Students vote for new SGA representatives amid controversy
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
The ballots are all in and the new Student Government Association representatives will officially take office this June.
Tanya Maestas, junior biological science major and IMPACT (Improving Majority Participation Around Campus Together) party member, won the SGA president position with 1,526 votes, defeating Noraliz Cortes (1,333) and Emmanuel Arzate (1,290).
“I want to incorporate more student activities on campus and provide more opportunities for students to get involved,” Maestas said. “When you walk around the UTEP campus you don’t see enough of that. While getting your education is very important, it
is also important to get the full college experience and that’s what we want to give to our students.”
Pedro Díaz, junior finance and marketing major and PIC (Progress, Improvement, Continuity) party member, claimed the vice-president of external affairs position with 1,559 votes, while fellow PIC member Alejandro Baca, senior biological science major, won the vice-president of internal affairs position with 1,546 votes.
With the PIC party getting both vice-president positions, Maestas is eager for the new elected members to work together.
“Last year, when I came into the Senate, we had a bunch of different members from different parties, so I saw and learned how it is to work together with people from different parties,” Maestas said. “We need to focus on the bigger picture, which is working for
the UTEP students, and put everything else aside and accomplish that goal.”
The PIC party claimed the most senators-at-large positions, winning nine of the 14 spots.
Kevin Duran (311), Laura Cueva (292), Ruben Chavez (288), Viviana Bernal (272), Sofia Cano (268), Rodolfo Madero (252), Jessica Canales (240), Abel Ortega (213) and Elisa Samaniego (208) all won senators-at-large spots for the PIC party. The IMPACT party won four spots with Ahmad Khattab (303), Mariel Cheda (266), Gabriel Fernandez (239) and Micah Tveito (216). Brianda Rodriguez (209) was the only member of the SHARP (Students Helping Achieve Reliable Progress) party to win a senator-at-large position.
PIC took four collegiate senator positions with Andrew Velazquez (348) winning the College of Business Administration seat, Alejandra Vazquez (124) taking the College of Education position, Juan Muñoz (254) claiming the College of Engineering spot and Leandro Brandi (74) grabbing the Graduate School position.
IMPACT claimed three collegiate senator positions with Rocio Solis (157) getting the College of Health Sciences spot, Paulina Lopez (483) winning the College of Liberal Arts spot and Elizabeth Aguilera (242) grabbing the College of Science seat.
SHARP took the College of Nursing seat with Laurin Villanueva (137) claiming victory.
Controversy surrounds 2012 elections
As the Student Government Association elections were in full swing, controversy arose as flyers were being passed around campus making an accusation against former SGA President, Diana Gloria.
The flyer claims that Diana Gloria threatened Tanya Maestas, telling her to remove Emmanuel Arzate as a candidate for the vice-president of internal affairs position. It also claimed that Diana Gloria wanted to remove Arzate so her brother Daniel Gloria could run for that position. The flyer states that the reason behind this was because “the last name Gloria would guarantee an I.M.P.A.C.T. victory.”
Arzate ran for the SGA presidential position for the SHARP party, while Daniel Gloria ran for the vice-president of external affairs for the IMPACT party. Both Arzate and Daniel Gloria lost in the election, which were held April 4-5.