2022 SGA Candidates

Please note: All text has been posted as submitted to SGA. 

President

Photo of Edwin Medina in a black suit

Candidate: Edwin Medina
Position seeking: President
Year in school: Senior
Past experience in leadership roles: Currently I am the President of Student Government Association (SGA) and President of the College of Business and Technology (CBT) Student Advisory Council (SAC). I am also a member of the Executive Board for the College of Business and Technology. I previously served as SGA Secretary and Treasurer at Wilbur Wright College, and the President of The Latin American Student Organization. I was a student representative for a committee that developed initiatives for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and part of cultural event planning committees such as Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ History Month, Black History Month, and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American History Month.
Campaign platform: Have you ever felt as if no one is listening to you at NEIU? Are you concerned on how you will pay for college? Or are you having difficulty resolving an issue that is interfering with your educational experience, such as waiting for an NEIU staff or faculty to respond to your email? Facing these challenges is why I decided to run for SGA President. As a first-generation Latino student, I learned that college is HARD (trust me I thought about using my talents to make a living and realized I didn't have any *sad face*), and it's even more difficult when you're doing it alone! Especially if you don't have the right support to guide you through the process in obtaining your degree. I began to listen to students and found solutions to problems that were negatively impacting their educational progress. Students made me aware of the invasion of privacy with proctoring programs and I brought that to the Provost and he was on board with resolving this concern immediately. NEIU didn't have any official sports, but I came up with a bill and gained support from the university community that made it official that Division III sports would be back. I am in this role to represent the students, my job is to make sure that I make your experience at NEIU a positive one. But I need you in order to do this, and we can do this together. #LetsGetThisDone
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: Some of the issues that NEIU students are facing right now is that some of have adapted to attending school remotely, and as we transitioned back to in-person some students have felt that online learning has become a limited option and this does not allow them to have flexibility in their schedules. Covid-19 exposed the need for people to get better paying jobs. At NEIU there are still students that are paid the states minimum wage of $11 an hour while around the corner in Chicago the minimum wage is $15. Students need a higher paying wage. Another important issue is a lack of physical locations for students to unwind and de-stress, which results in a bland school environment that makes students want to leave campus right after classes. Lastly, we need more mental health resources!
How do you plan to address these issues?: The issues I mentioned need a starting point and it begins with a conversation and asking questions to administration. Students from College of Business and Technology, Goodwin College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Graduate Studies and Research all have different learning styles. I want to find out what these students' learning styles are so I can push for more online learning options. The Deans at the colleges need to know what students need from them in order to have a better learning environment. I will work very hard to make sure that they know this. Next, I'll introduce legislation requiring the university to increase its students' minimum wage. I've already spoken with several faculty members, and they agree that boosting the minimum wage for students will help boost morale. Creating the NEIU Appreciation Day was a great way to start making the NEIU community more vibrant. We need to make the spaces such as the student lounge more like your second home. We can achieve this by getting better furniture and redesigning the lounge or creating a mural that the NEIU community can help create. Like many other students I suffer from mental health issues and often times I find myself not being able to find the correct outlets to help me out with whatever is troubling at me at the moment. I want to create more outlets and resources to help students with their mental health concerns.
What would be your first action once in office?: My first action once in office is to create social events where SGA is able to engage with you and other students and learn more about all of your unique backgrounds while having fun. This will allow SGA to create strategies in order to start addressing issues that are impacting students. As a team I want to make sure we all take a piece of the pie and are able to break it down into smaller goals that will allow us to achieve a solution for you.

Photo of Belvet Trejo in a green shirt

Candidate: Belvet Trejo
Position seeking: President
Year in school: Junior
Past experience in leadership roles: The only time in my life where I felt like a leader was in elementary school. I volunteered for the position of group leader in our discussions, group projects and even won prizes for the work we contributed. In high school I became an introvert until I joined a poetry club that exposed me to speak Infront of an audience. My innate desire to be seen made it possible for me to tuck away my shyness in favor of exploring my extroverted side. I was part of a group of like minded people that encouraged my creativity and sense of belonging. I grew comfortable in that setting and by personal circumstances I did not force myself to go beyond the demands of the group. I continued to endorse strong leaders in my community by attending their art shows, poetry slams and events. I learned a lot of what a good role model should be and always guarded my dream of being In a leadership position one day. I feel the calling to a higher purpose for my dreams to take flight today at NEIU. The time has come for me to start living up to my full potential. Through your help and my hard work I plan on including being president of the student body as my first tangible experience in a leadership role.
Campaign platform: I believe that in order to have a safe and united community it is dire that we destigmatize mental illness by raising awareness and provide the resources needed to those who suffer.One of the most important aspects of the college experience is socializing with peers whether it be transfer, first year or seniors, we all share things in common and are all interconnected one way or another. I would like to encourage clubs and students to exercise their friendly dispositions in an effort to build a sense of community.I feel a moral and intrinsic obligation to promote eco-friendly practices such as recycling and practicing compassionate actions such as reducing the amount of meat and animal products we consume. Educating and leading by example is a great way to encourage a true change in the world.A major concern for college students is their development of interpersonal skills. Skills developed for the purpose of achieving goals and careers such as communication skills, conflict management, and practicing empathy. I want to help students graduate with the skills needed to not only pass tests but land careers and build solid connections with their colleagues.Lastly, I am a strong advocate for the motto of “Less Talking More Action” initiatives including volunteering, taking responsibility for one’s actions and promoting activism through radical actions.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: One of the most critical issues facing NEIU has to do with lack of student participation. In the classroom setting as well as in extracurricular activities, there needs to be a strong connection between student’s involvement and how their voice is represented.Furthermore, encouraging diversity in all aspects of NEIU by enforcing tolerance and inclusion both inside and outside the classroom is critical for positive learning experiences.Lastly, it is a critical issue for  NEIU to help college students in closing the foundation skills gap and acquire the skills needed for the real world.
How do you plan to address these issues?: Firstly, I would help destigmatize mental health illness by creating clubs that can hand out information and create presentations about tolerance and inclusive practices. It is vital we provide a safe environment for all students especially those suffering from mental illness by promoting conscious language and equality between physical and mental illness. Prompts around the school that inform students how many people in the U.S frequent a therapist especially since Covid-19 can help those who need a therapist seek one out.Student participation can be improved by creating a respectful environment in which students are encouraged to work in teams and build on classmates comments to create an accommodating environment for all types of personalities. To promote diversity I plan on reviewing and removing unintentionally discriminatory policies and encourage students of all backgrounds to apply for leadership roles.Fundamental skills can be taught by one-one tutoring sessions aimed at teaching specific communication skills and creating classes or clubs that teach real life skills, from balancing a checkbook to developing listening skills. Teaching   analytical thinking in the classroom can focus on the specific approach of a step-by-step methodology to break down complex problems into more digestible chunks.
What would be your first action once in office?: My first action would be to start getting to know each of my peers individually and in groups to really connect with them in an empathetic way. By forming connections I can establish a bridge between students and faculty so that policies can be created in favor of what’s best for NEIU. My mission is to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and respected to create  a safe and productive environment for those who attend NEIU and to further expand the message of diversity, inclusion, and tolerance to the rest of the world.

Photo of Nicole Vangelista in a white shirt

Candidate: Nicole Vangelista
Position seeking: President
Year in school: Junior
Past experience in leadership roles: Leadership roles at NEIU include serving the student body twice as an SGA Senator to create legislations, such as "Senate Resolution on Hazing Prevention" (2021) to ensure members of an NEIU organization are enrolled students to prevent an incident from repeating and hold accountability to protect NEIU students from outside parties. I have served twice as Student Life committee chair. I served as SGA Secretary during the fall term and was promoted to Chief of Staff for the Spring term.  I currently serve as a student representative on University Planning and Budget Council (UPBC). I have served as Treasurer and currently am the Vice President for Society of Physics Students. I also have gain leadership roles outside of NEIU. In my spear time I organize fundraisers for American Cancer Society, Domestic Violence Survivors, and Delta Alpha scholarship as the Fundraising Director for KDCHI's Chicago Alumnae Chapter raising almost four thousand over the last 9 months.
Campaign platform: It's not about making ideas; it's about making ideas happen to improve the NEIU climate in sustainable ways driven by transfer, first time, graduate, and returning students. Reform to bring back optional health insurance options for students and create navigation for students in need of health care access. Working towards minimizing costs for students while working towards sports coming to NEIU, looking into sponsorship deals to ensure low costs. Reduce the university ecological footprint through interactive educational collaborations. Work with university leadership to implement mental health days.  Create more accessible scholarship information relays.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: Student experience at NEIU is a critical issue, especially with the large volume of students who do not feel sense of belonging here. It goes further than covid-19 disrupting student engagement and interactions. In the fall semester I created legislation to improve conditions and endorse hiring an on-site engineer at the CCICS campus, relating to access to clean drinking water and facility issues. I heard concerning conditions students were experiencing in the fall term. These facility maintenance affairs are not exclusive to only one NEIU campus, and these issues are apparent to affecting the quality of academic and student life. Student experience is also believed by multiple members of UPBC (including myself and another SGA representative) to be affected by faculty being overwhelmed by workloads. This limits the abilities to provide student with support, a trickledown effect that can be vastly impactful for students and faculty. However, whether its resource related or environmental I believe the overall student experience is a critical issue NEIU students are facing. Students do not need excuses of low enrollment or faculty resignations affecting the quality of their education. Students need to be included in the conversations that affect every aspect of their overall education, leaving NEIU with more than just a degree.
How do you plan to address these issues?: Addressing this large issue is not an easy task, but it starts with engaging the entire NEIU community to strive to do better, for students to feel impowered to speak up and demand better. Just like when I was inspired by students talking about their want for sports at NEIU, I got to work creating the survey and starting conversations. Student feedback in the form of data is presentable to NEIU shared governance and/or university leadership to create thorough change by identifying problems or resource limits. Student experience is not driven by one individual or to serve only a small portion of the overall student body. I plan to involve not only students from the Main campus or online but making the efforts to understand what students are facing who attend the CCICS and El Centro campus that are often left out of the conversations. I also plan to explore issues that students of color are experiencing. I am determined to make sure all students have equal opportunity to not only be listened to but heard, even if someone such as myself could never fully understand what it's like to deal with those issues, they are important voices to heard. Since having the opportunity to attend the 2022 Model Illinois Government I have had my eyes opened to how important it is to be a voice for those who are intimidated, afraid, or being silenced. By taking an active role to advocate on their behalf we can work together as a community to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity in creating a better tomorrow. For students who feel silenced today, I will give every opportunity to create and give forward a platform for those voices to be heard. Addressing the issue goes further than just creating conversations, speaking on subject matter, or creating legislation in SGA. It is followed up by transparent accountability from the university and elected SGA representatives demanding to hold those accountable on behalf of the student body with transparency to ensure student voices are included.
What would be your first action once in office?: My first action in office is to prepare to support the student body to set the groundwork to improving student experiences by gathering the newly elected SGA representatives to work on a survey to pave the way to appropriately issues that NEIU students are facing. To work over the summer to impower, prepare, and encourage the new elected student representatives in their roles. Reaching out to student organizations and students in leadership to work towards more active engagements with students and find out how SGA can support our student organizations for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year.

Vice President

Photo of Itzel Lenaris wearing a black and white top

Candidate: Itzel Linares
Position seeing: Vice President 
Year in school: Senior
Past experience in leadership roles: Student Government Association (SGA) - Vice President (May 2021 - present) - My job is to lead with integrity, embracing our diversity to promote a cohesive and unified student body while also maintaining relationships with all our executive board members and representatives of the Senate and Council of Clubs. Undocumented, Resilient & Organize (URO)- President (August 2020 - present) - I help provide a safe space, and access to resources, leadership opportunities and a strong network of support and ensure Undocumented students' success in and out of NEIU while also challenging any denial of resources and programs to undocumented students.
Campaign platform: Honestly school is hard. Don't you think? Specially if you don't know how to navigate higher education or if you're simply having a hard time communicating with a professor or advisor. I was once in those shoes. As a first-generation undocumented Latine commuter student, I struggled to find my path in college, I'm not saying I still don't struggle, but I now know who to go to in the institution when I need help. I found groups of people that helped me get through many hardships, and one of those groups was SGA. I now am the person that I needed when I first started this journey at NEIU, and I want to continue helping others. I want to continue advocating for you, by writing legislations, connecting you to the right people, creating a welcoming environment, but mainly listening to you and what you need. My name is Itzel Linares (she/they), and I need your vote to continue being your Vice President.

Treasurer (as the Chair of the Council of Clubs)

Photo of Alvin Gutierrez in a gray shirt with the flying N NEIU logo

Candidate: Alvin Gutierrez
Position seeking: Treasurer 
Year in school: Junior
Past experience in leadership roles: I was first introduced to student involvement and engagement on campus during my first year at Northeastern Illinois University. I have been an event coordinator for Northeastern Programming Board (NPB) for three years now. I work to promote student participation by hosting a variety of social events on campus. I’ve also served as an Orientation Leader working with both first year and transfer students. Last year, I served as a Student Ambassador where I encouraged prospective students to consider NEIU as an option to pursue higher education. I currently hold the position as Co-President of Pin@y Club where we have the blessing of a culturally rich group of people from all different backgrounds. I currently serve as President of the Student Advisory Board for the University Honors Program. As of today, I am also serving as the current Treasurer of the Student Government Association and Chair of the Council of Clubs.
Campaign platform: I will campaign individually and collectively. First and foremost, I will have my own original flier that promotes my individual aspirations, achievements, and overall commitment to serving the student body as a whole. I will present my case to my classes encouraging students to vote in the SGA elections. Additionally, I will branch out and communicate the election process to my peers, friends, and current NEIU students via my personal social media pages. In addition to campaigning individually, I will also run collectively in a team of ambitious, student-centered individuals. I plan on visiting different classes to promote SGA elections and encourage students to vote as this matter ultimately influences the student body as a whole. I will ensure that the entire week of elections is productive. I am confident that this team will not only succeed in its pursuits, but effectively represent the student body in large through transparency, communication, and outreach.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: There are a variety of issues that students face as a whole. Particularly I believe that students oftentimes struggle with finding that sense of belonging and purpose at NEIU due to a lack of student involvement and participation. While we have extraordinary events hosted on campus from time to time, not many students are aware of the extracurriculars offered. Many times students tend to depart NEIU grounds right after class is over. However, it is evidently crucial to engage and partake in events that broaden one’s perspective and enrich the collegiate experience. I also want to further establish a sense of honesty and transparency with the student body. I think that oftentimes many things are unconsidered or not talked about. Sometimes the hardest topics to talk about are finances, advocacy, and perhaps even academic challenges. Regardless of the obstacles at hand, I want to establish a genuine relationship with the students. A type of connection that allows students to know that I am here for them. I will serve as an advocate and be the voice of the majority.
How do you plan to address these issues?: I believe that if there is a will there's a way. Addressing many of these issues requires great determination and the drive to overcome different obstacles. While in office, I will ensure that I use my voice as a tool to speak up and represent the students - ALWAYS. I will advocate for the unheard and reach out to those who may feel like outliers. I will do everything it takes to ensure that students feel that sense of belonging. I will promote social events by word of mouth, fliers, social media, and simply by connecting with students through interaction. I sincerely love hands-on experiences; therefore, I am usually present on campus for most days and during many different extracurricular events. During these events, I do my best to connect with students, get to know them, and arguably most importantly to always ask them for their input. I plan to ensure that we are not only inclusive but diverse in our programming for events as well as execution of student-centered learning environments. I will always reach out to different sources on campus and utilize my leadership team to ensure that I make appropriate decisions at all times.
What would be your first action once in office?: As Treasurer, I will most certainly ensure that the annual budget is maintained and distributed equitably amongst student organizations who come in request for funds from the Council of Clubs. I will guarantee that my team and I will act always on the consideration of the students and provide adequate transparency regarding the financial budget when needed. My first action in office, therefore, is to promote the Council of Clubs and formulate a team that is ambitious, hard-working, and student-centered. Throughout the fiscal year, we will work together in unison to ensure that the student dollars are fairly allocated to financially support organizations promoting social events that benefit the NEIU community as a whole.

 

Candidate: Megan Loftus
Position seeking: Treasurer 

Secretary

Photo of Lilly Madrigal in a black suit

Candidate: Lilly Madrigal
Position seeking: Secretary
Year in school: Junior (3rd year)
Past experience in leadership roles: I have served as an NEIU First-Year Experience Peer Mentor, Council of Clubs representative, Secretary of Student Government Association, MSTQE Social Media Content Specialist, and a Spin class instructor at NEIU's Campus Recreation.
Campaign platform: I will be campaigning via social media(instagram, tiktok, group me) and through tabling with flyers.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: A critical issue facing NEIU Students is the need for more involvement with commuter students attending NEIU.
How do you plan to address these issues?: I plan to address these issues by collaborating with different resources on campus to bring more events and awareness of involvement for our commuter students here at NEIU.
What would be your first action once in office?: My first action once in office is to bring more awareness to introducing sports on campus. Many incoming students ask about sports here on campus and I believe the best first step would be to address these concerns.

Candidate: Abigail Zavala-Nevarez
Position seeking: Secretary

Chief of Staff

Candidate: Brian Tran
Position seeking: Chief of Staff

Communications and Public Relations Director

Photo of Hannah Grajciar in a black shirt and jean jacket

Candidate: Hannah Grajciar
Position seeking: Communications and Public Relations Director

Photo of Javonti Mordican in a purple shirt

Candidate: Javonti Mordican
Position seeking: Communications and Public Relations Director
Year in school: Senior
Past experience in leadership roles: NEIU Student Trustee: This position taught me effective leadership skills, decision making, and how to advocate for a good cause, and when and where to implement change. Serving as the Student Trustee for NEIU gave me an even deeper insight into the institution than ever before, I have come to understand that NEIU is an institution that is thriving continuously to build a better learning community for our students. I have continue to stay motivated in helping to serve the NEIU community. Resident Assistant- The Nest: This position is student focused, naturally I am a person who values helping others and making sure that individuals feel tended to. Working as an RA here at The Nest has exposed me to a wider population of NEIU students; students from far and wide, personalities by the dozens. It has shown me that NEIU values diversity and that this institution will stand as one that is, home for all. I have had the wonderful chance to create programs that are geared towards increasing our students comfortability levels and giving them a space to connect with other students.  First Year Experience Peer Mentor: This was my first leadership position here at NEIU. The FYE Peer Mentor program acted as the diving board I needed to jump head first into the community of NEIU. Since then I have been connected every since, this position allowing me to establish and maintain positive personal and professional relationships here on campus. I was able to share positive experiences with students and have even kept up contact and strong mentor/ mentee relationship. There are some mentees I have form 2018 who I still know today, the FYE program taught me how to share empathy with students and meet them where they’re at.
Campaign platform: I began my academic career here at NEIU in the Fall of 2017. I am overjoyed to be running for your Communications & Public Relation Director for SGA. I consider myself to be a strong advocate for my peers. I am a person who is insightful, and innovative, I have the natural ability to take a small idea and work to blossom it into something great. I am constantly looking for new ways to improve. One of my core beliefs is that student voices matter; if chosen for this position I will make sure to have student voices represented- your stories deserve to be highlighted. I have a natural skill for motivating others, along with my ability to market myself and organizations well. I look to strengthen relationships with our campus departments, SGA is a important piece to student life and people should know what we and what we stand for. My experience as a first-generation college student has allowed me to analyze and observe what support and resources are needed for long-term success as a student and beyond. I am always looking for new ways to increase the quality of  things on campus to ensure that students feel at home when they step foot onto NEIU grounds. The NEIU community should be a safe, captivating, and fun place to receive your education. I want to expose the student government across the NEIU campus, I want to encourage those from the NEIU community to join SGA and to help fight our cause. I look to build and maintain relationship with both students and university departments.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: I have actively listened to the concerns and comments that my fellow NEIU students have made and what I have found is that students do not feel connected on campus, they feel as if there is not much NEIU has to offer them on a social level. Students have expressed that there is lack of activities, lack of community, and the lack of inclusion. More specifically the NEIU Black student population feels undermined and unrepresented here at NEIU, I have been in spaces where African American students have expressed wanting a area on campus dedicated to Black students where they can come together and build community. Additionally, I have learned of the issue of students experiencing racial stereotypes in the classroom and in their respective academic departments. This to me, is unacceptable and this type of behavior cannot be tolerated on our campus, we must stand for diversity and inclusion and most importantly, equality. Some students have expressed to me that some of their instructors have explicitly said hurtful things to them in relation to their citizenship status, race, and ethnicity. I see issues within our financial aid department, students often feel like there needs aren’t being met. They feel rushed into choices that will ultimately lead to them unnecessary debt. NEIU has a good track record for being able to graduate students with little to no debt cost.
How do you plan to address these issues?: Addressing these issues first starts by understanding where SGA falls short in connection with certain organizations and working to aggressively market ourselves and intentionally build partnership with campus faculty, staff, and students. As PR Director I seek to learn, and this means learning from those around me and those outside of NEIU, seeing how other schools market themselves and beginning to implement similar structures into SGA’s line of work. I plan to work hard to make sure makes an even stronger impact during my time in office. Lastly, brining certain issues that I am informed about or learn about myself to student government so that we can develop new initiatives and programs to help nurture the NEIU student population to ensure that they are getting exactly what they need. As student government, we understand that we are here to serve students and better the climate of NEIU.
What would be your first action once in office?: I want to start by going seeking insight form the NEIU community and members of SGA on what we need to do better, I want to know where SGA falls short as it relates to our Communications and Public Relations department. I want to know what is expected of us as an organization and work to meet the needs those who look to our organization for help. I want to know what would people like to see more from the Student Government Association.

Student Trustee

Photo of Syrice Howell in a peach colored shirt

Candiate: Shyrice Howell
Position seeking: Student Trustee
Year in school: Junior
Past experience in leadership roles: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. | Pi Nu Chapter                                         President (2021-Present)Vice-President, Treasurer & Secretary (2020-21) 
Black Caucus - President (2021-Present) Treasurer (2019-20)                                
Student Government Association - Senator (August 2021 - Present)
Campaign platform: I want students to know that I am a leader who prioritizes C.A.R.E., and I’m able to be a voice for all. My acronym C.A.R.E. means the following:Cultivate more collaboration with student organizations.Advocate for students needs academically, physically, mentally and financially.Reaching out to promote leadership while encouraging students to recognize their full potential.Ensure all student voices are heard, and action is initiated.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: There are many major critical issues I believe NEIU students are grappling with. One substantive issue is students expressing what they need as a student and them noting a lack of support from administration. Students should feel like they matter. Another primary issue is financial support. Students struggle financially which could prevent them from furthering their education. Additionally, student engagement represents a critical issue for NEIU students. Since COVID-19 student engagement has been decreasing. When students are engaged, this helps them want to continue attending school.
How do you plan to address these issues?: I plan to address students feeling support from administration by advocating for students' needs and what they feel NEIU lacks. After administration is provided the information, I will provide them the opportunity to seek ways to address students' needs. I would provide solutions to assist them as well. If no action is conducted, it will be my duty to do everything I can to ensure they grasp the importance of any issue students experience. NEIU needs students and should want to retain them. In regards to the financial support, I plan to meet with all financial administration to discuss ideas for students at NEIU to receive more funding. My hope is the longevity of financial support will be provided to current and incoming students. To increase student engagement plans will be made to sit down and analyze data collected for student engagement. Based on the data university administration and I can work simultaneously to implement innovative strategies. Once the strategies are executed, we can anatomize if the ideas were beneficial or pernicious. If the strategies remain, unhelpful efforts would continuously be done to help amplify student engagement.
What would be your first action once in office?: My first action once I am in office is to see what NEIU students truly need. I am here to represent the voice for all students & I want to make sure they are heard so they feel comfortable at NEIU. This means talking to individuals to grasp a more satisfactory understanding of students' life here at NEIU and their concerns. After students express to me what they require, I will do everything in my power to ensure resolution is taken place.

Illinois Board of Higher Education Student Advisory Council 

Photo of Francys Munoz in wearing a white shirt with an orange wall in the background

Candidate: Francys Munoz
Position seeking: IBHE-SAC Rep
Year in school: Junior
Past experience in leadership roles: Social Media & Outreach Specialist - Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Student Government Association (NEIU) - Council of Clubs Representative PR & Communication Coordinator - URO (Undocumented, Resukient, and Organized Leadership Youth Advisory Panelists with State Senator Adriane Johnson Peer Mentor at College of Lake County
Campaign platform: I am a Latina first-gen college student and currently a junior. My major is in Social Work, with a minor in marketing. I transferred to NEIU last year from the College of Lake County. I am passionate about creating access and resources to higher education for those who are currently starting their college process. I take on many roles like a student, volunteer, SGA representative, and most recently, social media analyst for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. I value equity, diversity, and inclusion in a higher education setting and at the state level because it makes sure that historically marginalized students have a voice on campus. These spaces of higher education were not originally meant for black students or other students of color. But we are here now and we are creating a door for those students that are barely beginning their journey into this new space. I want to create a welcoming environment and offer them the advice, counseling, and the shoulder to lean on that I wish I had. To me, equity means that every student at NEIU receives the proper help and resources that they need to reach their highest academic potential. Our campus is extremely diverse. The students and key staff work to create a space that embraces diversity and is inclusive. Our work in these fields is never over because we can always better ourselves and the NEIU community.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: I started in person at NEIU in the fall of 2021. I immediately saw a lack of unity among different departments, the needs of the students, and those who have the power to act on those needs. I want to bridge the various communities on campus. NEIU students have a strong presence and we take pride in our school. Together we can change the climate on campus and push NEIU to fulfill and show off the amazing work of its' students.
How do you plan to address these issues?: As IBHE-SAC I will have the opportunity to take our student's concerns straight to the state level and advocate for them. I also want to show off our school spirit to those interested in joining NEIU
What would be your first action once in office?: We want to bring spirit wear to NEIU!

Senator (10 positions; 1 specific to CCICS and 1 specific to El Centro, 1 resident of The Nest, 1 graduate student)

Candidate: Ardeshir Tabatabaei
Position seeking: Senator
Year in school: Freshman
Past experience in leadership roles: Having 2 masters degree in aerospace engineering have given me experience in leadership. My most recent new opportunity in leadership came from being a graduate research assistant in aerospace engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology where I worked on time sensitive projects that required organization and effective team work. Also, as a management board member of a consulting engineering company for nearly 10 years, I have gained lots of experience in leadership roles.
Campaign platform: Improving academic and students life to create a better sense of belonging for students at NEIU.
What do you believe to be the critical issue facing NEIU students?: Students don't have equal access to resources, either they are hidden to avoid spending money or are lacking in having enough resources for students in need. Students who need access to counselors that properly represent the student body and are able to fit the needs of the student body community. The lack of representation for students is seen to create a disconnection between the community and the individual.
How do you plan to address these issues?: Through surveying students’ body to collect data no issues to work on having conversations with the administration to collaborate on solutions for student benefit. Students deserve to have a larger voice and be included in conversations that affect students from academics to student life. Creating more student engagement opportunities that go beyond more than 1 type of student or student schedule.
What would be your first action once in office?: As a senator, my first action will be creating legislation that tackles the mentioned issues and having conversations that build on creating a better NEIU for all students whether they are transfer, first time, or a returning students.

Council of Clubs Representative (10 positions)

Photo of Destiny Davis in a black shirt with yellow text

Candidate: Destiny Davis
Position seeking: Council of Clubs Representative 

Candidate: Glenisha White
Position seeking: Council of Clubs Representative