Meet your SGA president and vice president candidates


Kiersten Riedford

Students traverse the quad in Lincoln Park toward Belden Ave.

In an attempt to learn more about the future of the Student Government Association, The DePaulia sat down with both presidential candidates to ask about their initiatives and their plans to engage with the student body. 

The SGA president will serve as a voting member on Strategic Resource Allocation Committee (SRAC), who plans the university’s budget every year, while vice president and Chief of Staff sit in on these budget meetings. 

SGA serves as the liaison between students and DePaul administration. The DePaulia believed it was important to ask about issues such as transparency, student voter turnout, relationships with administration and students’ concerns. 

Sergio Godinez and Chloe Crosby are running for SGA president and vice president for the 2023-2024 academic year. (Kiersten Riedford)
  • How are you going to implement your initiatives in everyday student issues? (public safety, budget cuts, new administration) 


SG/CC: (Godinez) I would say at least from this past year, what I’ve appreciated about President Rob is his willingness to meet with student orgs. He’s already met with a bunch of the cultural orgs he meets with SGA regularly. What I hope to envision for SGA if [Crosby] and I become president, vice president is kind of like mimicking that interaction with students. Hopefully they’d be a lot more informal, like no suits and ties. It’d be like us, it’s a bunch of student orgs [having] a discussion where students can talk about the issues they’re passionate about. SGA can be that organization that can support students who are already doing the work on campus. 

PM/AS: Avery and I’s work in Cabinet already has been trying to get more students engaged. I think a very nice approach has always been just putting students first.  I think what will help engage students is feeling heard first and feeling as though SGA puts students’ interests first before we prioritize our relationship with the administration. We really wanted to push a message of like collaboration rather than seeing like a positioning SGA to be like adversarial with the administration because I think just like putting more students like in seats where they can share their thoughts and feel heard is the first step [in] making SGA more approachable as an organization. (Parveen)

Parveen Mundi and Avery Schoenhals are running for SGA president and vice president for the 2023-2024 academic year. (Kiersten Riedford)
  • SGA has experienced low voter turnout these last couple of elections. The spring 2021 SGA presidential race had a 3.13% total student turnout and that turnout for the spring 2022 SGA presidential race was 1.88%.  What does this kind of turnout say to the candidates in terms of how SGA is interacting with the student body?


PM/AS: One thing that has caused the turnout to be lower in the last couple of years is that we haven’t had very many contested elections.  I think contested elections force the candidates to actually have to reach out to students and start those conversations before they’re even elected. It causes students who are running to have to actually campaign, to not just coast through the election season. So seeing the way that people have campaigned so far this election season I think it’s a really great first step and bridging that gap. I think that I’m hoping that we’ll see a higher voter turnout with a lot of these seats being contested this year. (Avery)

SG/CC: The disengagement is a powerful message in and of itself. We just said like most students don’t even know what SGA stands for. Most students don’t even know what SGA does. The disengagement is kind of like a mandate by the students saying that  they in a sense, they either don’t trust SGA or they don’t feel like we’re doing what we were created to do. At least for this election, like Jessica Bergman, Election Board Chair,  had a lot of really great ideas about how to increase voter turnout. [Crosby] and I are hoping with all the issues surrounding the budget and public safety energizes students to vote, but also to maybe join SGA. (Sergio)


  • What do you want out of your relationship with President Rob and other administrators?

SG/CC:  I would say one where we’re looking after students’ concerns first and foremost, one where we can be productive, of course, but where students really feel like we’re being a voice for them. (Chloe) 

I would also add that I think creating productive relationships and maintaining relationships with administrators. So like making sure that we’re following up with the information that we’re bringing to them because I think that’s where a lot of good ideas die is like someone forgets to follow up. So just making sure we’re keeping tabs on the initiatives that we’re focused on and like they clearly said If students want to know information about something like we’re asking the right people, and we’re also getting that information back to the people who asked us to ask. (Sergio)

PM/AS: First I would say, yes, our relationships with administrators are important, but they aren’t a priority. The priority is actually making sure that the 22,000 students that we represent, have their voices heard through us. So while it’s important to us that we can be friendly with administrators and we can have productive conversations, what comes first is making sure that we’re actually getting the message through about what students are wanting to hear and not watering it down to keep administrators happy. (Avery)

There’s a certain level of respect and the desire to listen and cooperate that is necessary for any conversation with the administration. I’ve actually found that they get more value out of conversations where I’m willing to disagree with them and say students would not want this right. (Parveen)


  • What does transparency, such as posting meeting minutes and their budget in a timely manner, in SGA mean to the candidates and what are you going to do to kind of build it?

PM/AS : I definitely recognize the lack of information that’s published on our website and things versus what it says should be in the constitution. We’re kind of in the process of redefining what some of your roles and Cabinet look like to make sure that those things are actually getting done. That’s something that we can confidently say we will make sure happens next year. I think reshaping and making sure that that role is actually doing the job that students elected to do. It’s going to be a major step in making sure that transparency element in terms of the budget comes into play next year. (Avery)

I think what would be more effective is [seeing] our expenses as an organization [is] probably more helpful, knowing what events are we allocating funding towards what organizations does this go to, what committees are spending their funding, which ones aren’t just kind of like what’s going on there, I think would be a more helpful piece for transparency than just seeing like numbers and a sort of like a spreadsheet. (Parveen)

SG/CC:  I think one of the reasons like why it’s been an issue [because] no one’s taken a real critical look until maybe this year into the staff roles within SGA. I also think a lot of it goes into the president advisor deciding the structure of SGA, ensuring that like when we build the structure of SGA we’re also building into account the need for transparency. (Sergio)

I think just making sure they get posted is like one of the first steps towards that. I don’t know if there’s anything else besides making sure they get posted, making sure the students know what’s going on. I think if we have a newsletter that will be helpful. If we do a Q&A that would be helpful, just ensuring that that happens. (Chloe)

Editor’s note: SGA posted their 2022-2023 budget on their DeHub after these interviews were conducted.