2024-2025 Student Government Association Candidate Information


Ken Hester

Candidate Name: Ken Hester

Running for the position of: President

Year in school: Junior

Past experience in leadership roles: Senator, Community Health Worker, Outreach Worker, Community Organizer, ROTC Officer, CEO, Retail Manager

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: A lack of proper funding for capital projects, campus maintenance, staffing and increased course selection. NEST housing issues as well.

How do you plan to address these issues?: By petitioning the legislature to increase our funding levels, organizing fundraisers and increasing enrollment outreach reach and drives, meet wit American Campus Community and the administration to get a concrete commitment.

What would be your first action once in office?: To appointment a standing joint committee to immediately investigate these issues and to report back in 30 days with feasible recommendations, meet with the administration to review and discuss these challenges and strategies to address them on a expedited timeline.

Daniela Navarrete

Candidate Name: Daniela Navarrete

Running for the position of: President

Year in school: Junior

Past experience in leadership roles: 

  • SGA Vice President, Northeastern Illinois University (Fall 2023—Summer 2024): I chaired Senate meetings to facilitate discussions effectively, ensuring the conduct of legislative business with a keen application of parliamentary rules for order and productivity.
  • SGA Vice President, Wilbur Wright College (Summer 2022 - Summer 2023): I served as the primary liaison between SGA and recognized clubs/organizations, fostering enhanced communication and collaboration, and played a key role in the planning and coordination of events for student clubs, providing leadership training in various key areas. 
  • President, Veterinary Career Club (Fall 2021 - Summer 2022): Led the initiative to educate peers on veterinary careers, providing opportunities for engagement and success in the veterinary field through various activities and informational sessions. - Involvement Ambassador, Student Activities Department
  • Wilbur Wright College (Fall 2021—Summer 2023): I acted as the first point of contact in the Student Activities Department, facilitating students' connections with campus clubs and organizations and supporting the project management of cultural, social, and educational events throughout the academic year.

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: My journey at NEIU as a transfer has shown me the unique needs within our student body. Students are looking for more activities that bring us together, support that makes everyone, especially international students, feel at home, and practical things like a meal plan and jobs on campus. We also need better ways to get around between colleges by bringing back NEIU shuttle buses and having more chances to talk directly with those who make big decisions for us through consistent student panels. I've seen how important it is for incoming freshmen and transfers to have fun and connect, for all of us to have good places to live and learn, and for our campus to welcome everyone. We should be doing more to protect our planet here at school, teach each other about different cultures, ensure everyone feels safe, especially women and LQBTQAI students, and get into new tech. Plus, we all need some downtime to relax and events that make weekends fun.

How do you plan to address these issues?: It starts with listening – really hearing what students want and need, just like listening to the quiet signs of how animals communicate (I'm studying to become a veterinarian). I plan to bring together students, staff, and teachers. By fostering open dialogues like those town halls I organized, we can pinpoint exactly what needs to change. I'll also push for more support systems, like advisors who can guide us and get to know us, through the one-stop shop we are planning to estate in the old bookstore to connect students with the administration here on campus. And I won't forget about making NEIU greener and more inclusive or setting up those much-needed shuttle services.

What would be your first action once in office?: My first step would be assessing the situation. I like to organize a big-time, so a campus-wide event that gets everyone out and talking, maybe something fun like Wilbur Palooza but with a twist for NEIU, focusing on hearing directly from students. It'll be a chance to share ideas, worries, and dreams. This event will be our starting point, a way to lay out all the issues so we know exactly where to start, making NEIU a better place for everyone.

Vice President

Alex Dolgin

Candidate Name: Alex Dolgin

Running for the position of: Vice President

Year in school: Sophomore

Past experience in leadership roles: Assistant Manager, High School SGA secretary

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: One critical issue in NEIU is the lack of communication. Right now I feel like a lot of students do not know where to go with issues. And in turn, I feel like faculty do not communicate effectively what can be done.

How do you plan to address these issues?: I plan to address this through not only tabling and being involved now, but throughout the next school year. I also am dedicated to spreading a sheet for people to anonymously contact the SGA about problems.

What would be your first action once in office?: My first action would be to spend a day outside and introduce myself more. As it is now, I have the goal of winning so it is hard to truly get to know me. However I want to be approachable so the best way is by being on campus talking.

Candidate Name: Damian Orozco

Running for the position of: Vice President


Lea Brecel Limon

Candidate Name: Lea Brecel Limon

Running for the position of: Treasurer

Year in school: Junior

Past experience in leadership roles: During my time at Oakton College, I am the President for Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Pilipino in Alliance Yearning for Opportunities (PAYO). When I transferred here at NEIU, I took on roles as the Logistic Chair of Northeastern Programming Board, SGA-Council of Clubs Representative, Pin@y Secretary, and a player for NEIU Women's Volleyball Club

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?

  1. Attendance issues among students at events
  2. There are no shuttle services provided between the three campuses
  3. Food options in the cafeteria and the time frame that it is only open until a certain time and sometimes closes earlier.
  4. Lack of awareness among students regarding available resources, hindering their ability to utilize them effectively

How do you plan to address these issues?: 1. To address the issue of students not being aware of available clubs and campus events, I propose to implement Collegiate Link as a primary communication platform. By leveraging Collegiate Link, students can easily access information about ongoing clubs, upcoming events, and campus activities. This centralized platform will serve as a hub for students to discover opportunities for involvement and engagement. Additionally, by encouraging club leaders and event organizers to actively update their profiles and post about their activities on Collegiate Link, we can enhance visibility and attract more participation from the student body. (2-4): Collaboration with my peers on how to solve these problems.

What would be your first action once in office? My first action in office will be to engage with all club leaders and convene a workshop. In this workshop, student leaders will undertake the task of updating their Collegiate Link profiles. This entails ensuring accurate representation of individuals holding e-board positions and providing the correct primary contact information. This initiative aims to enhance the clarity and accuracy of Collegiate Link, showcasing active clubs along with their past and upcoming events. Concurrently, we will address the need for updating bylaws to ensure consistency across all clubs and organizations. Furthermore, the workshop will equip student leaders with the necessary skills to formulate budget proposals and provide guidance on best practices when presenting budgets.

Sai Nikhil Reddy Jakka

Candidate Name: Sai Nikhil Reddy Jakka

Running for the position of: Treasurer

Year in school: Second Semester as Grad Student

Past experience in leadership roles: As a student leader back home, I actively organized Community Development Initiatives like Plantation Drives, Blood Donation Camps, and Road Safety Awareness Campaigns. I coordinated efforts to plant over 500 trees, contributing significantly to the Green Initiative Program and sustainability goals. My involvement in the Road Safety Awareness Campaign led to improved awareness and reduced accidents on campus roads. These initiatives reflect my commitment to service and leadership. My experience in organizing and leading these impactful programs demonstrates my dedication to making a positive difference.

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: As an International student myself, I know the hardships faced by students in general, from housing to funding, student employment opportunities, scholarships, lack of moral support, and encouragement towards student success. One important issue that needs to be addressed is the lack of belongingness that students experience at school, especially international, exchange, and transfer students. I observed that many of these students do not engage in or participate in events because they feel they do not have a place or group representing them. I will work on addressing all these critical issues faced by our students.

How do you plan to address these issues?: As a firm believer in student voices, I will make sure that we collaborate and coordinate with all student organizations to promote goodwill by addressing their concerns and plan to work on solving the issues of our students by creating a way for them to voice their opinions. I will also make sure to encourage all the students to actively participate in events so that they can take some time off from classes and make meaningful connections with each other. Overall, my focus will be on increasing student engagement and also towards establishing a positive environment in and around campus.

What would be your first action once in office?: I will plan a meeting with the student leaders of all student organizations and will discuss on how to promote student engagements at their events. I will also make sure that our representatives are working with these student organizations individually to establish a better relationship. I believe that student government and all student organizations should collectively put some effort to achieve the common goal of serving our student community at university.


Hien Nguyen

Candidate Name: Hien Nguyen

Running for the position of: Secretary

Year in school: Junior

Past experience in leadership roles: Reflecting on my past experiences in leadership roles, I've discovered a profound learning curve. From helping to organize campus events to leading study groups, each instance has taught me invaluable lessons. Facing diverse challenges, I have learned many critical skills in communication, delegation, and problem-solving. Through these experiences, I've realized the significance of empathy and adaptability in effective leadership. As a university student, these experiences have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth, preparing me for future endeavors.

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: Critical issues facing NEIU students include access to affordable education, mental health support, and resources for academic success. In addition to that I believe that campus safety, diversity, equity, and inclusion are significant. Addressing these challenges requires collaborative efforts from the university administration, faculty, and student body to create a supportive and inclusive environment.

How do you plan to address these issues?: To address critical issues facing NEIU students, I propose implementing initiatives focused on affordability, mental health resources, and academic support. This involves advocating for increased funding for scholarships and financial aid, expanding counseling services, and providing workshops on stress management and study skills. Additionally, I will focus heavily on students' safety on campus, making sure every students in NEIU feels safe being on campus and feels like they belong on campus.

What would be your first action once in office?: My first action upon taking office would be to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of critical issues facing NEIU students. This would involve gathering feedback through surveys, focus groups, and meetings with students to identify priority areas for intervention. Effective communication and collaboration with university administration, faculty, and student organizations would be key in implementing these initiatives swiftly and effectively.


Itzel Linares

Candidate Name: Itzel Linares

Running for the position of: Trustee

Communications and Public Relations Director

Candidate Name: Tymeka Lowe

Running for the position of: Communications and Public Relations Director


Candidate Name: Asianna Martin

Running for the position of: Senator

Year in school: Graduate Student

Past experience in leadership roles:

  • Senator - NEIU SGA (Graduate) 
  • Treasurer - PRSSA at EIU (Undergrad) 
  • Co-Founder - Prestigious Pantherettes (Undergrad) 
  • Senior Welcome Leader (Undergrad) 
  • Co-Founder - Elite Elegance (Undergrad) 
  • EIU Student Dining Service Manager (Undergrad)

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: The critical issue that NEIU students face is access to food services on campus outside of weekday hours. Food services on campus are closed at a specific time of the day, and many people are looking to eat a meal before a night class or want to grab a meal for dinner. However, all the food services are closed around the evening time of the weekday when it is time for dinner or night classes and weekends so students would not have access to on-campus dining services until Monday morning.

How do you plan to address these issues?: I plan to address these issues by working with Student Affairs and other University officials to create an affordable meal plans where students can be able to have a meal plan and can still have an affordable tuition that continues to increase the student retention rate at NEIU. As a former dining hall worker, it is important that students have access to quality affordable meal plans that are open throughout the school year and dining halls where it is open on both weekends and weekdays.

What would be your first action once in office?: Once in office, my first action is that I plan to work on creating affordable, dynamic meal plans for students when students purchase their room and board for the upcoming school year. Next, I will work alongside other SGA members to bring safe and reliable on-campus transportation around on-campus and off-campus for students who do not have access to transportation.

COC Representative

Hesed Gaiya

Candidate Name: Hesed Gaiya

Running for the position of: COC Representative

Year in school: Sophomore

Past experience in leadership roles: I've really enjoyed my time as a camp counselor, and serving on various boards in high school(I even got to be president for some). These roles have taught me so much about leadership and the importance of community engagement. After taking a well-deserved break, I'm feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back to things that concern the students. I'm eager to apply what I've learned and start making a positive impact again. It's important to me to use my experiences to really help improve the system and also bring different things to the table that support students, and understanding what event they would love to see!

What do you believe to be the critical issues facing NEIU students?: I think a critical issue NEIU students face is the lack of engaging, cost-effective events that cater to a diverse student body. Organizing events that are both enriching and affordable can be tough. Also, tapping into the talents within the university community can lead to innovative, low-cost programming.

How do you plan to address these issues?: To address these issues, I plan to collaborate with student organizations, and maybe even faculty, and staff to brainstorm creative event ideas that are both engaging and cost-effective. I believe in seeking sponsorships from local businesses and organizations to secure financial support and resources can honestly help both us and our community. But also again by leveraging the talents and skills within our university community, we can develop unique and affordable ways that honestly caters to the diverse interests of NEIU students. Lastly really utilizing digital platforms for some events can also cut down on expenses while reaching a broader audience. It's important to prioritize events that not only entertain but also support students, creating a more holistic university experience.

What would be your first action once in office?: Once I'm in office, my first action would be to meet with student representatives to understand their most pressing concerns or event events that they would love to be looked at . I want to establish open lines of communication between the student body and the office, ensuring honestly their voices are heard and their needs are addressed no mater how big and how long it might take.