They vary in backgrounds and experience. Some have been involved in student government from high school, and for others this is their first elected position. Some are new to our campus, and others have come from international campuses. Each comes with their own background, and each will use their unique story to aid them in enacting change.
Yet what marks all of these candidates is their commitment and dedication to those who they represent. Every candidate is not only connected to their respective communities but has one if not several direct policies in mind to aid those community. More than anything, though, the new faces of SGSU all reiterated that they seek to serve, and to act as voices to the students of Seattle University.
Carlos Rodriguez || President
Public Affairs major Carlos Rodriguez, otherwise known as the SGSU “rat expert,” will be the President for the next academic year and has served as the junior representative this year. Originally a biology major, Rodriguez just began his new major the beginning of this academic year.
“For me, I think specifically looking at all the issues in Seattle since I have been here such as housing or homelessness has really influenced me to become a public affairs major.” Rodriguez said.
As the President for the upcoming academic year, Rodriguez plans to help SGSU become more accessible through making himself more connected to and aware of issues relevant to our community. He has gained knowledge from working with the facilities department in the past, mostly dealing with processing written issues from students and other members of our school.
“I know about all the rat issues on campus,” Rodriguez said, explaining his nickname as the SGSU rat expert. “It has to deal a lot with the construction. That is a pretty interesting fun fact.” this academic year.
Craig Jaffe || Senior Representative
Craig Jaffe, a Humanities for Teaching major, hopes to tackle several issues during his time as Senior Representative.
“I want to spread more awareness of sexual assault,” Jaffe said, “I am working with Green Dot and I want to build Green Dot’s name around campus.” Wellness and Health Promotion adopted the national initiative last year to end sexual assault and other violence on campus.
Jaffe also wants to address adjunct faculty rights, teacher unionization and improved services for transfer and commuter students in response to the current housing crisis.
In addition to being next year’s Senior representative, Jaffe is also involved with KXSU, Dance Marathon and he is a Grammy U representative for Seattle U and the Seattle area. Grammy U representatives work for The Recording Academy and gain experience doing nonprofit management and programming, along with having access to music industry events.
“I’m excited to work in SGSU and kind of cap off my time here at SU as Senior Rep,” Jaffe said.
Braden Wild || VP of University Affairs
Braden Wild, a sophomore International Business and Economics double major, will serve next year as the Vice President of University Affairs. After serving as the Students with Disabilities Representative for two years, Wild decided to seek office again in the hopes of creating change for more students.
“I’ve seen the impact I’ve been able to accomplish for the last two years,” Wild said, “I can serve that population of seven or eight hundred students with their needs across the university.”
During his time as the Disabilities Representative, Wild was able to get a new full-time staff member hired, worked to change the finals schedule, increased awareness of disability issues, and worked on faculty and staff training.
When it comes to the issues he wants to address, however, Wild does not like to adhere himself to specific issues.
“I don’t really like to tie it down to an issue,” Wild explained, “I get to be reactive and responsive to needs that come up for the student body.”
Colleen Donovan || VP of Finance
Accounting major and Finance minor junior Colleen Donovan has been involved in Dance Marathon, is a member of the Beta Alpha Psi and is the captain of the Women’s Club Volleyball team.
During her time as the Vice President of Finance, Donovan hopes to work on issues such as a creating a student discount card that would provide students discounts at local restaurants, expansion of the light rail and providing ORCA cards for commuter students.
“I’m excited to be a part of SGSU and I can’t wait to work with the students here,” Donovan said.
Donovan has also enjoyed her time at Seattle University so much that she plans to return to Seattle U to do a Master’s program.
“I absolutely love the school,” Donovan said, “Once I…found my place at Seattle University, I fell in love with the school.”
Victoria Vong || Multicultural Rep
As the new Multicultural Representative, freshman pre-major Victoria Vong has major goals for her time in office.
“One of the things that this year I felt was part of my bigger goals was making making Lunar New Year a holiday that people have off,” Vong said. “I know too many people who have had to sacrifice a very important not just religious holiday, but a spiritual and community day.”
Vong also plans on doing a social media campaign that would pair photographs of students of various backgrounds with information about the person photographed on Instagram to combat
In her free time, Vong enjoys photography, making gifts and taking part in social action.
Vong is a pre-major but plans on potentially become a teacher. For now, she is looking forward to serving the student body with SGSU.
“We each need to try to combine what students are doing independently and try to maybe lift that up,” Vong said.
Kate Hannick || Executive VP
Freshman Kate Hannick, a Public Affairs and Economics double major and a Chinese minor, will be returning to SGSU as the Executive Vice President. Previously, Hannick served as a First-Year Representative for SGSU and has participated in student government throughout high school. Hannick attended St. Joseph Academy and was a class representative her freshman through junior year and the Student Body Vice President her senior year. She is also involved with Campus Ministry at Seattle U.
Hannick hopes to increase student presence in university decisions because she feels students have not been heard on certain issues that directly affect them, such as the current housing changes.
Hannick wants to lose the stigma that, “SU quietly fixes problems. I want students and maybe even the community to know that SGSU is there to serve them.”
Hannick also wants SGSU to take a more proactive, rather than reactive, approach.
Rasheedah McClain || Non-Traditional Rep
Rasheedah McClain, a junior psychology major, is next year’s Non-Traditional Representative and has some student government experience as a recorder in high school.
As the Non-Traditional Representative, McClain said that her main goal for next year is inclusion.
“I just kind of want to make other students who are my age or are in different situations feel like they do have a place here,” McClain explains.
McClain and one of her best friends are both commuter and non-traditional students, so McClain understands the troubles such students face when it comes to commuting and fitting in.
“We do not have a large representation,” McClain said.
Through her work with SGSU, McClain hopes to create better representation for students like herself and her friends.
When she isn’t busy with school, McClain enjoys crocheting, playing with her cats, reading and writing.
Claire Johnston || Athletic Rep
Claire Johnston, a sophomore political science major will hold the position of Athletic Representative for her second year in a row. She is a sophomore transfer student from Winnipeg, Canada and believes that she will be able to make a difference by working on inclusion with the LGBTQ community in athletics.
“This year, I have been working on an initiative called #oneteam. The initiative’s voice is to increase LGBTQ inclusivity and create more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community and athletics,” Johnston said.
In her spare time, Johnston enjoys singing and playing volleyball. She is a member of the women’s volleyball team and said that the position strengthened her personal connections, which has ultimately helped her overcome the challenges of navigating and networking as a transfer student.
“I think that I will be able to strike next year with the connections and relationships I have already made,” Johnston said.
McKenzi Bravo || At-Large Rep
Humanities for Leadership major McKenzi Bravo believes that her position as At-Large Representative will help her pursue her passion of making positive differences in other people’s lives.
“I find myself inspired by my peers every day at Seattle University. I have met a lot of really marvelous and passionate people. The best part of my experience at Seattle University [has] definitely been all the people I have met and I think that helped inspire me to run for SGSU.”
With her previous experience as a resident assistant at Campion Residence Hall, Bravo intends to use resources to make other students feel more supported and included at Seattle U. Inspired by her hobby of gardening, Bravo promises to make Seattle U a more beautiful place.
“Actually, I just inherited a garden at the Chardin and you guys are all welcome to check it out,” Bravo said.
The garden is by Chardin Hall and has bok choy, kale and peas.
Jorge Laborico || Junior Representative
Jorge Laborico will be the official voice of the junior class and seeks to ensure juniors get proper support from the university. He has previously served as the sophomore representative, a resident assistant and member of the Bellarmine Hall Council.
“I really enjoy my current experience in SGSU. I have been working a lot with things especially around the new housing advancement. Those projects and resources have really encouraged me to continue my work at SGSU,” Laborico said. “I just want to make sure the students know who I am and potentially recognize me on campus and see me as a resource. I also want to get to know the students as individuals as well as the two sides of a conversation.”
Matt Heffel || Sophomore Rep
From sunny Lake Forest, Calif., Matthew Heffel, the incoming Sophomore Representative, is a freshman finance major. He has previously been a member of Bellarmine Hall Council. In his new position, Heffel wants to represent his class and guide them through the rapid changes that a sophomore is bound to experience. Heffel also promises to make sure the class will aware about prominent issues that have been experienced in the past.
In his free time, Heffel enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming and camping.
“My involvement in the Bellarmine Hall Council and Assembly Council have given me the experience with working for students and planning and executing student led projects aimed at bettering the university and students’ experience in it,” Heffel said.
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