University City Committee leader wins “Senator of the Year”

Cindy Hernandez/Contributing Writer

Daniel Irigoyen’s work ethic impressed his peers last semester.

“Whenever you would walk into the Student Government Association offices, he was always working on something, he never stopped being busy,” said James D’Cruz, recent alumni and former speaker pro tempore of SGC-MMC about the former Housing senator.

Irigoyen, a senior civic engineering major won Student Government Association’s “Senator of the Year” award for 2013-2014.

He was chosen by his fellow senators for this award due to his work in chairing the University City Ad Hoc Committee, an assignment that included the planning and execution of the University City Festival alongside the City of Sweetwater to promote the development of 109 Tower and foster the growth of Sweetwater’s relationship to FIU.

“I was told of this opportunity [on  Rules Committee] by James D’Cruz, our senator at large last year, who recommend me for its detail-oriented work,” said Irigoyen.

The committee was in need of detail-oriented people, and although Irigoyen’s background was not closely related to anything regarding politics, he said engineering helped him as a senator.

“[Engineering] requires someone to be thorough, and this helped me a lot during my time at SGA,” said Irigoyen.

“I’m not a fan of political analysis that only considers one side of the story, because it doesn’t form a thorough opinion,” said Irigoyen.

Irigoyen placed a high value on student input, noting that a student’s opinion mattered no matter their background in campus affairs.

The University presented unique challenges to Irigoyen’s vision.

“We don’t have that much housing compared to other universities. The other aspect is promoting a community atmosphere, which is a work in progress,” Irigoyen said.

Irigoyen found it easier to navigate through Sweetwater’s side of the partnership due to his past experiences in volunteering with the city as opposed to working alongside the school.

“It was harder to go about change from the FIU end because I am not affiliated with Greek organization,” said Irigoyen. “Greek organizations have an advantage in having experience with donations and fund raising.”

However, his work proved to be successful

“It began to hit when I saw all of the food trucks come together, along with the vendors and tents setting up and the people pouring in,” said Irigoyen.

This aspect of the University City block party event was led by Irigoyen.

“[He] did an amazing job in handling the logistics of all of the operations,” said Stefan Bahad, a junior finance major who was part of the University City Ad Hoc committee.

Irigoyen’s future plans echo the work he has already done for the University.

In his future, he envisions himself working in the public sector for the engineering departments of government municipalities, wanting to work with urban planning.

“In terms of SGA, it’s a minor scheme in what surrounds FIU and Miami, and having an elective position is small, but you’re still a public official and responsible for doing a good job and being as honest and fair a person as you can be,” said Irigoyen.


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