New SGA college of communication senator brings diverse perspective


Kiersten Riedford

Senior Paria Ghanderia was appointed as Student Government Association (SGA) College of Communication senator at last week’s SGA meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Entering the room to thunderous applause from the Student Government Association (SGA) general body, it was clear to senior Paria Ghaderi that she had been appointed the new senator for the College of Communication. After a brief speech by Ghaderi to the general body introducing herself and expressing interest in the senator role, SGA held a closed door discussion to determine her future in the organization, one that ended in Ghaderi’s favor.

“I [was] interested in student government before, but I wasn’t sure what it would be like,” Ghaderi said. “Today’s meeting really reassured me that I’m going to like it here.”

SGA appointed Ghaderi for the senator role after it was left vacant by the previous College of Communication senator, sophomore Avery Schoenhals, who is now the SGA executive vice president for facility operations. 

“[Ghaderi] was the first person who came to mind when I was thinking through College of Communication students I know who would be able to really serve as an effective representative,” Schoenhals said. 

Ghaderi believes her involvement in the College of Communication, most notably as the vice president of DePaul’s Public Relations Student Society of America, gives her a unique advantage in her senator role. 

“I know the ins and outs of the College of Communication,” Ghaderi said. “That also means I know where the issues lie, and I have sources to help me navigate those issues.”

Avery Schoenhals, Executive Vice President of Facility Operations, suggested Ghaderi apply for the role. He said she was a great candidate due to her involvement on campus. (Kiersten Riedford)

However, this is not Ghaderi’s first time being involved in SGA. While she may not have been a general member, Ghaderi is involved in multiple ad hoc committees spearheaded by SGA, including the academic affairs ad hoc and the College of Communication ad hoc. 

“She just came into the committee with such an energy and enthusiasm for new ideas, and it really impressed me,” Schoenhals said. “I’m really happy to have her in SGA, and I think she’s going to do a great job at representing the College of Communication for the rest of the school year.”

Ghaderi’s goals for her senator position focus on promoting individual majors within the College of Communication. As a public relations major, she hopes to uplift the advertising section of the public relations and advertising program by coming up with initiatives to keep students involved in the college.

She also hopes her background as a Persian student born and raised in Iran will help bring more representation to the community of Middle Eastern students within the College of Communication. 

“There have been a couple of Iranian students where when I meet them, I’m the first person to approach them and say that I’m Persian too,” Ghaderi said. “I really want to meet a lot more Persian students here at DePaul and while I can’t directly change that, maybe I can help bring some perspective.”

Sophomore Parveen Mundi, SGA executive vice president of student affairs, met Ghaderi during their first year on the DePaul mock trial team and said she is a good fit for the senator role based on her constant ideas and creativity.

“She’s one of those people who can bring solutions to the issues she’s presenting,” Mundi said. “She’s very familiar with the student body she’s trying to support, and I really couldn’t have thought of anyone better for the position. I’m kind of jealous [that] I didn’t think of her first.”

Mundi believes the action she has seen Ghaderi put behind her initiatives in other organizations and extracurriculars is exactly what SGA needs to help build connections with the students they represent. Even joining SGA halfway through the school year, Mundi is not worried about any challenges Ghaderi will face in the upcoming months.

“She definitely strikes me as someone who will hit the ground running,” Mundi said. “She already has all of these ideas and is eager to work on other senators’ projects so I don’t think starting late will be a concern for her.” 

Like Mundi, Ghaderi is not worried about any challenges she may face during her time in SGA and is simply ready to start making changes for the college she loves.

“I was born and raised around challenges all of my life, so I like to take them head on,” Ghaderi said. “I feel like I’m part of the school. I get to know what the rules are and what we can vote on and that’s a really nice feeling, that feeling like you belong in the college.”