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Sophomore, BS Aeronautical Science
"Hello everyone! My name is Dariel Garcia, and I am a running candidate for the College of Aviation Senate. I am a sophomore in Aeronautical Science and an Instrument Rated Private Pilot. On campus, I am part of the Honors Program, Alpha Omicron Alpha, and with your help, soon-to-be COA Senator. The student population comprises a wide variety of individuals with different opinions, concerns, and lifestyles. In High School, I was the student body president of my class for 3 consecutive years and the Battalion Commander of my J.R.O.T.C program. I have the proper leadership experience to handle the duties of a senator and voice all the student body's concerns, making me the best candidate for this position. As Senator, I will have the power to vote on funding decisions and act as a check and balance alongside the other senators to overthrow presidential vetoes if need be. Given this position, I will ensure that equal funding is distributed among the COA and work with students to voice their concerns."
What makes you a qualified candidate for this position?
"I believe I am a qualified candidate for this position due to my previous leadership experience. In High School, I was the Student Body president of my class for three consecutive years. In this position, I was responsible for representing the student population at all school-sponsored events and meetings and voicing the concerns of the student population to the administration during these meetings. This allowed student opinions to be heard and progress to ensue. Additionally, I was the Battalion Commander of my Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, in charge of all 250 cadets and all successes and failures of the Battalion. The position of College of Aviation Senator requires someone who is able to connect with the student body and responsibly bring all their concerns to the administration. Because of my experience and background in the field of leadership, I feel that I am the best candidate for the position of Senator."
What is the purpose of the SGA Student Senate?
"The SGA Senate is a group of students representing each college and a few other groups on campus. The number of senators per college is anywhere from 1-3 and varies depending on the voting population size in any one college. The Senator's primary responsibility is hearing the opinions and concerns of the student body which college they represent. The Senators then meet with the department heads of the colleges to share the students' concerns with them.
From here, solutions are thought up, and the senators are split into committees that solve particular matters. This system ensures that by listening to the student body, the Senators can collaborate with the administration and create solutions that enhance student life. Additionally, the Senators vote on new rules imposed by the Student President. While also serving as a check and balance, with the ability to overthrow a presidential veto if need be, by voting together."
How do you plan to elevate and communicate issues that your constituents are concerned about to the Senate?
"Holding the position of Senator means constant communication with the student population which you represent. If this is not done, there will be concerns and issues that will go unheard of, which will overall decrease the experience of student life.
As Senator, I would undergo the process to ensure everyone's voices are heard. Every week, I would hold meetings alongside the other Senators of the College of Aviation, in which students could express their concerns and what they wanted to see changed. Afterward, my Senate partner and I would present the following concerns and/or ideas during one of the weekly senate meetings. There, we then discuss what can be done to fix the issue, and then proceed to assign the issue to one of the senate committees so it can be worked on/ resolved while staying in contact with the students along the process and meeting with the college department head to assist us in the matter."
How will you improve the ERAU experience for your constituents?
"If allowed to become a College of Aviation Senator, my final goal is to implement a new program into our flight training. Our part 141 program is a curriculum-based training process that gives little opportunity to work on previous lessons and improve on weak areas if student and instructor's availability don't coincide.
Coming from a part 61 flight school myself, there was much more liberty in your pace and options of training, which can help you focus on individual tasks and improve. That is why I will propose the Excel Program. The Excel program will adapt the Mentor training sessions in which students can see what instructors and resources are available at what times on ETA. And from there, book an activity with them to work on a specific area. This would not replace your obligation to fly at your flight block; but it would be an additional resource for help. This gives power to the students to train in areas they believe they need improvement in. And, at the times that they want, not at the mercy of their instructors scheduling. 141 is not for everyone, so this program will add a part 61 aspect to Riddle training, which may help students excel in whatever they need."