The Maroon

SGA Election 2018: Meet the senators

Sidney Holmes

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The Maroon surveyed the candidates who are running for senate. Here are their answers:

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Kristen Williams Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Kristen Williams

Biology junior

Senator at large

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

This past year as senator, I am proud to have already been a part of such an impactful senate. I worked on my own initiatives such as adding outdoor study spaces including the new picnic tables as well as other initiatives spearheaded by various senators. I believe our small school has much more to accomplish to create an even more inclusive and diverse campus with students who are proud to be a part of the pack. I plan to leave my impact by working on the retention rate, improving on-campus facilities, increasing student involvement and creating more school spirit, specifically for athletic events. The retention rate at Loyola can definitely use improvement. It is SGA’s job as leaders on campus to recognize the needs of the students and to help them enjoy Loyola. If an enjoyable campus environment is available, the retention rate should see positive effects. I also see a need for updates and additions in the facilities on campus. Attending Loyola is for the education firstly, therefore our students need clean and updated facilities to create the best environment possible. I feel as though students should not only attend Loyola but rather to experience Loyola. One of the easiest ways to experience Loyola is to get involved on campus and see all that our university has to offer. I want to encourage students to get involved as soon as possible and as much as possible. Finally, increasing school spirit can change the atmosphere of Loyola to be vibrant and inclusive. Having exciting events and encouraging students to attend athletic events can overall enhance the community.

How are you going to best represent your college?

As a member of the College of Arts and Sciences, I will work with others to hear the concerns and needs of my college. However, as senator at large, I believe it is important to represent all of the colleges and make sure fellow senators are reaching out to students to hear their opinions on various matters concerning our community.

Why are you qualified?

This past year, I was a member of SGA as a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences. Being a part of SGA is such a rewarding experience. I truly love Loyola and am always hoping to make Loyola even better for all students and helping to make students love Loyola just as much as I do. As a senator, I was able to hear concerns of my constituents and work on initiatives to help improve our campus. I would love to continue being a member of SGA and be elected senator at large because I will be able to continue making Loyola even better and help senators work hard to accomplish the needs and desires of the students.

I believe my involvement and experiences at Loyola have helped shape me into who I am today. I am a very active member on campus and hope that this can help to make me the best senator at large possible if elected to this position. Getting students involved and helping them to feel connected with others during their college career is my top priority. I will always be open to hearing students’ opinions and their hopes for Loyola’s future.

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Freedom Richardson Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Freedom Richardson

Political science sophomore

Senator at large

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

The impact and policies I intend to champion in SGA first and foremost begin with tackling issues of inclusion for commuter students through financial or resource incentives. Secondly, enshrining stronger measures of transparency in SGA by introducing a public record-keeping system that records votes, votes cast and procedural information as to the status of the bill being debated. Along with this added fix is the need for a more recognizable and personalized relationship between members of the student body and SGA. Finally, extending the arm of the Career Development Center to integrate alumni into the process of advising and enhancing students’ success in the College of Arts and Sciences.

How are you going to best represent your college?

As a member of the College of Arts and Sciences, I’d be best suited to represent this college and that of many others as a senator at large given my vast experience participating in SGA, my unwavering commitment to all majors big and small and, more notably, my immediacy to detecting issues and making myself readily accessible to addressing the concerns, questions or comments made by students at Loyola. If students at Loyola are willing enough to place their trust and confidence in my ability to lead, they can rest assure in knowing that no voice would be left unheard, issue tabled or solution brokered without their perspective included.

Why are you qualified?

Having served on the First Year Council organizing large events and chairing campus-wide initiatives, I’ve made myself quite familiar with legislative processes and finding the bathroom. On a more serious note however, nothing can truly prepare an individual to serve as a senator at large, as the office is such a unique one. It’s a position that requires us to make sound decisions on behalf of hundreds of students and minimize the risk of overgeneralizing certain colleges and their issues. Though this task is daunting, there is nothing I’d much rather be doing than serving my student body— for it’s rent I pay having been afforded an opportunity to attend Loyola. Though I may not be as seasoned as some of my opponents, I certainly am passionate about Loyola, the diversity of our students and cultures and will work my hardest to best represent those willing to place their trust in me.

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Richard Simmerman Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Richard Simmerman

Political science freshman

Senator at large

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

SGA is the backbone of the Loyola student body. Its responsible for serving as the direct voice of the students to the university, and to do that in an efficient fashion it must become more transparent, more active and more persistent when it comes to issues. I will bring a fresh face with positive energy and new ideas to SGA. In terms of issues, I will advocate for focus on enhanced women’s resources such as vending machines available across campus containing feminine hygiene products, and better utilization of spaces such as Satchmo’s Lounge.

How are you going to best represent your college?

As senator at large, I will focus on efficiency of the committees made up by senators while advocating for the issues that matter most to our students. The best possible way to represent our students is by listening to their concerns and acting on what means the most to our community.

Why are you qualified?

From a young age, I developed a true passion for leadership and public service. While serving as Vice President of Skills USA Louisiana, I sharpened my abilities to focus on tasks at hand while listening to those around me. At Loyola, I have been a very active member of the student body and was chosen as president of the College Democrats during my first semester of college. I have made tough decisions my entire life and I believe that senator at large is the perfect fit for my unique set of leadership skills.

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Laura Prado Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Laura Prado

Popular and commercial music junior

College of Music and Fine Arts

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

This semester’s SGA killed it! So many areas and aspects were improved and the events were so fun! I dare to say that so many people noticed the hard work of their team, and we appreciate that. Next semester I would ultimately want to keep that up. I want to work hard to make happen the incentives of other senators. I would like for all peers to see in SGA not only another student organization, but an efficient, trustworthy point of contact so that each and every voice can have the chance to always be heard.

How are you going to best represent your college?

I would love to be the liaison between the student governing body and the School of Music and Fine Arts so that I can represent all my peers to the best of my abilities. A few weeks ago, I started an anonymous survey to find what would, later on, become a list of incentives. I encouraged a lot of my colleagues to take it. This survey helped me a lot to listen not just to those peers I know and see day by day, but those who I still don’t know so much about yet. The survey asked that if they had the chance to improve something in Loyola or their experience within the School of Music, what would it be? Through these answers I was able to come up with a concise list of incentives to focus on if the chance of being part of the office were given to me.

Some of the goals on this list for instance are to change the practice room key system for ID-swipe rooms and to create a service for instrument rentals so that people in the School of Music and Fine Arts can get the chance of being exposed to different instruments and access them when needed (this office would work similarly to the library’s rental process). Last but not least, I would like to push forward the idea of a tutoring office in the School of Music. This office would have a team of tutors specified in one or two classes that can tutor students struggling along the way.

I want to see the school of music more unified with ALL fine arts. I also want the Theatre and Arts Department to feel more represented, especially when it comes to all those different areas that have room for improvement within their classrooms, utilities and overall workspace. At the end of the day, artists should constantly support one another. These students work so hard throughout the semester, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Equally important, I want to be able to be an efficient peer that others can come to with doubts, comments or new ideas and express themselves so that we can make Loyola a better place day by day. We are Loyola!

Why are you qualified?

I am a strong advocate of human connection. I believe that the most meaningful action we can do for others and for ourselves is to connect with others. That is what makes living so worth it and fascinating. It is through your connections and experiences with others that you begin to find yourself. With that said, I love meeting people. Ever since I transferred from my past university, I have had the chance to meet all kinds of people, specifically within the music building.

I try to put myself as out there and available as possible. I am a fan of being part of a lot of things, you could probably hear that from anyone that knows me! This has given me the possibility of getting to know so many people at Loyola of different majors and backgrounds, and has undoubtedly helped to make me feel like part of something much bigger than myself, a community.

I am tremendously lucky to be surrounded by not just peers, but friends within the department of theatre, art and of course different areas of music. I want people to see a point of contact in me besides a friend, someone that can help make change happen. I would be honored to represent each and every one of them and to do justice to their inquiries through hard work, perseverance and passion.

Passion is what drives us all to pursuit our own art, to craft our own piece, to transmit our message and to hopefully cause an impact within an audience. This goes back to the root: human connection. We all have the same goal in one form or another.

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Jacob Laws

Music industry studies senior

College of Music and Fine Arts

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

I hope to add another perspective to the senate so that not only the students in my college are represented, but the entire student body as well.

How are you going to best represent your college?

I plan to make myself known and approachable so that students can speak their mind.

Why are you qualified?

Since I have represented my college in the past, I am bringing in my previous experience and everything I have learned into this next academic year.

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Samantha Reich Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Sam Reich

Marketing junior

College of Business

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

Specifically for the College of Business, one of the things that I want to work on is better communication between our administration and our students. We recently got a new dean and associate dean and the students were not notified of that, which I think is silly to say the least. I’d really like to make students more aware of changes like that. That’s kind of my top priority, just across the university in general, not just the College of Business, although that will be my top priority.

Besides that, there are smaller things that I’d like to work on. For instance, there’s a courtyard between Miller Hall and the library that not a lot of people know about and it’s kind of not being utilized to it’s full potential so I think we can kind of increase the amount of study spaces that we have on campus with that courtyard specifically.

How are you going to best represent your college?

Currently, I am the only senator running for the College of Business so I think it’s really important that I am on senate right now especially. I think that a lot of times the College of Business gets overlooked in terms of the university as a whole. Because we are a liberal arts university, some of our other programs take more priority but I really want to make sure that the College of Business does not get overlooked anymore. If business students are having problems, somebody is going to hear about them.

Why are you qualified?

I’ve already held a senate position for a year so I know how everything works. I’m familiar with the processes that we go through. I’m familiar with a lot of the staff, both student and administration. I’m just really passionate about Loyola and I want to help people make the changes they want to see on campus.

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Noah LePorte Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Noah LaPorte

Chemistry forensic science freshman

College of Arts and Sciences

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

I just want everybody’s voice to be heard, so I plan to communicate with my fellow students a lot.

How are you going to best represent your college?

no comment

Why are you qualified?

no comment

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Kloe Laudun Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Kloe’ Laudun

Biology freshman

College of Arts and Sciences

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

With SGA, I want to make an impact by being a great advocate for students’ needs and to promote a safer environment on and off campus.

How are you going to best represent your college?

I want to represent my College of Arts and Sciences by being an active member of the Loyola community and throughout events on campus. Also, I want to represent my college by utilizing news outlets like The Maroon and have better communication with the school boards and SGA with the student body.

Why are you qualified?

I believe I am qualified because I was active in the SGA’s First Year Council and later became a unified voice as the FYC (First Year Council) senate with other freshman members. Also, I am an active member in many organizations on and off campus such as First in the Pack, multicultural leadership, LUCAP, Health Professionals and Lead Floor Themed Living.

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Omari Caldwell Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Omari Caldwell

History international studies freshman

College of Arts and Sciences

What impact do you plan on making on SGA?

For SGA, I want to connect them more with the student body. As a small university, we can create community that is interconnected and supportive. With this in mind, I want to reach out and have people in the College of Arts and Sciences know all their senators. I also want people to feel that they have the ability to reach out to their representatives. The senators of each college should promote a stronger sense of community.

In terms of initiatives, I have four key points I want to focus on. One: Loyola should have more professors of color in all departments. In mathematics and philosophy, we are lacking any people of color which is unacceptable.

Secondly, I hope for Loyola to lead the way in terms of environmental friendly practices. In the OR, we should move away from styrofoam cups and implement more biodegradable cups. Next, I want to work more with Multicultural Affairs in having SGA co-sponsor events with SAGE, BSU and the Women’s Resource Center.

Lastly, I want to create a link between the financial aid office and the student body. Too many students have complained about the lack of communication and disorganization they feel with the financial aid office.

How are you going to best represent your college?

I will best represent my college in my ability to connect with others. As a freshman, I do not know who my senators are in my college. I take some blame because I could easily go to the SGA office and ask. However, there should also be an initiative on their part to meet their people. If elected, I want to constantly be meeting students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Hopefully, if they have any problem at all they could come to me and I will bring it up at SGA meetings.

Why are you qualified?

To start, I am currently member of the Social Justice Committee where we look to use SGA money and provide money to groups who promote a diverse learning environment. Furthermore, I am a part of the Emerging Leaders Program where freshman and sophomore students receive lectures on leadership and group management. Thirdly, I’m an active member in the community. On Mondays, I go to Lawrence D. Crocker Elementary School and participate in the Philosopher Kids program. Also, I’m a member of LUCAP and, starting Saturday, I am going to my first community service project. Yet the most important reason I am qualified is because I have a strong desire to help the students of my college. I believe that as long as anyone wants to help their college improve, they are qualified to run for office.

The following candidates did not respond to the survey questions:

Liza Whitfield

History sophomore

senator at large

Samantha Sanchez

Criminology freshman

College of Arts and Sciences

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About the Writer
Sidney Holmes, Editor in Chief

Sidney is a mass communication senior with a focus in journalism. Before she took the position of Editor in Chief, she served as Assistant Producer of...

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SGA Election 2018: Meet the senators