The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

SGA votes on staff positions ahead of fall election

Kiersten Riedford
SGA appointed four new staff members to their cabinet for the 2023-2024 school year.

Student Government Association (SGA) appointed four new staff members to their cabinet during the general body meeting on Sept. 7. These appointments came ahead of the fall quarter elections for the 2023-2024 school year. Positions filled include chief of staff, executive secretary, community engagement coordinator and PR coordinator.

Jaslynn Hodges, new SGA chief of staff and second year graduate student, previously held the role of community engagement coordinator. Hodges is entering her fourth year in the student organization and wants to use her new position to shift the values of SGA. 

“When the SGA president and vice president first asked me to step into this position, I was a little nervous at first,” Hodges said. “But I knew stepping into this position, I wanted it to be one that offered the DePaul community and SGA members more transparency and communication.”

The appointed positions were not eligible to be filled by a school-wide election like those held in the fall and spring quarters. SGA promoted the available staff positions that students were then able to apply for with a resume and cover letter. Parveen Mundi, SGA president and junior, reviewed the applications and nominated candidates to be confirmed by a cabinet vote at the general body meeting.

“[Candidates] served in the roles in the interim until today’s meeting, when the candidates introduced themselves to the general body,” said Avery Schoenhals, SGA vice president and junior. “The general body ultimately voted to confirm them in executive session.” 

Cathryn Dardon, SGA executive secretary and senior, was reappointed for her second year in the role after being introduced to the organization by former SGA president Kevin Holechko. Dardon hopes to continue promoting public safety changes from last year’s initiatives.  

“[Joining SGA] was truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Dardon said. “I’ve made a lot of friends here, a lot of memories, and I’ve hopefully made some change as well. I want to keep ensuring that DePaul is designed to keep our students safe and make sure they actually feel safe at the end of the day.”

Hodges wants to see change in how SGA and DePaul communicate. Hodges believes one of the main issues in SGA is the shared governance model, where university administration and the board of trustees only listen to the SGA president and vice president.  

“I think this is probably the most diversity we’ve had in SGA within the past few years, yet the university is not always inclusive of all these voices,” Hodges said. “They get stuck with one or two students instead of the 20 staff members we have. The numbers aren’t proportional.”

There are currently no details on the upcoming fall SGA elections to fill positions like senator for first-year students and senator for transfer students. Schoenhals said SGA first needs to appoint an Election Operations Board to oversee election details before information can be released. 

“Without a doubt I believe that the new members of our cabinet will challenge us in the best way possible,” Schoenhals said. “They all have different perspectives on decisions that we make and their contributions are invaluable to [Mundi] and I in leading SGA and DePaul’s student body.”

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