Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

The Votes are in Say Hello to the 2015-2016 SGSU Reps


The results from the spring student government elections are in. Next year’s representatives are a diverse bunch seeking more transparency between the student body and school administration. They hope to make positive changes and plan on collaborating and working with the Seattle U community to make sure voices and concerns are not just heard, but listened to.

Here are your SGSU representatives for the 2015-2016 school year.

Mallory Barnes, President

Major: Sociology with Economics minor

Mallory Barnes is ready to take the helm, having been passionately involved with SGSU since coming to Seattle U. She held the freshman representative position her first year here, which made her “fall in love with advocacy.” And at the end of her freshman year, she was elected executive v.p.

Barnes dreamed of becoming SGSU president early on. Her position as Executive V.P. allowed her to work closely with the President her sophomore year, finding out what skills and traits made for a good SGSU president.

Now, as next year’s president—and third female president the school has seen in the past 15 years—Barnes has plans to embody her campaign slogan, “Together we’re better.” She is hoping to make SGSU approachable.

“To me that means that myself, as one of the students, will be an avenue through which the student voice can be heard,” Barnes said. “It’s my job to listen and turn student voices into action.”

This summer, Barnes will be interning for Patty Murray in Washington D.C., an experience she believes will strengthen her approach to her position next year.

Palmyra Jackson, Executive V.P.

Major: Humanities for Teaching and Cultural Anthropology

Outgoing Sophomore Representative Palmyra Jackson is continuing up the ladder in SGSU as next year’s executive v.p.

Jackson wanted to continue being part of SGSU because “this year, being sophomore rep has been really tremendous,” she said.

Jackson hopes that her experiences with SGSU will benefit the many careers she is thinking of pursuing after her time at Seattle U. She said she would “get addicted to teaching,” but is also fascinated by culture, and said she may want to pursue a career in anthropology.

In addition to being involved with SGSU, Jackson has been a part of cultural and global projects. Earlier this year, she went to New York for a week through Global Youth Connect.

“Students from around the world came together and talked about different issues and went to different foundations like the U.N.,” Jackson said.

Paul Dewater, V.P. of University Affairs

Major: Humanities for Leadership and Public Affairs

Junior Paul DeWater will be joining SGSU as the new V.P. of University Affairs.

DeWater has been involved on campus in a variety of roles: he has worked as a resident assistant, an office assistant for Matteo Ricci College and has worked for Conference and Events Services.

During his time in office next year, DeWater hopes to provide the campus with more cultural changes.

“Instead of harping on each other, I want us to be a more collective student body,” he said.

Collaboration is key for DeWater.

“I want to be [the student body’s] microphone, and not just their voice,” he said.

DeWater wishes to continue a career involved in a university, and plans to attend graduate school for student affairs.

Matt Kelly, V.P. of Finance

Major: Humanities for Leadership with concentration in Pre-Law and Entrepreneurship

Toward the end of last school year, junior Matt Kelly realized he wanted to be more involved with campus activities. Although Kelly was on the rugby team, he was looking for something more.

So when the opportunity opened up to run for v.p. of finance, he ran for it, landed the position and managed SGSU’s $81,000 budget during the last school year.

Headed into his second term, Kelly is looking forward to personal growth and helping out students.

“I look forward to continuing to serve the Seattle U student body and community,” Kelly said.

Claire Conway, At-Large Rep

Major: Pre-major, seeking Public Affairs

“I wanted to get involved with student government because it has so much potential for change,” said freshman Claire Conway. “I really care about this school and the mission.”

Conway was involved with her high school’s student government, where she realized she enjoyed the privilege of being other students’ voices.

Going into her position, Conway hopes to have the opportunity to hear from the campus community and address issues such as the smoking ban and adjunct faculty unionization.

“I’d be interested in … seeing what we can do, given the parameters that we have,” Conway said. “I’m idealistic, but I’m also realistic in that I try to work with what is possible because I want these goals to happen.”

Conway plans to continue talking to the current at-large representative about what he is working on in order to prepare herself for next year.

Jonathan Miranda, Sophomore Class Rep

Major: International Business and Marketing with Spanish minor

Having served as student body president his senior year of high school, freshman Jonathan Miranda is prepped to represent his class as next year’s Sophomore Rep.

Miranda wants to stay involved with SGSU during his time at Seattle U in hopes of one day running for president.

As the sophomore representative, Miranda will be in charge of planning the Halfway There retreat, an event for sophomores celebrating the halfway point of their college career.

Next year, Miranda hopes to help the sophomores “[come] together as a class.”

He will also be working with other representatives within SGSU on bigger issues, such as the merging of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Center, while figuring out ways for sophomores at Seattle U to have their voices heard.

Carlos Rodriguez, Junior Class Rep

Major: Public Affairs

“One of the things I would like to accomplish is getting more people involved with SGSU, knowing that [it is] a very important part of the activities that go on,” said sophomore Carlos Rodriguez, next year’s junior class representative.

Rodriguez switched his major from cellular biology to public affairs, which he feels will help him better contribute to the public’s well-being.

“I [want] to impact a larger group of people,” Rodriguez said.

As a current resident assistant on campus—a position he will continue to hold while being junior representative —Rodriguez plans on being an approachable advocate for the junior class next year.

Braden Wild, Disabilities Rep

Major: International Business

As this year’s disabilities representative, freshman Braden Wild will be continuing his leadership in this position next year.

Wild has contributed to many advances and improvements for other disabled students on campus, which includes the installation of some handicapped parking spaces in front of the St. Ignatius Chapel on campus. But he has bigger plans for next year.

“The work that I have been doing this year has been very helpful, but I feel like it’s been grounding,” Wild said. “A lot of times, I haven’t been able to make a lot of progress as far as systemic change.”

Wild hopes to build on previous and future relationships in order to make a more accessible campus to all.

Sam Wolff, Senior Class Rep

Major: Political Science

Junior Sam Wolff enjoyed being part of his high school’s student government.

“It gave me a better chance to interact with the school and get involved in a meaningful way, and I was hoping to do that with SGSU,” Wolff said.

Throughout his time at Seattle U, Wolff has been listening to what the campus community has to say.

“It has been a gift to be able to hear different people throughout my career in college and interact with different social groups,” Wolff said.

He hopes to be a voice for the senior class regarding issues such as divestment, budget transparency and unionization.

“My goal in SGSU is to see what I can do to help the students and better represent our needs,” Wolff said.

In particular, with budget transparency, Wolff wants to bring the student voice into the dialogue and make sure that it is heard.

Stephenie Simmons, Multicultural Rep

Major: Biology

During her time at Seattle U, Stephenie Simmons has been involved with the Minority Association for Pre-Med Students since her sophomore year. This past year, she has been working as a director for public relations for the association.

In her internal debate over whether to pursue the multicultural representative position, Simmons spoke to a number of students and current SGSU representatives and members, including the current multicultural representative, Monica Chan.

“Is this something that I want to do?” Simmons asked herself before deciding to run a campaign. “Is this something that I’m capable of doing? Is this something that I’m capable of doing well?”

She answered yes to all of those questions, and with support of friends and classmates, Simmons moved forward with her campaigning, and will be next year’s multicultural representative.

First and foremost, Simmons is hoping to focus on the Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Center’s merging next year. She wishes to increase the enrollment of minority students and hiring of minority faculty members as well.

“A whole broad part of it is [about] increasing the campus climate and making sure students feel welcome,” Simmons said.

Siri may be reached at [email protected]

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