2017-2018 SGA Senators: What Do You Plan To Accomplish Next Year?

by Angela Fortuna

At-Large Senators:

Victor Constanza: “I want to keep my promises in what I said when I was running. First, I want the “Paper-Boy Initiative” to be passed. This will create a personal connection to students when we give out information about events and what is going on with the school. This will require senators to actually go into public and go up to students one-on-one. Second, I would like to reform the liaison program. We have to actually go to club meetings, so the SGA knows what these clubs are about, what they are doing exactly, and help them with whatever they need. Lastly, we need to improve upon community engagement. We have to participate with all clubs to help the students of New Britain, since the town does not have a high graduation rate. We should take it upon ourselves to help.”

Stephen Dew: “My re-election to senate will focus on three focal points. First, we must join with the other schools in the CSCU system to coordinate our efforts to challenge the state legislature and system office when it comes to tuition [and] fees. Second, we must introduce a student alternative to the bookstore, to help lower the cost of textbooks. And third, we must really do more to lower the barriers to club funding, to give every organization and student the best possible chance to succeed and meet their potential.”

Damar Britto: “For those who don’t know, I have a four-point platform, dubbed the STAR Platform. It stands for scholarships, tuition grants (for undocumented students), active senate and finally relationships with organizations. I plan to have these ideas pushed, especially scholarships and tuition grants, by becoming the chair of the Student Life Committee within the SGA, as one of its focuses is scholarships.”

Jailene Nazario: “Next year, I want to keep a strong relationship with students and faculty, so I can focus on open resource textbooks and on the issues that students come to me with.”

Joseph Carangui: “I am delighted to be representing the student body at CCSU once again. I believe I got re-elected because my platform connected with students. Therefore, I intend to make the positive impact that I campaigned for, which is to continue to have this organization host wellness events and increase the amount of money in SGA scholarships that [are] available to all undergraduate students.”

Brianna Rose: “I plan to raise awareness of the barriers CCSU students face while trying to attain an education to better their quality of life. Research shows that most colleges are unequipped to service vulnerable students. This is a deterrent in the college success of students who come from difficult backgrounds such as first-generations, immigrants, foster care or homelessness. As a senator, I will use my power to be an advocate for myself and others like me, whose pathway to college was not simply just a journey, but a fight.”

Flavja Muka: “I am excited to represent the student body as a new voice on the senate. I plan to encourage students to become more involved in the SGA and CCSU community. It is important to have each student feel heard and empowered. Therefore, I plan to have a positive connection with the clubs and organizations on campus. I believe the senate can make a powerful impact on student life, so I will do my best to represent all students.”

Jessica Aguilar: “I’m very thankful to have received the opportunity to represent the student body at CCSU. As an SGA member, I want to create better communication between students and organizations on campus. Also, I’ll strive to have an open mind in students’ concerns and ensure that students’ needs are met on campus.”

Resident Senators:

Amanda Gorman: “I am excited to be serving the students for another year. I plan to assist in changing scholarships to make them more accessible and larger in both quantity and quality.”

John Coleman: “My plan for this coming year is to work with the Academic Affairs Committee to provide a high-quality educational experience to all CCSU students. The one thing that all students have in common is education, so addressing academic issues benefits everyone. In particular, I’d like to address two issues: college affordability and the advising process. I want the senate to be strong advocates and earn the trust of the student body.”

Kelly Hernandez: “One of my main goals is to be a voice to cultural-based clubs as well as other clubs on campus that are often overlooked. As a member of [the] Latin American Student Organization, the Ebony Chorale Ensemble and a host of other clubs, I know what issues seem to hurt clubs across the board and I wish to stop it. Another goal of mine is to help represent student athletes. The student athlete population is another group that is severely underrepresented in student government and I hope to change that.”

Akai Long: “As a senator of the Student Government Association, I plan to create a better connected campus. To create a better connected campus, I have come up with a two-part plan: the first part is to better connect the SGA with state and local governments. As is stands, the SGA has put the minimum amount of effort to advocate on behalf of students. The second part is better connecting the SGA to CCSU students. I plan to go to as many hall councils as I can because as a resident senator, I want to hear as much feedback from residents as I can.”

James Angelopoulos: “My mission is to improve the environment of the university. If we can improve the environment and culture to show off the talented and big members of our campus, I believe we can get more students to come to CCSU and slow down the tuition growth. I also want the hard-working clubs on campus, who make a point of getting involved, to receive more funding to promote a stronger environment on campus.”

Jacquelyn Daniels: “As resident senator, I will encourage more communication between the student body and the SGA, so that every student receives the representation they deserve. I plan to collaborate with clubs and organizations to increase involvement and promote more events. I also hope to extend dining hall hours through a petition, if students continue to express interest in this plan. I will advocate for the SGA to increase scholarship funding, to give more students greater chances and a wider variety of scholarships.”

Thomas Mitchell: I ran for the SGA to do one simple thing: finish what I have started. In order to do such, it is my mission to acquire a golf cart for the student government in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of events on campus. Many initiatives can come from this golf cart, such as the SGA Designated Driver as well as the SGA Meals on Wheels. Aside from that, I want to promote an open source textbook platform as well as advancing the academic technologies within majors to create a generation of future experts coming from CCSU.”

Jared Sales: “While on SGA, I want to make sure that all resident senators are going to their hall councils at least once a month and asking their constituents what they want SGA to do for them. Personally, with senator Akai Long and any other senators who join me in the future, will go to every hall council at least once a month. I will join the Student Life Committee and dedicate myself to working on mental health and other aspects of the committee.”

Commuter Senators:

Dajana Sejdiraj: “I want us, as SGA individuals, to work with different clubs and to create amazing things on campus that can benefit everyone. For example, I would want to work with all the science- and technology-related clubs to create a single solar panel umbrella that students can use to charge their laptops and study outside. I would want to start with just one and see how successful it would become before expanding upon it. I want to work with the LGBTQ [community] and create gender-neutral bathrooms on campus. I want to work with CAN and create fun promo items such as free ponchos for everyone to use on a rainy day when walking to classes.”

Sedina Begic: “A few of the things I plan on doing next year as a senator are to implement Wellness Week in the fall, since one is already in the spring. Also, themed months to increase the wellness of students as well as getting the SGA’s name out there. I would like to invest in a career closet. If it’s approved, we can rent out a small area somewhere in the library or student center and provide business casual attire for students who may need to rent it in cases of job interviews or internships, etc. One final thing I plan on doing is just being more accessible to anyone with questions through text, email and in-person meetings.”

Gabriella Bierwirth: “This upcoming year, I have a lot of goals that I would like to accomplish with the SGA. Besides simply making sure that senators get more involved with clubs and their events, I want to try and host more awareness weeks and activities in which different cultures, religions, ethnicities and clubs can host games and activities to raise awareness of who they are as well as address micro-aggressions. I want to eliminate a lot of the tension seen within the SGA and ensure that we are working together as a group to help as many people as we can. I especially want to increase involvement within the entire campus and build a stronger connection with the rest of New Britain.”

Estefania Maya: “Next year, I want to create stronger relationships with the clubs and students. I hope to support the other committees on senate and the new e-board with their future endeavors and by volunteering my time, planning events and communicating with students. I strongly believe that, in order to better represent the students, we must know what issues they face, whether that be funding or academic struggles. This can only be done if we take time to check up on the clubs and students.”

Kassandra Fruin: “I want to help provide our campus with more accessibility to all students, a better sense of campus community and advocate for affordability. My own challenging life experiences have given me a strong desire to want to give back. I pride myself on advocating for a more inclusive and welcoming campus. Identifying with the LGBTQ community, I understand the fear of safety on campus, in our community and country as a whole. I will fight for a strong stand on social justice issues and fight for a safer campus. The Student Government needs to be proactive in ending the stigmas related to mental health and help aid our students into the right direction when it comes to proper funding. Along with accessibility, the cost of attending CCSU is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. We are experiencing a time that tuition is going up four percent and we need student leaders to advocate for an affordable education. I will provide the guidance and experience as a returning senator the SGA needs to be of larger benefit to students.”

Dante Solano: “By the end of the next semester, I look forward to the implementation of an SGA climate survey.  This survey will give students the opportunity to grade the work of the SGA along with making their voices and concerns heard. I await the opportunity to make sure that we, here in the SGA, fund clubs and organizations in both a fair and responsible fashion. I hope to soon meet with some of our administration to discuss the safety of students during the winter and campus policies for emergency weather situations.”

Christopher Theriault: Unreachable for comment at this time.

Jose Diaz: Unreachable for comment at this time.

Sawera Hussan: “I’m honored to be re-elected as a senator for the SGA to continue representing the student body. My initiatives are to increase club funding, advocate for affordable higher education and provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone at CCSU.”

Sabrina Morin: “I am very pleased to be a re-elected senator here at CCSU.  As a senator next semester, I am hoping to bring better communication to campus, end stigmas and spread mental health awareness as well as resources here on campus.”

Tiffany Aguilera: “I ran for senate this year to hear the voices of students and to make this campus a more inclusive community, especially for those who have disabilities. I have noticed that students, especially those who have disabilities, don’t participate as much in club activities or events that occur on campus. I would like to change that by working closely with Student Disability Services, the Wellness Center and the Women’s Center. Although details aren’t fully worked out yet, I would like [to express] that I plan to dedicate myself to this and to make it my mission for the next academic year.”

Jalal Butt: “I plan to help steer the academic affairs committee in the path it has been directed to over these past two years. This involves the facilitation of CCSU course transitions to open-source resources, expansion of the plan to increase course transparency through online syllabi and an increase in academic mapping reliability.”

Mariano Cardoso: Unreachable for comment at this time.

Natalia Rozio: “I am extremely excited to represent commuter students on campus and be a part of SGA. Next year, I hope to connect SGA with the Transfer Office to make the transferring process for future students smoother and less frustrating. I also plan to make commuters feel more comfortable on campus by introducing commuter-based events throughout the semester.”