SGA Election 2017 — Meet the Candidates

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Voting for the Student Government Association’s elections is now open and will close at 4 p.m. on Friday. There will be a formal debate night with all candidates April 3 at 6 p.m. in Carter Auditorium. Hilltop Views will take part in moderating the debate.

You can vote here.

In addition, Hilltop Views will be interviewing the candidates for president and vice president on Facebook Live on April 4 at 5 p.m. Check us out on Facebook to watch! Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Candidates for President

Ben Griffith

Hello fellow Hilltoppers! My name is Ben Griffith and I’m a communication major (PR and advertising), expecting to graduate in May 2018, and I’m running to be your next student body president.

This is supposed to be a personal statement where we talk about ourselves and why we are fit to serve the student body in these roles. I do feel qualified to serve in this position, however it’s not about me, it’s about you. The Student Government Association is a crutch right now. It needs to be a tool. Being engaged with the student body, we can make Student Government the tool it needs to be. A tool to serve you.

I have been in the Student Government Association for the past two years, as a member of the senate and as the internal affairs director. Both of these roles in Student Government have allowed me to see different sides of the Association and how it works. We have to be a more involved association as a whole in order to better understand student’s needs and concerns. I know I am passionate about serving the students and I know I’ll be “With You” throughout my time as president.

Carlos Martínez 

Hello! I’m Carlos Martínez, and I am a political science major graduating May 2018. It has been my pleasure and honor to serve as your Student Body Vice President this past school year. I’ve been involved with SGA for the past two years and I would like to utilize my experience to continue to serve you, the student body.

During my time at St. Edward’s, I’ve served as a Resident Assistant (RA) and am an active member of the SEU Orchestra. Additionally, I have been honored to have participated in Hilltop Leaders and EcoLead. Through these roles, I have been able to cultivate relationships across campus. The activities I’ve listed above speak to our community.

Running isn’t about Cameron and I; it’s about giving back to the school that has given us so much. Everything that we’ve been blessed to take on is because of how special our institution is. Cameron and I strive to uphold diversity, transparency, connectivity, and sustainability, all for St. Edward’s. Our time here on the Hilltop has been incredible and it’s thanks to the wonderful people we’ve met – from peers to professors. It’s time to give back, with reliable experience. Visit to learn more!

Candidates for Vice President

Cameron Galvan (running with Carlos Martínez)

Howdy Y’all!

My name is Cameron Galvan, and I am a political science major expected to graduate in May 2018! I spent my first two years at St. Edward’s participating in the Army ROTC program where I got the chance to hone my innovative and leadership skills. Currently, I’m involved on campus as an Altar Server for Campus Ministry. I also serve as a senator for SGA.

As a senator, I am a member of the Senate Safety Committee and represent the student body in the faculty-led Academic Council. Aside from my involvement on campus, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a legislative intern during the 85th Texas Legislature.

Carlos and I are both fiercely driven by our love for St. Edward’s and you, the student body. Our plan is to focus on increasing the transparency of SGA along with strengthening student-staff connections. The relationships and experiences that Carlos and I have created this past year with faculty members is a distinctive quality in our vision for SGA. We believe that what sets us apart is that we both have the experience and connections within the administrative staff to be an effective administration. For more information, visit

Amanda Rodriguez (running with Ben Griffith)

Hello! My name is Amanda Rodriguez, and I’m a sophomore finance major and sociology minor. I’ve been a SGA member for approximately 2 years. I served as the chief financial officer during the 2016 spring semester, and now I am serving as the service director the 16-17 academic year.

As the CFO, I was responsible for maintaining and presenting the budget to association members. As service director, I find monthly service projects for members to attend. I have created strong relationships with other members, while doing service for the Austin community. Some accomplishments of mine include serving in positions, such as Co-Director of Special Projects for the Student Leadership Team and as a S.E.R.V.E. 1 Day Coordinator. I believe it is an accomplishment to say that I completely enjoy all my responsibilities.

My student leader positions on campus have required time management, creativity, excellent communication, and organizational skills, which I believe help qualify me to serve as the next vice president. What I do not know, I will learn. All student voices deserve to be heard, and students should be aware of the resources available them. The Hilltop is our home. Let’s make it what we want it.

Candidates for Senate

(There are 13 people running for 12 seats)

Carlos Alpuche

Hi, my name is Carlos Alpuche. I am currently a junior studying computer science. This past year I had the privilege of being one of your senators. I have been working hard to ensure that your voice is heard and want to continue the fight this coming year. This coming year, if elected, I will continue to work towards student problems and making sure your problems are heard and are addressed.

Caycee Arreguin

Hello, I am Caycee Arreguin, and I am running for one of the senatorial spots for the 2017-2018 school year. I will be graduating in 2020 in international business. I have served as a senator during my time as a freshman here at St. Edward’s University. I have sponsored legislation to ensure the safety and well-being of the students on our campus.

Serving on the safety subcommittee has educated me on what can be improved on our campus. I hope to continue working on some of the legislation I started on in my first term that relates to increasing vibrancy on campus, environmental conservation, and improving the safety of our campus

Josue Damian-Martinez

I’m Josue and I study political science with a minor in theatre arts. I pride myself in my ability to merge social justice advocacy with my Hip-Hop talents. Service is a crucial part of my life so I have dedicated myself to community involvement like S.E.R.V.E Austin and community outreach through music. My proximity to the student body allows me to identify concerns of my peers.

If elected, I will strive to engage more students with our university departments. I will work towards creating a stronger, sustainable community where all students feel comfortable in bringing their perspectives to the table. I am running for you, the people of St. Edward’s, and I ask for your support because together we stand better.

Miguel Escoto

Hey kids, let’s fight climate change. My name is Miguel Escoto. As a Student Government Association senator, I spent a semester trying to improve our Hilltop. Some ideas, such as my suggestion to add much-needed bicycle racks to the Village, are easy and small-scaled improvements to our campus. Other ideas, however, are monumentally impactful and large-scaled.

Solar panels, solar panels, solar panels. I am currently in the process of compiling a cost/benefit analysis of installing solar panels onto the roof of Munday Library— one of the campus buildings with the highest electricity usage. Allow me to continue working on this project as a senator. Let’s be the generation of environmental caretakers. Let’s reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible. Let’s rebel against pollution.

Manuel Esparza

1. Manuel Esparza, 2018, psychology 2. Senior Student Body President for High School Student Government, Fall 2014 to Spring 2015 3. Personal Accomplishment- Able to be open-minded and listening to others wants/needs. Professional- Promoted to manager and key holder at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. 4. Student Body President Senior year of High School 5. Member of Residential Programming Board 6. More involvement for off-campus students. Statewide issues would be living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Derek Hunter

Hello! My name is Derek Hunter. I am a non-traditional transfer student. I have already received an Associates in applied science and am now continuing my education in political science, expecting to graduate Spring 2019. I have already worked 10 years and can bring real world experience to the Senate and help develop solutions to Hilltopper issues.

If elected I would like to expand programs and outreach for international and national students to meet and discuss world issues affecting our generation. We can take on our world and start on the Hilltop! A vote for me is a vote for international teamwork!

Avinash Laudon

Avi Laudon ’19 (Transfer Student), history major/criminology minor. I want to ensure a peaceful and safe campus where everyone feels welcomed, supported and united, while being granted equal opportunities and resources. One of the most rewarding experiences for me was working against violence in the Massachusetts Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

I started a nonprofit when I was 15 and managed all business, financial, personnel, relief-partners, performance content and agreements. I’ve lived in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Georgia and Switzerland. I am passionate about civil and child rights advocacy, music, boxing, football, teaching and tacos. My name, Avinash, means “Indestructible.” In this past year we have seen a division within our country. Let our school be a safe place where all voices are welcomed.

Aldo Martinez

With many changes coming to St. Edwards University, I believe that communication will play a big role on campus. The Student Government Association represents the student body, but to an extent, only represents the people who go out to vote. I believe it is crucial that we get higher voter turnouts for the next election so that administration, and skeptics about SGA, believe that we are a well rounded group of individuals that represent the student body.

As a communication major, I’ve learned to listen and practice neutrality, report on events and political issues, and create a relationship of trust through critical listening. With an increase in voting turnout and a well sculpted representation of the student body, students will get the democracy they deserve

Brisa Martinez

My name is Brisa Martinez and I’m a sophomore studying international business. I am currently the vice president of Residential Programming Board. While on the Residential Programming Board, I’ve overseen the budget and helped plan events like Hall Olympics and Halloween Block Party.

I think my experience in RPB has shaped me as a student leader and given me experience that would help me in the Student Government Association. For example, I have been able to plan and lead meetings with the Executive REPs from each residence hall. The main focus for my campaign will be to have more comprehensive severe weather safety plans; to move toward a more sustainable campus with more hydration stations; and to make St. Edward’s campus more vibrant.

Isabel Martinez

Isabel Martinez, Class of 2019, criminal justice major. College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Scholar in St. Edward’s University.

I enjoy giving out my time by providing campus tours with CAMP for high school students and volunteering in the Austin community which made me gain communication skills. If senator, I do want to voice out opinions and issues inside the St. Edward’s community. I do also want to spread the word out about SGA and have the social media of SGA reach out to students and post frequently than it is now. I want students to know that SGA is a source that they can rely on and know that their voice and issues matter.

Sofia Ojeda

My name is Sofia Ojeda, I am a social work major graduating in 2019. I’ve participated in SGA for two years. My freshman year, I was an associate member of the senate and this year I am director of communications. As an associate member of the senate, I participated in senate meetings which facilitated my understanding of government structure. As the director of communications, my main roles are promotion of SGA on social media and working with other members of Cabinet for better student representation.

As a social work major, a lot of my community involvement happens at school or after school programs with low income students. This summer I will be working at Breakthrough Collaborative as a teacher with future first-generation college students.

Savannah Smith

My name is Savannah Smith and I’m an interactive games studies and studio art double major graduating in Spring 2019. During the 2015-2016 academic year, I was in the Social Justice LLC and volunteered at Casa Marianella. Also during that year, I was the vice executive REP for the Village. Currently, I’m a Resident Assistant in the Village, which allows me to receive continuous training from many departments on campus covering a diverse range of issues and topics.

My passions are deeply rooted in the humanities and the arts and I would love to be an advocate and representative for the visual studies department. Issues that I’m especially concerned with are sustainability, campus safety, technology, and development of campus culture and pride.

Andrea Theis

Greetings! My name is Andrea “Andi” Theis and I am running for a Senate position. Here at St. Edward’s I am involved in many different things. I am Resident Assistant and a member of the cross-country/track & field team. I am also active in Campus Ministry, participating in monthly praise and worship band “Jesus Jamz,” FCA, and weekly Adoration nights.

I am interested in running for Senate because I love the St. Edward’s community and want to be a part of bringing positive, meaningful and tangible change to the Hilltop. I hope you will consider voting for me. Thank you!