SGA appoints new senators amidst campus-wide decrease in student participation

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

With 26 more vacant seats to fill, the Student Government Association appointed three additional senators to the College of Music, College of Health and Public Service and College of Science at its Wednesday meeting.

The fall semester has seen lower rates of student engagement across campus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. SGA is one of the affected organizations and is continuing its efforts to recruit senators from every college.

“SGA has been doing many different things this year to recruit new Senators,” Jermaine Turner, Honors College Senator and Speaker Pro Tempore, told the North Texas Daily. “Our Vice President has sent out information to Deans for all colleges where seats haven’t been filled yet. The Senate officers are also working with the communications director to produce new promotional videos for our social media platforms to give more insight on what senators do.”

The first newly appointed senator is Sophia Vomvoris, a political science major who will serve as the senator for the College of Music. Despite not being a music major, Vomvoris received more than the 50 required signatures to petition to serve in the seat and cited her leadership experience in the Green Brigade and her paid position within the College of Music.

One of Vomvoris’s campaign initiatives is to create an online search portal where university students seeking accompanists can connect with other student instrumentalists. She is also determined to advocate for mental health and offer resources specifically catered to music students’ health and wellbeing.

“Student musicians, in general, are expected to divide their time between music courses, general college courses, musical ensembles and off-campus employment,” Vomvoris said. “Bringing in more programs like such, that are led by actual musicians for music majors, can create an awareness and develop methods to successfully cope with mental health.”

Criminal justice major Maleeza Silva was another appointee and will serve as the senator for the College of Health and Public Service. Silva said her biggest goal as a senator is to “minimize the engagement gap between the college and its students.” Silva plans to work directly with students to provide desired resources and events.

“Since we are a smaller college and I don’t think that we receive much recognition as some of the bigger colleges, I would also like to work towards increasing the promotion of said events as well,” Silva said.

The final appointee was Victoria Nguyen, a biochemistry major who will serve as a senator for the College of Science. Her campaign focuses on providing more funding to the college’s labs to further enhance the experience of hands-on learners. Nguyen also plans on bridging the gap between pre-medical majors and students on other scientific tracks.

“I have found that some of my premedical peers have chosen this route because that is the only career path they know of in the science field,” Nguyen said. “I want to organize career fairs for the College of Science that introduce different science careers to the students before wasting their time pursuing something they are not actually passionate about.”

The 26 senate openings cover almost every college, including a needed representative from the university’s Frisco campus. Those interested in serving on the SGA senate can fill out an interest form on Orgsync or connect through the organization’s Linktree.

 Featured Image: Senators discuss student involvement in SGA on Feb. 13, 2020. There are currently 26 open seats on the SGA senate, with openings in almost every college. Image by John Anderson

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Source: North Texas Daily