Adrian Suarez Avila/ News Director
The Student Government Council at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus has added a new member to its Senate.
In response to a vacant seat for the position of College of Arts and Sciences senator, students Vincent Rodriguez and Adrian Ulloa stepped up to assume the title.
Rodriguez, an economics major and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps., said that he hoped to bring the professionalism gained as a result of his experience as a Marine to a position in the SGC.
Informing those in attendance that he had taken the liberty to read through the Student Government Association constitution and attended the last four Senate meetings, Rodriguez felt that he was ready to hit the ground running, as he put it.
He admitted that he had met with SGC-MMC President Alexis Calatayud and another member of SGA over the past few weeks in order to start working on his duties for the position. He hopes to use his potential appointment as an Arts and Sciences senator as preparation for the upcoming elections.
Among the issues that he wishes to target is student graduation rates, mentioning that he wants to work toward ensuring students graduate in a timely manner.
Upon completion of Rodriguez’s speech, Charles Perretti, Senate speaker and graduate senator, entertained a motion for a suspension of the rules to initiate a question-and-answer session.
Alian Collazo, lower division senator and chair of the student advocacy committee, was interested in knowing about Rodriguez’s other involvements, to which Rodriguez answered saying that he was not involved in any other extracurricular activity.
Others were interested in knowing about Rodriguez’s strategy for communication.
Tomas Alcala, College of Architecture and The Arts senator and speaker pro tempore, citing that the College of the Arts and Sciences is the most expansive college in the University, wanted to know about Rodriguez’s plans to reach out to so many constituents.
Once Rodriguez was done speaking, Adrian Ulloa, a sophomore public administration major, took to the podium.
One of the current deputy chiefs-of-staff for the SGC Cabinet, Ulloa said that with a potential appointment as an Arts and Sciences senator he would receive the opportunity to continue advocating for the interests of the student body.
Ulloa’s list involvements range from being a resident assistant, peer advisor, and member of SGA working toward improving the peer mentor program.
“These example show what an SGA senator should be, which is someone that’s constantly advocating for students, that knows it’s not about [themselves] but the students,” Ulloa said.
During the question-and-answer session, Rhett Williamson, graduate senator and chair of the Graduate and Professional Student Committee, wanted to know why Ulloa was interested in leaving his position as deputy chief-of-staff to join the Senate when the semester is almost over.
Ulloa answered saying that he felt that the work done as a senator will provide him more opportunities to develop the skills needed for his long-term career goals, adding that he feels he can have a more direct impact on the student body as a senator.
He believes that already having knowledge of the workings of SGA will give him the opportunity to get straight to work if appointed as a new senator.
Once the candidates left the room the discussion commenced.
Alian Collazo, curious about Ulloa’s work ethic, asked SGC-MMC Vice President Tiffany Roman-Biffa to comment on Ulloa’s status in the Cabinet.
According to Roman-Biffa, Ulloa was very committed to his role in the Cabinet. She added that she believed he was interested in assuming a position as a senator during this term in order to prepare for the upcoming elections.
Nico Pasquariello, honors college senator, admitted that he was torn between both candidates, Ulloa being a personal friend and Rodriguez a Marine, which resonated with him.
For several senators, the looming issue was the vacancy that would be left in Cabinet if Ulloa were to be elected as a senator.
Williamson said that in the interests of there only being a few months left in the semester, he believed it best to leave Ulloa in his position in the Cabinet and gain a new member, as opposed to elect Ulloa and leave a vacancy in the Cabinet.
Williamson believed that Ulloa could have the same impact on the student body by remaining in the Cabinet.
At the end, the Senate welcomed Rodriguez as its new Arts and Sciences senator, with 14 senators having voted for him. The remaining three senators abstained from voting.