SGA-Elects seek to increase community

SGA holds elections for the 2022-2023 school year

On April 8, Student Government Association (SGA) officers for the 2022-2023 school year were announced. 606 students voted in the election, an increase from the 404 who voted in the 2021-2022 election. Five senators from each class were elected, along with the vice president, rising senior Donya Ahmadi, and the president, rising junior Danny Nguyen.

Voting took place from March 29 to April 8. In order to run for president, students had to be of junior standing for the year that they are in office, have prior experience as a member of SGA and not be a leader of another major campus organization, such as being a Resident Assistant or a leader of the Student Programming Board. For the new president and vice president, campaigning was a chance to practice outreach and marketing skills, which mostly consisted of posts on social media.

“I think social media was a really big approach because people are going to look at their Instagram stories rather than posters around the school,” Ahmadi said. “But even then, I posted a really large poster near Mabee, a 24-by-36 of my face [….] Just gotta take creative approaches.”

Broadly, SGA works across campus to amplify and cater to student voices. Oliver Chapin-Eiserloh, senior and president for the 2021-2022 school year, reflected on his position in the association over the past year.

“As the president of SGA, my duties are to preside over all meetings of SGA and to work to set goals and priorities throughout the year. Additionally, I, along with the vice president, serve as a voice for the students, working with the university administration to ensure that students’ needs are prioritized and met. Finally, I meet regularly with [Trinity President Danny] Anderson to talk about everything going on at the university and with the student government,” Chapin-Eiserloh wrote in an email.

Ahmadi has been an SGA senator for three years. Her interest as SGA vice president is in becoming more involved with the group as a whole.

“The SGA Vice President position is a chance for me to have actual, applicable experience with the topics I am both interested in and studying here at Trinity,” she wrote in her campaign summary.

Along with various other involvements on campus, president-elect Danny Nguyen has also been involved in SGA since his first year.

“I have been grateful to be a gear in this complex and diverse clockwork that is SGA and to be able to be a part of various discussions and initiatives that create tangible impacts and differences in the betterment of the student body,” he wrote in his campaign notes sent by SGA. “Looking beyond towards the future of SGA, I am interested to continue developing…inclusive excellence in both academics and student life, as well as strengthening and building new relationships between SGA and other parties to educate, diversify, and strengthen our knowledge as a student government to make impactful decisions.”

More specifically, the new president and vice president have many ideas about increasing funds for student organizations and creating community across campus.

Coming from backgrounds on the finance committee, Nguyen and Ahmadi plan on increasing funding for clubs across campus and encouraging students to request funding. They also plan on working with the administration, including Dean of Students Demi Brown, to bring the campus together after the years lost in the pandemic.

“Creating events to get the school more involved would be great,” Ahmadi said. “Now and even before COVID, I feel like sometimes campus life wasn’t the most lively and I think that’s something we could definitely improve on […] This is our first normal semester back, next year will be completely normal and I think that we’ll have more room to make larger events have more opportunities for student life.”

Nyguen also hopes to get the Trinity community to engage with the wider San Antonio area.

“One of the things I want to really be involved in is trying to really communicate with other student governments across the city. We have a lot of great universities and colleges here in San Antonio […] so getting that ability to outreach and create this coalition, we can do a lot more impactful things.”

In the 2022-2023 school year, the student government will work to make the campus more united and student-centered.

“We have a very segmented and broken sense of community on campus, all that still needs repairing. A community like this is one of the biggest centerpieces of what Trinity is. And so through faculty, staff and students, we all have this urge to make sure that we restore what makes Trinity great,” Nguyen said.