A total of 195 students voted in the Student Government Association (SGA) 2018-19 election. Some students won reelection and others are new to SGA.
Marisa-Nicole Zayat is president with her executive board being Thao Nguyen, vice president; Kyle Mazza, treasurer; and Adrienne Esposito, secretary.
Last year, Zayat served as SGA vice president. She said she regards serving as president as “an honor that the student body would entrust me with this large responsibility. Our main goal is to work on communication at all levels.”
She hopes to ensure effective communication between the executive board and the Senate, SGA and the student body and SGA with the administration, to “fulfill SGA’s goal of creating ‘a better Newman.’”
Zayat’s plans for the 2018-2019 year are “to work with the executive board this summer to get a good kickstart for the fall semester. We also hope to improve student turnout for events as well as offer students more opportunities to be informed regarding campus initiatives and decisions.”
Thao Nguyen ran for vice president because, he said, “it seemed like the next logical step since I was the sole freshman senator two years ago and the executive secretary this previous year.”
Nguyen said he wants students to not see SGA as a funding dispensary for clubs but as a vital organization that enriches the campus and Newman experience. For instance, Nguyen explained, “SGA creates partnerships between our university and outside entities and brings new things to campus such as a bike share program.”
Nguyen said that during the summer meetings, “you can expect us to have a lot of developed ideas ready for the next year.”
In order to accomplish better communication and implement new ideas, Zayat and Nguyen asked Esposito to join their ticket in the capacity of secretary, whose role is to keep the meeting minutes, ensure that senators unable to make the meetings are up to date and head one of the committees.
Esposito is serving for the first time on the SGA executive board. She said her employment as a scribe at Via Christi has prepared her for taking detailed notes and working with different personalities.
Esposito hopes her attention to detail will prove a valuable asset to SGA so they can push effective communication. In tandem with effective communication is financial transparency.
Mazza is serving his third year on SGA. He has served as a senator in the past; this is the first year he will be treasurer.
Mazza said, “The treasurer position will entail budgeting for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters, being the channel through which all SGA funds and transactions stream, working in conjunction with the business office and chairing the public relations committee.”
He is studying accounting and feels his studies have prepared him for bringing a new dimension of budgeting, financial transparency and financial representation to the treasurer position.
Mazza said his personal goal is to include a summation of the SGA funds online to ensure an accessible and transparent budget.
One of the senators, Emily Larkin, is double majoring in theater and communications and is the arts and letters senior representative. Larkin said, “There are so many science majors in this year’s Senate; I believe there is a necessity for representation in other areas.”
Her plans for the new year are to find funding for lights in the Jabara Flexible Theatre and the Performance Hall and work to ensure SGA regains a strong role concerning campus activities.
One of her long-term goals is securing funding to compensate future senators for their time.
“I know that a few senators from this year’s senate did not run for reelection because they felt it was hard to fit SGA into their schedule when they could be earning money during that time,” Larkin said. “I want to ensure that there is no reason the best person for the job cannot run in coming years.”
The following is a complete list for the 2018-19 SGA:
Arts & Letters Senator Representative:
Adult, Graduate & Nontraditional Senator Representative:
Nursing & Allied Health Senator Representative:
Science & Math Senator Representative:
Micah Vander Griend
Social Science Senator Representative:
At-Large Senator Representatives:
Aaron Van Ness