Opinion

In Their Own Words: SGLC Candidates Want Your Vote

The PHOENIX asked the students who are running for SGLC president and vice president to submit letters explaining why they are the ticket students should vote for. Here are their responses.

Pica and Mitchell: Student care and voice, community, action

Jason Pica II and Shaniqua Mitchell
Photo courtesy of Jason Pica II and Shaniqua Mitchell

Dear Ramblers,

The current student government does not represent the students. But, a new student government that does represent the students can and will start here, with Pica & Mitchell.

How can student government be #ForTheStudents if it doesn’t reach out to students to hear their voices? We ask you the following questions: Do you know where the SGLC office is? Do you know your class senators? Do you know when senate meetings are held?

If you have answered “no” to one or more of these questions, that’s a problem. Did you know that your SGLC leaders receive a scholarship for their service, and this scholarship is provided through your yearly student development fee? If not, how is it fair that SGLC leaders receive a scholarship for their service if you haven’t heard about it?

Our platform stands on four strong pillars: Student Care, Student Voice, Community and Action. We have found during our numerous encounters with Loyola’s administration that too often dialogue lingers without any action being taken. We believe action cannot happen unless community is formed — and community can only be formed if and when students are given the opportunity to collectively voice their concerns. Yet students will not voice their concerns if they do not feel cared for.

Both of us have the leadership qualities and experience needed to effectively hold the offices of SGLC president and vice president.

As the current president of the Black Cultural Center, Shaniqua has rebranded and rejuvenated the organization. In addition to currently serving as an SGLC senator, she is on the Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Diversity Council.

As the former president of the Pre-Law Society, Jason revived an organization that had been defunct for three years but now has more than 120 members. As a consequence, Loyola has recognized its large number of pre-law students and established an entire pre-law advising office. Furthermore, Jason is a research assistant in a psychology lab and a member on the Council for Student Success, which assists in overseeing Loyola’s Plan 2020.

When we see a problem, we gather the necessary knowledge and then take appropriate action. Remember the LUC to Mizzou demonstration from last November — the largest demonstration in Loyola’s history? We were the students who presented the demands of Loyola Black Voices to the administration and had private meetings with Interim President John Pelissero, Ph.D., which have resulted in changes to the Core Curriculum, freshmen orientation, UNIV 101 and much more. In addition to presenting the demands of Loyola Black Voices, on the same day, we presented the demands of Students for Justice in Palestine, Students for Worker Justice and the demands for revising the demonstration policy.

Furthermore, together we will offer a participative-based leadership approach, where students and registered student organizations will be offered the opportunity to sit at the decision table and even lead various student government initiatives. We promise to meet each student where they are at. SGLC can no longer ask students to come to it when they have issues. Instead, SGLC must start reaching out a caring and loving hand to guide students to a listening ear. We have many initiatives in our platform that we will work toward achieving, but we only want to make one promise — and that promise is to listen to your concerns.

The Pica & Mitchell ticket will dedicate its year in office to students from the start. Sure, other tickets have had more SGLC experience than us, but have you been heard by those candidates throughout their years involved with SGLC? If not, you are not alone.

To every Loyola student, no matter what you look like, where you’re from or who you love: Your voice matters, and it’s about time SGLC starts addressing your concerns. SGLC has got to be for the students — anything less is absolutely unacceptable. A vote for Pica & Mitchell is not just a vote for a moment, but a movement toward a better Loyola.

#ItStartsHere with Pica & Mitchell. More specifics on how we will implement our platform can be found at www.picaandmitchell.com.

Eager to hear your voices,

Jason & Shaniqua

Jason Pica II is a junior political science major. Shaniqua Mitchell is a junior psychology and human services major.

Chavez and Roberts: Empowerment, advocacy, excellence

Mariana Chavez and Adam Roberts
Photo courtesy of Mariana Chavez and Adam Roberts

Fellow Ramblers,

As the current president and vice president of the student body, we are blessed with the opportunity to see an ignited and devoted passion within our Loyola community every day. Moreover, we are able to understand both its strengths and weaknesses through a lens which is unique to the two of us. It is through this lens that we find experience and a renewed energy for service, and it is with these qualities that we look forward to serving as your student body president and vice president for another term.

In the interest of being fully honest in our positions and what we have done since we took office, we want to note that we have only been serving in these specific roles for the past two months. After a change in leadership at the beginning of the second semester, we found ourselves in new places which required devotion, focus and most importantly, humility.

SGLC has been through a few rough patches this year. However, these moments have only strengthened our hope for the future of the organization. We have found areas to grow, recognized new needs and identified the importance of internal and external communication.

Similarly, we have discovered the relevance and applicability of the Student Promise in our approach to leadership. The idea of caring for self asks us to recognize the need for personal fulfillment before obligational commitment. Our strength in leadership comes from making sure our energy originates first from a place of self-care. The idea of caring for others has been pertinent to building communicative bridges, which in turn has ensured openness and healthy relationships. Extending to the tenet of caring for community, we have found the importance of opening our hearts so as to have more open minds. While having an open mind is integral to conversation, having an open heart assures pure intent and motivation. Therefore, we have been able to truly live out the ideal of caring for community through actively listening to the concerns of students from all places in our community.

Similarly, our platform echoes our hopes for a united community in the following areas:

Holistic Empowerment

Our understanding of community is rooted in the Jesuit tradition of relationships and solidarity. The nature of a community asks for inclusivity. Furthermore, inclusivity asks for openness and accessibility. We recognize the past year at Loyola has not always offered students the ability to engage in positive dialogue with faculty and administration. We see this lack of connection as a hindrance to not just change, but also to unified empowerment. Therefore, we propose engaging and promoting more conversations across campus — between students, faculty, workers, administrators and Rogers Park community members alike. Empowered students are an empowered community.

Student Advocacy

We continuously see sincere devotion on our campus. Students not only see a need for change, but they actively work to impart positive change both within our Loyola community and the greater world. The importance of student-based advocacy is essential to developing global citizens with a care for social responsibility. Accordingly, we fully intend to continue efforts which support the system of shared governance, gender equality and mental health awareness and resources.

Committed Excellence

As members of SGLC, we fervently believe leadership is neither positional nor nominal. Rather, it is a lived, daily experience which is dedicated to personal and organizational growth. Similarly, it is our shared vision to offer regular opportunities for servant-based leadership which will allow SGLC to further recommit itself to you, for you, and with you.

We envision a more united Loyola that is rooted in community.

It has been an absolute honor to serve you thus far, and we look forward to serving you again in the coming year. Please, vote Mariana & Adam for a continued commitment to the building of relationships!

In Maroon and Gold,

Mariana and Adam

Mariana Chavez is a junior political science major. Adam Roberts is a sophomore communications and sociology major.

Flowers and Henry: Wellness, inclusion, sustainability

Mike Flowers and George Henry
Photo courtesy of Mike Flowers and George Henry

Fellow Ramblers,

We are honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to become the next president and vice president of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC)! Unlike the other candidates, our campaign is about more than simply making promises to the students of Loyola. It’s about how we will make long-term commitments, follow through with the issues and initiatives that matter to you and actually make significant progress with our actions.

With more than five years of combined leadership experience in SGLC and our long-time dedication to the students of Loyola, we will not only represent the student voice, but we will also empower students and organizations to collaborate together. We will encourage Loyola’s administration to utilize SGLC when making decisions, and most importantly, we will follow through with every commitment we make.

It is one thing to discuss and debate all the issues and initiatives on campus, but it is another to put words into action and collaborate with students and administrators to initiate change. We believe it is critical for SGLC to support all initiatives on campus, but there are several initiatives in particular that we are actively committed to and will pursue if elected. They include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Student Wellness

We strongly believe that student wellness and campus safety should be a top priority for SGLC. Over the past several years, students have voiced their concerns about safety around campus and the lack of care provided by the Wellness Center. We understand the need for proper education and assistance regarding sexual assault and abuse, and we will implement promotional programs with the Wellness Center to guide and protect students. We not only hope to develop additional assistance programs, but we will also work closely with Wellness Center administration and encourage partnership with the Loyola University Medical Center to restructure the Wellness Center into a proper care clinic for students.

Everyone can agree that security is also a top priority for students and administration. However, we can only implement security solutions by partnering with the Rogers Park and Edgewater aldermen, Joe Moore and Harry Osterman. It is imperative that SGLC build strong relationships with the Office of Community Outreach and local authorities to be able to provide them with student feedback and to initiate realistic solutions. With our experience working with administration and students in these areas, we fully understand the issues and challenges that will be faced during this process; however, we will be the ones to take the necessary steps to make our goals and initiatives a reality for students.

Diversity & Inclusion

In order for Loyola University Chicago to advance diversity and inclusion programs within all of its departments, it is necessary for SGLC to advocate for students of color and all minority groups. We will develop a Diversity and Inclusion Committee within the executive team of SGLC. This committee would be composed of members of the administration: namely, members of the Student Development and Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs offices, leaders from a diverse group of organizations and the chief diversity officer of SGLC. We look forward to working with this group, and we hope to enhance all diversity programs at Loyola and increase scholarship opportunities to attract prospective students from Chicago.

Workers’ Rights

We believe it is imperative that SGLC builds a strong relationship with the Students for Worker Justice group and works with the administration to make the Jesuit Just Employment Policy a reality at Loyola by spring 2017. It is critical for efficient and transparent dialogue to continue between Loyola, Aramark and Unite One, the union representing Aramark workers, to ensure contracted workers on our campuses are paid living wages and are given proper benefits.

The Green Initiative Fund & Sustainability

Loyola is the fourth greenest university in the United States for many reasons. It is our goal to continue promoting The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) through SGLC and work with the administration throughout the creation of a Sustainability Committee for the university. Mike has worked with SGLC’s chief sustainability officer and the Facilities & Transportation Committee to ensure TGIF is sustained at Loyola and that the administration understands the importance of collaborating with SGLC. We aim to secure current and future funding for TGIF initiatives that can become long-term initiatives for Loyola’s sustainability efforts.

Food Recovery Network & Community Outreach

Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus is situated in two of the most historic communities of Chicago: Rogers Park and Edgewater. We believe SGLC should encourage and foster community engagement and local business development. For the past three years, Mike has worked closely with the Office of Capital Planning to advocate student opinions on business development in the surrounding communities. Mike currently works with the Office of Student Development to re-evaluate the Rambler Bucks program, increasing business participation in it by making joining more affordable.

Furthermore, SGLC has recently developed the Food Recovery Network Committee (FRN), which is in its premature stages of becoming a registered student organization. The FRN seeks to ensure that Loyola donates all leftover food from dining halls and retail locations to surrounding food depositories and homeless shelters. Mike currently serves as the treasurer and dining hall coordinator, and with our successful collaboration with administration, we hope FRN becomes a registered student organization no later than fall 2016.

Our campaign is not about us; it’s about you and how we can make #yourloyola a Loyola you’re proud to be a part of. It’s time for the leaders of SGLC to support all students, all organizations and all campus initiatives! Support us and vote Flowers|Henry via your Loyola email account. ( Visit www.flowersandhenry.org to learn more about our commitment to you!)

Sincerely,
Mike Flowers & George Henry

Mike Flowers is a junior information systems and management major. George Henry is a junior marketing major.

Editor’s note: Jimmy McHugh and Craig Paulson did not respond in time to be published.

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