Election Prepares SGSU for Upcoming School Year


Adeline Ong

Student government bulletin board

With the end of the academic year around the corner, the Student Government of Seattle University (SGSU) has started preparations for next year. Election results were released and reports for the State of the Undergraduate Student Survey (SUSS) were received.

Given that the 2021 to 2022 school year was the first year after COVID-19 without restrictions on in-person gatherings, this was a rebuilding year for SGSU. 

Current SGSU President Braelyn Scheer, a third-year political science major, recapped the past year, her final at Seattle U.

“I just hope that students feel like SGSU really tried this year to refocus our work and reconnect with the student body and feel like we’re a resource to them,” Scheer said. 

Scheer is looking forward to seeing what the new senators can do with the foundation that this year’s leadership team built. Prior to COVID, senators were asked to do projects based on the results of the SUSS. The survey was not done last school year, meaning that the traditional work model for senators was gone. 

However, since the SUSS was completed in the 2022-23 school year, there will be a structure for the new senators to follow.  

This includes Naho Umitani, a current First-Year Senator and sociology major who will be serving as the At-Large Senator next year. In her new position, Umitani will represent the entire student body, especially those who do not fall under the other SGSU senator constituencies. 

“If someone had a problem as a sophomore and they weren’t represented by the commuter senator, health and wellness [senator] or all these other senator positions that we have, then I would help voice their issues or concerns,” Umitani said. “It also just gives me more reach on personal projects that I may want to pursue in the next year.”

One of those projects is the Campion Hall music room, which Umitani began this year. Currently, she is working on a budget proposal to repaint, fix the lighting and carpeting, acquire a new piano and bring in new furniture.  

Umitani’s First-Year Senator counterpart, Jacob Caddali, a first-year political science major, will be entering the new school year as the Student Employee Senator. Caddali’s role is to assist with the improvement of the student employment experience for around 1,200 student employees on campus. He says the role is a passion project of his. 

“I’m hoping to make Seattle U a more student activist-friendly space,” Caddali said. 

Some will also be moving from a senator position to one on the executive board, including current Health and Wellness Senator Sophia Cofinas, a second-year public affairs and international studies double major. She will be transitioning to a new role as Senate Chair. 

In her new role, she is looking forward to focusing on making broader and lasting changes, including addressing any obstacles that prevent students from speaking with SGSU. 

“I think that there’s sometimes a barrier and people don’t really feel comfortable coming to the senate body,” Cofinas said. 

Current Vice President of Communications Isabelle Alamilla, a second-year business management major, will be leading SGSU as President next year. Like Cofinas, Alamilla will work to bridge the gap between the students and SGSU. She stressed the importance of continuing the SUSS in order to collect valuable student feedback. 

“We just need to maintain the trajectory of that and get people’s responses and crucial feedback from the students,” Alamilla said. “That way we know what to keep working on.”

Additionally, Alamilla is looking to develop a platform for students that will allow them to give their feedback throughout the year without having to wait for the SUSS. It will also give students the ability to voice what they want, rather than just having to respond to survey questions.

“In a way, it would be a more beneficial and efficient way for the students to voice their concerns to us,” Alamilla said. “Then we’d be able to get to it and improve on those matters in a timely manner.” 

Taking student concerns into consideration, SGSU will remain a major player in influencing the student experience at Seattle U. As they work with university administration, they will attempt to represent the interests of Seattle U students.