Executive Ticket #3

Sophia Maldonado & Madi Kollar

"Your Voice, Our Mission"

Sophia & Madi's photos were captured by:

Andrew Zubyk / The Avion

Meet Your President Candidate Sophia!

Sophia Maldonado

Senior, BS Mechanical Engineering

"My main goal through my years here has been to create a space for everyone on this campus. I founded the Puerto Rican Student Association whose goal and mission was to create a second home for Puerto Ricans on our campus. 

Additionally, I am the director for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coalition. Through this, I’ve been able to help other student organizations to create a welcoming environment on our campus.

As President of SGA, I hope to create a second home for all of the student body where they feel safe and important. I commit to being an accessible person ready to help in any way I can. Just like I’ve done through PRSA and DEI coalition, I wish to make the SGA a safe and inclusive space for all of us to enjoy."

  • What is your platform for this campaign? How does it stand out?

    "Our campaign stands out because its built on a foundation of inclusivity, transparency, and a genuine commitment to student welfare. We're not just focused on short-term goals; we're looking to implement sustainable changes that will resonate with every student on campus. Our platform is unique in its dedication to fostering a supportive environment that prioritizes mental health and the overall well-being of the student body. We understand that the heart of a university lies within its students, which is why we want to make sure that everyone feels safe, comfortable, and heard every single day. We're here to bridge the gap between students and the administration, ensuring that your voices lead to real, impactful changes. This is a platform of action, a movement dedicated to nurturing a campus culture where every individual can flourish. Our commitment is to turn our collective vision into reality, making our campus a shining example of what student-led initiatives can achieve."

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

    "With my experiences and dedication to improving campus life, I believe I am the most qualified candidate for the position. Founding the Puerto Rican Student Association and creating a welcoming space for Puerto Rican students has shown my ability to bring people together and foster inclusivity. As the director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coalition, I have been committed to creating a campus culture that values and supports every individual. Being involved in the Student Union Advisory Board, as well as serving as a peer mentor and SERC coach, has given me valuable insights into the needs and concerns of our student body. I am passionate about making positive changes to ensure that everyone on campus feels supported, safe, and comfortable on a daily basis. As President, I will work tirelessly to improve the overall well-being and mental health of our student body. Together, let's create a campus where every student thrives."

  • As President, you would be a connection between students and the Administration. What do you do to ensure the voices of students are heard?

    "To ensure every student's voice is heard on campus, I'm committed to setting up regular open forums and roundtable discussions. These will be spaces where students can openly share their concerns and ideas with student government. I'll also enhance our current feedback methods, like surveys and suggestion boxes, to be more accessible and user-friendly, ensuring we hear from as many students as possible. Transparency will be a priority for me. I'll communicate clearly about what's been discussed and how we're tackling the issues students bring up. By working closely with various student groups, I can make sure we're considering the diverse perspectives within our community. As President, I promise to be available and approachable, ready to hear from you whether it's on social media, via email, or in person. I want students to know their voices matter and that they can reach out to me anytime. Together, we'll take action and foster a campus environment that truly listens to and values every student's input."

  • How will you improve the SGA to better serve the student body?

    "Effective communication is the cornerstone of a better SGA. By consistently updating students through social media and other platforms, we can ensure that everyone is informed and able to participate in SGA-led initiatives.

    Diversity within the SGA is essential for an inclusive environment where every student feels represented. This means reaching out and encouraging students from all walks of life to engage with the SGA, ensuring that our actions reflect the diverse needs and desires of our student body. Leadership development within the SGA can also have a profound impact. By providing members with the opportunity to grow and develop leadership skills, we're not only enhancing our organization but also contributing to the personal growth of our members.

    Finally, accountability is key to maintaining trust. By being transparent about our processes, including how student funds are allocated and the progress of our projects, we build credibility and show students that their voices and contributions truly matter. Through these efforts, the SGA can become a more effective body that serves the best interests of the student community."

  • What does the SGA mean to you?

    "The Student Government Association (SGA) means a great deal to me. It's not just a group of students; it's the heart of student advocacy on campus. It represents our collective voice, ensuring that each one of us is heard and considered in the university's decisions. To me, the SGA is a platform where I can actively contribute to making our campus a place where everyone feels supported, safe, and comfortable. It's about creating an environment where diversity is not just accepted, but celebrated. It's where I can help foster a sense of community and belonging among all students.

    Moreover, the SGA is about accountability. It's my responsibility to ensure that student fees are used wisely and that projects we undertake truly benefit the student body. It's about transparency, hard work, and dedication. In essence, the SGA to me is more than an organization; it's a commitment to service, to improvement, and to the well-being of every student on campus. It's a promise to not just listen but to act. It's where I can make a tangible difference and where I can help shape the university experience not just for myself, but for every student that sets foot on our campus."

Meet Your Vice President Candidate Madi!

Madi Kollar

Freshman, BS Global Conflict Studies

"My name is Madi, and I’m originally from Daytona Beach, Florida. Besides being a student, I work at the university gym and have a passion for work-life balance.

I am the programming director of Alpha Xi Delta. My role is to support my sisters in finding the right resources and motivation on campus.

I’m running for Vice President because I want to make changes for the student body's overall well-being and mental health. I firmly believe that every student on our campus deserves to feel supported, safe, and comfortable as they pursue their academic and personal goals. By advocating for policies and initiatives that foster a supportive and inclusive environment, I hope to create a campus community where every individual feels valued and respected."

  • What makes your Executive Ticket stand out?

    "My platform which has to do with promoting mental health and the overall well-being of students on campus it is built on three pillars: accessibility, inclusivity, and support.

    Firstly, I aim to ensure that mental health resources are easily accessible to all students, advocating for expanded services and timely support. Secondly, I prioritize inclusivity, advocating for culturally competent and inclusive mental health services that cater to the diverse needs of our student body. Finally, I emphasize creating a supportive campus environment where students feel valued and empowered to seek help when needed, aiming to reduce stigma and foster a sense of community and belonging.

    What sets my platform apart is its comprehensive approach, addressing not only access to services but also inclusivity and support. With my personal commitment to this mission and my experience in student advocacy, I am dedicated to driving meaningful change and making a lasting impact on campus."

  • What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?

    "As a candidate for this position, I bring a unique blend of experience, skills, and dedication that make me exceptionally qualified to serve in this role. Firstly, my extensive involvement in campus organizations, such as my role as the programming director of Alpha Xi Delta, has equipped me with valuable leadership experience and a deep understanding of student needs and concerns. Through my involvement, I have honed my ability to collaborate effectively, communicate persuasively, and advocate for change. Secondly, my academic background in psychology and my work experience at the university gym have provided me with a strong foundation in mental health and wellness. I possess a nuanced understanding of the challenges students face regarding mental health and am committed to implementing evidence-based strategies to address these issues.

    Additionally, my genuine passion for promoting well-being and creating a supportive campus environment sets me apart as a candidate. I am deeply invested in the well-being of my fellow students and am dedicated to making a positive impact on campus. Overall, my combination of leadership experience, expertise in mental health, and unwavering dedication to student well-being make me the most qualified candidate for this position. I am eager to leverage my skills and experiences to advocate for initiatives that prioritize the mental health and overall well-being of our student body."

  • As the Vice President, you have a supportive role to the President as well as being the head of the Senate. How will you use your position to ensure the needs of students are met?

    "As Vice President, my foremost priority is to serve as a conduit between the student body and the administration, ensuring that student voices are heard and valued in decision-making processes. I would establish accessible communication channels such as regular office hours, meetings, and online feedback forms to provide students with opportunities to voice their concerns and suggestions. Advocating for student representation in key decision-making bodies within the university administration would be crucial, as it ensures that students directly influence policies and initiatives that impact their lives. Collaboration with student organizations and leaders would also be vital in identifying common concerns and advocating for meaningful change. Transparency and accountability would guide all efforts, ensuring that decision-making processes are transparent and that students are informed about the rationale behind administrative decisions. Continuous engagement with students throughout the academic year would enable me to remain attuned to their evolving needs and priorities. Ultimately, my goal is to ensure that every student's voice is heard and respected within the university community."

  • How would you use the position of Vice President to create a positive and productive environment in the SGA and around campus?

    "To start, I advocate for enhancing communication channels to ensure that students are well-informed about SGA initiatives, meetings, and decisions. This includes utilizing social media platforms, newsletters, and online forums to engage students and solicit feedback. By increasing transparency in this way, students can actively participate in the decision-making process and hold SGA accountable.

    Secondly, I prioritize increasing student involvement in SGA by encouraging participation in elections, town hall meetings, and open forums. It's essential to diversify SGA membership to reflect the diverse perspectives and experiences of the student body.

    Thirdly, I emphasize transparency and accountability in decision-making processes by providing detailed information about the rationale behind decisions and making meeting minutes and agendas readily available to students. Furthermore, collaboration with student organizations is key to amplifying student voices and addressing common concerns effectively. By fostering partnerships with other student groups, SGA can leverage resources and advocate for collective interests more effectively.

    Finally, I advocate for SGA to serve as a strong advocate for student needs and priorities at the university administration level. This involves actively engaging with university officials to address issues such as mental health resources, campus facilities, academic policies, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Through these initiatives, I am committed to making SGA more responsive, inclusive, and accountable to the needs of the student body. By fostering a culture of transparency, collaboration, and advocacy, we can ensure that SGA truly represents and serves the diverse interests of all students on campus."

  • What does the SGA mean to you?

    "To me, the Student Government Association represents a vital platform for student empowerment, advocacy, and community building on campus. It serves as a conduit through which students can voice their concerns, influence decision-making processes, and enact positive change within the university community. At its core, SGA embodies the democratic principles of representation and participation, providing students with the opportunity to engage in governance and shape the direction of their educational experience. It serves as a bridge between students and university administration, advocating for student interests and priorities at all levels of decision-making. Beyond its formal roles and responsibilities, SGA plays a crucial role in fostering a sense of belonging and solidarity among students. It serves as a hub for student activism, leadership development, and civic engagement, empowering students to become agents of change both on campus and in the broader community. I am committed to promoting transparency, inclusivity, and accountability within SGA, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to contribute to the collective vision for our university. Together, through collaborative efforts and shared values, we can work towards creating a campus environment that is equitable, vibrant, and supportive of all students' needs and aspirations."