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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

ELECTIONS: An inside look at presidential candidate Mikayla Pastrano

Claire Lawrence / Hilltop Views

Junior Mikayla Pastrano is running for president of Student Government Association (SGA) alongside sophomore Austin Lane, who is running for vice president. 

Since her freshman year, Pastrano’s aim has been to make the best use of the resources available here on the hilltop. In her first year, clouded by the remnants of COVID-19 quarantine, she accepted the challenge of getting involved on campus and meeting people whenever possible. 

“My freshman year, in many ways, was a blur,” Pastrano said. “I came in, kind of on that cusp of COVID. So we were all wearing masks, everybody was, you know, just trying to find their way in life. So, I tried to get involved in any way that I could at the time, or something that kind of seemed feasible.”

She started off by joining Beta Phi Zeta, the Criminal Justice Fraternity, and began to meet new people and make important connections along the way. Next up was Campus Ministry retreats, where she first made connections with Student Involvement. Then, the summer after her first year, she applied to be a Parent and Family Orientation Leader, heavily inspiring her current goals for campus. 

“It definitely launched me into getting to know so many more people,” Pastrano said. “Knowing more how the school is run, what we stand for, what we do, what we can do better, stuff like that. Then, hearing the concerns of families. So it’s different seeing it from a student perspective, but hearing it from somebody who could be my mom, or my sister or brother.”

Pastrano’s campaign is centered around student voices, one of her largest inspirations to run. She and Lane are focused on uplifting student voices, making sure students are heard, seen and taken seriously. 

“Transparency is definitely on the top,” Pastrano said. “Especially with commencement coming up and everything like that. I want administration to hear that. To see that the student body wants answers. Sometimes it means asking the tough questions and sitting in on the awkward meetings, but that’s okay. I’ve already been in those situations. So let’s continue doing it.”

While transparency between administration, SGA and the student body is important to Pastrano and Lane, they want to start on a more basic level. Another goal is to work on a good foundation within SGA itself. 

“I want to continue and maintain strong communication within SGA,” Pastrano said. “Because if we don’t have strong communication, how can we help the student body? You know, so how can we strengthen our foundation to help the student body?”

Pastrano aims to strengthen the inner workings of SGA, not only to benefit the student body, but because she believes SGA should bridge the gap between administration and students. She wants that bridge to be as strong as possible so that it can serve both sides. 

“We literally went from a number eight school to a number six school and it was all within one year, two years,” Pastrano said. “That just shows the immense potential that St. Edwards has. I’ve seen that, not only in what the administration is doing like Dr. Fuentes, but what we can do as a student body. If we’re not putting ourselves out there, let’s act like a number six school, let’s step into those shoes.”

As president, Pastrano’s biggest goals aim at serving the student body and the administration alike. Pastrano is looking to create meaningful connections between every area and every person on campus. She and Lane want to amplify student voices and to help guide administration to listen and make change happen. 

“I am somebody of action and this isn’t just for president,” Pastrano said. “When it comes to, if I’m asked to do something, I’m not just gonna say, yeah, I’ll do it and then push it to the side. We need somebody who’s going to actually act upon it, who has measurable and achievable goals that can be done in the timespan that we’re running for and set up something for a greater time span.”

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About the Contributor
Lola Claire
Lola Claire, Life & Arts Editor
Lola Claire is a junior writing and rhetoric major with a concentration in creative writing and a double-minor in Journalism and Digital Storytelling. This is her second year working with "Hilltop Views" and first semester as Life & Arts Editor. Previously, she has spent time with "Hilltop Views" as a Staff Writer and as Assistant Life & Arts Editor. She is quite excited for this opportunity to learn and grow as a journalist. Lola loves writing, digital media, playing the piano and learning new things. She hopes to bring something new to the table and make meaningful connections along the way!

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