The Student Government Association at the Modesto Maidique Campus has started the summer semester by conducting bi-weekly meetings and have already begun confirming the cabinet. Showcasing its diversity and ingenuity, President Alian Collazo shared his hopes for the newly appointed and elected team.
“I feel very happy. I think we had a large pool of applicants,” said Collazo. “It is a very diverse cabinet, there’s a lot of greeks, non-greeks, [and] women.
“I think it’s going to be a great year and most importantly, they all have great ideas,” said Collazo. “Ideas that coincide with some of the ideas that [I] and Michelle have, and they have really good work ethics.”
Collazo explains that the majority of SGC-MMC this year is young, but he hopes to continue building new leadership opportunities within the council.
“I think it is important to build new leadership so that we don’t have two candidates running for SGA ever again. We want to have [more] students applying for cabinet positions,” said Collazo. “We want diversity [that is] not just colors and genders, but of ideas. That’s important.”
FIU SGC-MMC encourages students to get involved by following their Instagram and Facebook pages. Collazo believes having a presence, whether through social media or in person, is important for building relationships. However, he stresses that SGC-MMC cannot solely rely on waiting for students to get involved.
“We want them to work on engagement events on a bi-weekly basis so that we can engage different constituencies,” said Collazo. “No longer [will students] be saying that [they] have question[s] for SGA. SGA wants to ask [the students] what [their] question [are]. We can’t be waiting for [students] to come to us with the question. We have to go to [students] with the answers.”
With additional outreach programs and efforts, Collazo and SGC-MMC are trying to encourage more opportunities for students. Collazo wants to have more job fairs on campus to further student success, and would also like to see more students getting involved with the FIU in D.C. program.
SGC-MMC has been working with FIU in D.C. and with the Office of Governmental Relations to send students to the nation’s capital.
“We have trips planned to D.C.” said Collazo. “We want to bring our students to the new FIU in D.C. office. Something that student government invested in.”
Collazo is planning on putting together two trips: one for student leaders on campus, and also another trip for everyday students from different colleges, to have an experience where they can connect.
SGC-MMC will be working on the initiatives campaigned on Collazo’s ticket. His deputies will be working on supporting the transportation initiatives, namely a rider rewards program, and they will also focus on trying to expand the panther mover to other parts of campus.
Collazo also wants to concentrate on having strong relationships with FIU donors. “We live in Miami,” said Collazo. “We have so many people that want to donate, they just want to hear [about] it.”
This is in an effort to fundraise money for the SGA scholarship program that will be provided to first-generation students.
In addition, the Panther Rage committee is working on the homecoming event that will take place Wednesday, July 13.
“I want watch parties, for every away game that we have for our football team, to be held here in the patio of Chili’s,” said Collazo. “It’s possible, we can do it. I’m working on away games that are in-state to get buses filled with FIU students to take them to watch the game.”
The lobbying coordinator will be setting up visits throughout the summer with local representatives. Collazo said that they will be responsible for bringing them on campus and giving them a tour.
“We are going to walk them through with students to let them know [students’] priorities” said Collazo. “I’m talking about people in the Miami-Dade commission [to show] the importance of FIU expansion.”
“If they really represent the future of Miami-Dade county and they don’t stand for FIU expansion then we need to hear it from them, that way we can tell our students so that our students can tell their parents, so that the community knows ‘well this is someone who doesn’t stand for the future of our children.’ We need to be proactive about it,” said Collazo.
“We want to bring state representatives to know all of our students needs from Bright Futures to needs based financial aid [and] more mental health from the state,” said Collazo.
Collazo also discussed his five-year student government plan for the environment. One of his biggest efforts would be to have, starting with the Graham Center, solar panels in every building within that five year plan.
“How [can we] deal with the local companies that affect climate in our communities whether that be FPL or that be the restaurants on campus that have plastic and foam that are not good for our environment be our energy consumption? [Even though energy consumption at FIU] has been the lowest in the state, but how do we keep it that way?” said Collazo.
The newly elected and appointed SGC-MMC staff have begun tackling these tasks and have already started coming up with initiatives to reach students. With the fall semester slowly approaching, Collazo and his team are planning on having a successful term.
To find out more information about SGC-MMC, visit their office in GC 211, call 305-348-2121 or follow them on social media.