SGA hosts first senate meeting of the semester, introduces newest senators


Chloe Almendarez / Hilltop Views

Maloney room on the 3rd floor of Main Building set up and ready for the first formal senate meeting of the semester. Senate meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. and are open for anyone to join.

Student Government Association hosted their first formal senate meeting of the 2022-23 school year on Sept. 28. Led by student body Vice President Matt Gerrets, the senate inducted 11 new members and three new senators to SGA. 

“I was smiling the entire time,” SGA President Ella Ochoa said. “It was so exciting to see the returning (senators) and also fresh faces and perspectives.”

At the start of the meeting, the new senators — junior Chrissy Munafo, freshman Luis Rios and freshman Justin Trevino — were inducted by taking an oath of office. After completing an application, debating their platforms and participating in a short election process, the new senators were voted into their positions by the student body. 

“I’m really excited,” Rios said. “Before coming here, I really wanted to be a part of SGA – it was one of my main goals – so I’m really happy I can be here…for the people of St. Edward’s University.”

As freshmen, senators Rios and Trevino are beginning their college career with a jolt of energy, eager to serve the student body.

As senators, students have the opportunity to write legislation for the change they wish to see on campus. They may advocate for a wide range of issues, and as long as the bill is authored and sponsored, it will be taken to a vote on the floor. In her time as senator, Munafo hopes to accomplish the integration of a grant-writing workshop. 

“So many of our students and alumni go into nonprofit work,” Munafo said, “Across all disciplines, nonprofit work requires grant writing knowledge, but right now in our curriculum, we don’t have that many opportunities to learn the skills behind grant writing.” 

Over the next school year, SGA will hear a range of proposals and vote with student interests in mind.

During the remainder of the meeting, the senate voted on three important items of business. The first was a funding request of $500 for an Asian Student Alliance movie night, presented by SGA Chief Financial Officer Zack Burke. 

The second was a bill proposal aimed to address the changing of SGA election code, authored by senator Alyssa Galvan and sponsored by senator Emma Viquez. This bill targeted election codes in two ways: to change the SGA election period from 10 days to three and to require those running for student body president to serve two semesters in SGA to qualify for the position, rather than the previous no experience required. 

The third item was a resolution proposal to install community Book Club Boxes around campus. This resolution was authored by senator Nic Chuecas and sponsored by senator Chrissy Munafo. All three of these items passed unanimously in the senate.

“Everything the senate passes aims to positively impact the student body, and our newest legislation is no exception,” Gerrets said. “I am super proud of our senators and am excited to see what we bring up next.” 

After the presentation of new business, comments from the gallery were welcomed, followed by a final roll call that concluded the meeting. 

“We are just really excited to get started,” Ochoa said. “I think this was a great first formal senate meeting to set the tone for the school year.”