By Jennifer Luna
Andres Holliday, president of the Student Government Association, said SGA members would be recruiting students at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the lobby of Brooks City-Base Campus with the goal of increasing student involvement and filling the executive board.
SGA was said to have promoted the organization earlier today, although no representatives were on site at the specified times for Brooks Campus. Enrollment Specialist Mary Hernandez confirmed no SGA members were seen promoting the organization.
SGA is undergoing transition and development after leadership resignations left vacancies in the executive board prior to the start of the fall semester.
Now the goal is to have a fully functioning student-run organization by the end of the semester, Kim Duncan, director of service learning and civic engagement, said.
In order to accomplish this goal, Duncan posed the question, “What are our next steps to fully staff SGA?”
Duncan began working with the university on July 21 and was assigned to overlook SGA.
Currently, there are four students active in SGA, but the association is still four members shy of an established executive board.
The association is looking for students with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Members must be able to attend SGA retreats and training sessions.
Although SGA is looking for students who meet the criteria, above all else, they are looking for students who want to help, be leaders and allow other students to influence the university.
“This is an opportunity not many students have,” Holliday said. “You’re taking the voice of our students and putting it in your hands.”
SGA took an unexpected turn after elected president Melissa Quintanilla and vice president Priscilla Lopez resigned before the fall semester.
During late July and early August, she tried to make contact with all the SGA officers but said the officers were unresponsive.
“No one returned any phone calls or emails,” Duncan said.
There were also failed attempts at reaching the students through Facebook. Out of nine officers, two responded.
Former Vice President Priscilla Lopez and former Senate pro-temp Andres Holliday met Duncan a week before school started, Lopez said.
President Melissa Quintanilla resigned a week before the meeting.
Duncan offered Lopez the vacant president position, but Lopez refused.
“Melissa resigned, and I was going to be the president, but I declined because I felt like I didn’t have the time,” Lopez said.
Amidst a heated election in May, Quintanilla and Lopez won against former Senate pro-temp Andres Holliday and Jeff Schnoor by a 230-133 vote.
After the votes were tallied, Holliday accused Quintanilla and Lopez of not following the constitution during the election.
During an executive board meeting May 2, The Mesquite reported SGA student senators Edward Rios and Brenda Garcia said Quintanilla and Lopez did not do anything unconstitutional during the election.
Lopez resigned from SGA altogether a week after school started leaving Holliday the only student left in the association.
Being third in line as a Senate pro-temp, he accepted the reins as president.
According to the SGA constitution, the Senate pro-temp is the third and final person in line to become SGA president, if the expected president and vice president do not take the position.
If the Senate pro-temp declines, then an emergency election would take place to seat a new president.
“I was shocked, confused, excited; I understood this was a big deal …,” Holliday said about becoming SGA president, “but we got to look forward to where we’re going.”
The strength of the association relies on how much your students know and how much they participate, Holliday said.
In order for students to participate, Duncan said transparency is key.
“That transparency is going to make or break us,” she said.
Student leaders say that if everything goes as planned, SGA will have a fully functioning organization by the end of the semester.