SGA term ends, newly elected SGA members sworn in


Kiersten Riedford

(Left) Parveen Mundi, SGA 2023-24 president, and Avery Schoenhals, SGA 2023-24 vice president, are sworn into their positions on May 11.

The Student Government Association (SGA) 2022-23 administration closed their term during Thursday’s meeting. 

The 20 newly elected SGA members were sworn in by Kevin Holechko, SGA 2022-23 president. Parveen Mundi, SGA’s president for the 2023-24 academic year, and Avery Schoenhals, SGA 2023-24 vice president, said they can tell the elected members are people who are wanting to get started on their work as soon as possible.

“It was so nice to see all of the newly elected and returning senators, especially those who supported me during the campaign season,” Mundi said. “Some people even stayed and chatted with me about initiatives afterward. The group seems ready to get started.”

While the inauguration of the newly elected members was the top of the to-do list for the meeting agenda, many of the members, new and old, were captivated by the outgoing members’ parting speeches.

The departing members addressed speeches to the crowd of members expressing gratitude for all the support they received from SGA members.

Holechko thanked Cathryn Dardon, SGA 2022-23 executive secretary, for her support throughout the year. Holechko said the people in SGA pushed him to continue his work, even in the moments when he was on the verge of quitting.

“Dedicating your life to four years of something you love a lot and to leave it behind, it’s a lot,” Holechko said. “But I take comfort in knowing that the group that will be taking over, they’re going to be [able] to take the change that we’ve created in this last year and continue on with that.”

Kevin Hoelchko, SGA 2022-23 president and senior, tears up while delivering his parting speech. (Kiersten Riedford)

Magoli Garcia, SGA 2022-23 vice president, said in her speech that she has confidence in the new president and vice presidents of SGA. She said she knows Mundi and Schoenhals will go on to do great things. 

“I have a lot of confidence in the new administration,” Garcia said. “This next year, [the members are] going to be more receptive. I’m going to be supporting them every step of the way.”

Kellen Brown, SGA 2022-23 chief of staff, said even though he knows the next administration will continue to create change at the university, he is proud of the accomplishments his cabinet and administration have achieved this year.

“[The achievement I am the most proud of is] definitely the intercampus shuttle,” Brown said. “The thing that was kind of unacceptable [was] that we still hadn’t had one up until the point that we did. It’s made a critical difference in terms of getting students off of public transit at times that they shouldn’t be on it.”

Garcia said she is the most proud of her and her administration’s work with the Jewish community.

“We were preparing for how we wanted to approach the situation and how to rebuild that relationship with the community here at DePaul over the summer and as soon as fall quarter hit and we had those conversations,” Garcia said. “To me, that’s what true advocacy is — meeting with them and trying to understand what they like [and] what their needs are trying to guess.”

Holechko said he is most proud of how SGA’s culture has changed this past year.

“Coming into it, it was a very, in my opinion, elitist type of vibe,” Holechko said. “I’m really proud that in the two years that I was really one of the two lead officers of the group, we’ve really established a culture of service to something greater than ourselves.”

He also noted that while he was running for SGA president, the student voter turnout was not great, it is “clear that in the year that I did lead this organization, we made an impact on the student body’s experience.” The student voter turnout tripled in the 2023-24 SGA elections, the highest it has been since 2017. 

Holechko said he is proud that SGA has been more actively playing a role in students’ day-to-day life, but he warned the new administration that they cannot be interested in changing the university for their own self benefit.

“You can try and change all the things you want in an organization or across the university,” Holechko said. “But if the group itself is rotten at the core, you’re not going to accomplish very much. I’m very proud that in these last two years, I’ve led a student government that has been focused on service to the student body in the institution, rather than serving itself.”

Holechko said his last address to the student body is that he appreciates the students putting their trust in him to lead.

To the newly elected senators, he said there is nothing more rewarding than seeing their work impact peoples’ lives. 

“It was fun,” Holechko said. “And that’s why I went into this. But realizing that it was something way bigger than yourself and you had a true opportunity to help people who weren’t in the position to help themselves, there’s nothing more rewarding.”

Mundi said she and Schoenhals want to be involved with many on campus organizations. She said students can invite her, Schoenhals and the SGA Cabinet to events at any time during the academic year. 

“I can’t guarantee I’m always available,” Mundi said. “But I’m always happy to encourage SGA members to stop by and support student-led efforts.”

SGA will not meet for an official meeting again until the next academic year begins in September. Students wishing to connect with an SGA representative can reach out via email to [email protected].