, confirmed Friday that the original plan for paper ballots was replaced with online-only voting Sept. 24-27. She said students will receive a Jaguar email with a digital link that will allow all registered students to vote.
SGA has increased voting access and convenience by scheduling supervisors with laptops to be in the foyer of Main Campus Building and in Room 104 of Brooks City-Base Campus, Des Roches said.
Des Roches and former SGA President Zaira Rodriguez have been coordinating fall elections. Rodriguez is a graduate student in the School of Business. Former SGA Secretary Jennifer Faubion was volunteering her time to SGA, but cannot help with elections because she is running for a position.
Once the final ballots are cast Thursday, Des Roches said four people, including Rodriguez, will count the ballots and she will follow by verifying the numbers. Des Roches did not have the names of the other election officers, but said she was going to ask Eva Mullen, one of the recently-appointed Jaguar Ambassadors, and another neutral student. Des Roches also said she would ask a staff member to be present.
This process is not outlined in the 2011-12 SGA constitution, but Des Roches said she thinks it is fair.
Although there should be four senators for every school — schools of Arts and Sciences, Education and Kinesiology and Business — SGA will include two senators from each school until the association obtains more participation.
Meet the candidates
As the only candidate, accounting senior Melissa Quintanilla will run uncontested for SGA president. She will will graduate in December but plans to return in January to begin a Master of Professional Accounting.
As SGA president, Quintanilla said she wants to improve communication at Texas A&M-San Antonio. In her previous experience, she said she didn’t know of SGA and when events were scheduled on campus.
After SGA held a forum in spring 2012 about the University’s decision to move to one graduation ceremony, she realized, “They were our voice.”
Last semester, SGA held their first spring forum on the University’s transition from two to one annual graduation ceremony. Through the forum, the University learned of students’ concerns and decided to return to having a ceremony in the fall and spring.
Quintanilla was one student who attended the forum and voiced her concerns on The Mesquite Facebook.
“SGA should have been there before it even had come to that,” she said. “Students should have known before (the University) was even thinking about it.”
Quintanilla described herself as persistent, which will help her change how students get information. She hopes to hold regular monthly forums, use the SGA Facebook more and post information on the bulletin boards.
Javier Carvajal runs uncontested for SGA vice president. A Master of Business Administration student, he said as vice president, he hopes to support Quintanilla, SGA presidential candidate.
Although Carvajal said he is not up to date with the University’s current policies, he has discovered student issues with Blackboard and e-books.
He said he’s noticed that older students attending A&M-San Antonio do not like e-books and have to pay an extra fee to print the book, so he would want to learn more and address that concern.
Carvajal said he’s very good with people, communicates well to get the word out about events and is a good speaker.
Social science junior Brenda Garcia said during her first two years of college at San Antonio and Palo Alto colleges, she enrolled in online classes and wasn’t involved in student life on campus.
After transferring here, Brenda said, “I want to do it right. I want to be the voice of the students,” adding that she wants to communicate the overall value of this start-up University where “everyone is so friendly.”
“I want to be a part of that,” she said.
Although Brenda is taking five classes and has two children, she said she’s good at maintaining her workload and has a supportive boyfriend.
Brenda said her 9-year-old daughter influenced her to run for candidacy after she told her mother she did not want to go to college.
“‘No, you’re going to college,’” Brenda said to her daughter, adding that she wants to set an example for her children.
Brenda said she’s a hands-on person who will “get it done.” She said she has good ideas, can create an itinerary and excels at event planning.
Communications junior Priscilla Lopez was the former SGA president at Palo Alto College for the 2011-12 academic school year. She transferred to A&M-San Antonio this fall.
She said as senator, she hopes to get involved and serve the student body.
Her participation at Palo Alto College also included, Phi Theta Kappa, Student Leadership Institute, and other organizations and committees.
Of the Alamo College feeder schools, Palo Alto has the highest transfer rate to A&M-San Antonio, increasing the likelihood that some of Lopez’s peers will count on her leadership skills to carry over from community college to the University level.
Education senior Jennifer Faubion is running for senator for SGA. She is an incumbent of SGA, serving as secretary since fall 2011.
If elected as a senator, Faubion will continue her duties as secretary.
“My goal is to get SGA established and let students know we are here,” Faubion said.
In the past, Faubion served as a member of Chancellor’s Student Advisory Council, and volunteered in 2011-12 at Wilson Elementary School in the San Antonio Independent School District where she worked with special needs children. She is a transfer student from Palo Alto College and plans to apply for the graduate program at A&M-San Antonio.
International business Junior Claudia Garcia said if elected senator, she hopes to understand her student body and get them involved with the University.
”I want to learn more about the students’ wants and needs on campus,” Claudia said.
A transfer student from Palo Alto College, she said has never been involved in college clubs or organizations, but wants to get involved and learn more about the association.
She said her bilingual and communication skills will benefit and open up opportunities for SGA.
Photograph not available.
Rebecca Massey, Master of Business Administration student, is running for SGA senator to represent the School of Business.
“I’m a member of Alpha Kapa Sai,” Massey said. “Being part of this organization, I
have gained a lot of experience in organizing events in the community and between
the sorority and fraternities.” She said she was also a mentor for sixth grade
students in Seguin.
She said she hopes to apply the experience she’s gained to her role as senator if elected.
“I also want to help raise funds so that SGA can provide funds to any student
organization on campus if needed,” Massey said.
In addition, she said she would like to help publicize the University.
“I want people to know that A&M-San Antonio is here,” Massey said. And, “Help bring the University to life.”
Massey said that her main reason for running is because she likes to help people.
“I want to help address the needs and concerns of students,” she said. She said she will address students’ concerns and do whatever is possible to help.
“We’re here to serve the students in any way we can,” Massey said.
English senior Steven Zavala wants to address student participation and establish traditions if elected SGA senator.
Zavala said if adopted here, traditions like Texas A&M-College Station’s Midnight Yell will bring a sense of community between students, faculty and staff.
As a student at Texas State University, Zavala said he witnessed student participation, pride and an active campus community. He said he wants to help grow those qualities at A&M-San Antonio.
“There was just an excitement to be a student,” he said of those at Texas State. “I want that to be instilled here.”
In considering policies, Zavala said he will attempt to keep tuition affordable and request more resources for students like computers and tutors.
He also said he’d like to begin co-curricular activities with connections to academic courses, and contribute ideas to the office of student life and wellness.
Zavala is also a recently-appointed Jaguar Ambassador and member of Campus Activities Board and Alliteration Club. He was employed as a student worker in the advising center during 2011-12.
Des Roches said there are two more candidates but neither she or Rodriguez were able to provide their information by publication.