SGA presidential candidates compete for office


Michael Bauer

Christian Martinez (top left) and his vice presidential candidate Aiden Gibson (bottom left), Robert Morrison (top center) and his vice presidential candidate Angeles Vasquez (bottom center) and Deon Wilson (top right) and her vice presidential candidate Tyler Sanchez (bottom right) are running to become the next leaders of SGA. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Three tickets are running to be elected Loyola’s SGA president and vice president for the 2021-2022 school year. The duos of Christian Martinez and Aidan Gibson, Robert Morrison and Angelyss Vasquez, and Deon Wilson and Tyler Sanchez all hope to win the coveted seats.

Candidates will be campaigning through the end of the month with voting for the next SGA from March 26 to March 31 on HowlConnect.


Christian Martinez and Aidan Gibson

Finance freshman Christian Martinez and Aidan Gibson, Spanish language freshman on the teacher education track, are running for president and vice president of SGA for the 2021-2022 school year on the platforms of justice, wellness, health and dining.

Martinez, who is running for president, currently serves as president of Loyola’s inactive ultimate Frisbee club and is an Eagle Scout. Gibson, the philanthropy chairman for Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, is running as Martinez’s vice president and said he hopes to bring his perspective as a native New Orleanian to their campaign.

Martinez and Gibson said they are focused on “funding initiatives for the poor and oppressed.” If elected, Martinez said they would do so by providing resources to single parent or parentless children with help from the local nonprofit, Son of a Saint.

“A lot of our problems do come from people being raised without proper parental units within the home and I feel like that would really make a difference in our community and in the greater world or in the Greater New Orleans area,” Martinez said.

For their wellness platform, Martinez said he hopes to introduce mental health awareness. Because of COVID, Martinez said many students are struggling with mental health and his campaign wants to set up peer groups for students.

For their health platform, the Martinez Gibson campaign said they hope to get more women’s period products on Loyola’s campus by partnering with the organization Aunt Flow.

The campaign also promised to explore a new late-night dining option for students in an effort to replace the community kitchen that formerly housed Deaux, a pizza parlor.

Martinez said despite the difficulty it may take to instate a new food option, he thinks it would be hard for the university to say no.

Martinez said he and Gibson have not talked with Sodexo or any Loyola dining representatives about this proposed policy.

“We may fail, but so what, the other tickets aren’t going to be able to get it done either, so we’re going to try our best to get it done,” Martinez said. “It may fail but we’re not going to fail.”

Martinez and Gibson also suggested starting a compost as a part of their campaign to help reduce students’ carbon footprint.

Sodexo already works with the Composting Network to collect pre-consumer waste and control the university’s composting. All vegetable peelings are collected and picked up by for composting, according to a Sodexo spokesperson. Sodexo also pays for the use of their cans and for compost pickup three times a week.

“Unfortunately, we do not have the room at this time to collect post-consumer waste,” the spokesperson told The Maroon.

Martinez also said he condemns racism of any kind and plans to include any individuals who are qualified on his cabinet regardless of their race or ethnic identities.

“I don’t care if you are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, or half-squirrel,” he said.

The ticket also said that if elected, they plan on donating the stipends they would receive as president and vice president to local charities. Martinez and Gibson said they do not agree with paying members of SGA’s administration, as service should be SGA’s priority.

“This is a service organization,” Martinez said. “This is not a monetary thing.”


Robert Morrison III and Angelyss Vasquez

Robert Morrison III, finance sophomore, and Angelyss Vasquez, psychology junior, are also running to be SGA president and vice president, respectively, for the 2021-2022 school year.

The ticket is running on a three pillar platform of student development, SGA transparency, and equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Morrison is currently a senator-at-large in SGA. He is also a student ambassador, treasurer of the Black Student Union and president of the Multicultural Leadership Council.

Vasquez is currently involved on campus as public relations chair of the Multicultural Leadership Council, custodian of supplies of the Nu Mu Citywide Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., marketer for A La Mode, and the second vice president of community service of Loyola’s National Pan-Hellenic Council.

On the pillar of SGA transparency, Morrison and Vasquez plan to create an SGA website that would be run by the director of communications.

“Having that available for students to see budgets, expenditures, what senators vote on, their legislation, those are all extremely important,” said Morrison.

Morrison and Vasquez also plan on creating an SGA advisory committee which would consist of non-SGA students that would meet with the cabinet four times a semester, Morrison said The purpose of this committee would be to share opinions and ideas while also making sure SGA and its actions benefit students.

When it comes to student development, The duo plans to, along with the help of the College of Business, to implement a mentorship program in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Music and Media.

“In the College of Business, there’s been a portfolio program for the past 10 years. It’s a fantastic program with mentorship, I loved it, but every single college needs to have this in place,” said Morrison.

Morrison and Vasquez also plan on creating a director of media position. This role would be under the direction of the Director of Communications and will be paid to take pictures and videos, according to Morrison.

Currently, there is already a paid photographer and videographer for SGA, but Morrison explained that this would give them an official job title on campus.

When it comes to equity, inclusion, and accessibility, One of the initiatives consists of a two-year plan to implement a free textbook program for students. They plan to accomplish this with the help of OpenStax, a non-profit initiative that publishes openly-licensed college textbooks for free online.

“I know we all understand the price of textbooks is sometimes, way too much and we definitely do not like experiencing that, so having an opportunity to alleviate some of that pain is definitely a thing we want to do,” Morrison said.

A second initiative of their equity, inclusion, and accessibility pillar is to help Kedrick Perry, vice president of equity and inclusion, with the development of a multicultural students center. The duo plans on helping Perry where needed, whether it be going to board meetings or talking to administration, according to Morrison.

Vasquez said she chose to run for SGA Vice President because she hopes to see a more personable side of student government.

“I was not the most perfect student throughout my current three years at Loyola and I want to portray that genuine and real aspect of students lives (in every aspect), not only while running as a Vice Presidential Candidate but also once voted into office,” said Vasquez in an email.

Morrison said he views SGA stipends, the money given to senior members of the administration, as a form of equity and inclusion for students.

“It allows all students, no matter how much their parents might make, to be able to work in these positions and actually get a chance to get paid for it,” said Morrison.


Deon Wilson and Tyler Sanchez

Deon Wilson, sociology and Latin American studies junior, and Tyler Sanchez, political science junior, are running for SGA’s president and vice president seats, respectively.

The ticket is running on three major pillars including student accessibility, student engagement and SGA transparency.

Wilson has been involved on campus and in SGA as the director of programming for the University Programming Board, the first vice president of Loyola’s NAACP chapter and the corresponding secretary for the Eta Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Sanchez currently serves as SGA’s chief justice. He also works in the Women’s Resource Center. Sanchez started off in SGA as a freshman in first year council and quickly became a part of the Court of Review.

Through their three years on campus, Wilson and Sanchez said they’ve been able to see Loyola’s campus as a whole. They’ve noticed, specifically, that campus is not physically accessible. In an effort to make campus more inclusive, Wilson and Sanchez chose student accessibility as a part of their platform.

Wilson and Sanchez also hope to be socioeconomically inclusive. They plan to do so by bringing back the Ignition Program, which would give students access to free textbooks by working with the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Additionally, the ticket plans to form a committee of non-SGA affiliated students that will regularly meet and discuss the student experience and feelings about life at Loyola during COVID-19.

Wilson and Sanchez also plan on working with student health, the University Senate, the University Counseling Center and the Student Success Center to create more comprehensive mental health guidelines and policies for professors to follow.

Through the community engagement pillar of their campaign, Wilson and Sanchez said they hope to represent underheard communities on campus. The ticket plans to work with commuter students and assistants to engage commuter students on Loyola’s campus. They also plan on building relationships with an alumni network in order to get the student body engaged.

Wilson and Sanchez are looking to do that through an alumni mentorship program mirrored from the College of Business for all students on campus.

Wilson and Sanchez are running on a third pillar of SGA transparency. Wilson said she often hears students asking what SGA is doing, and she said she considers that a problem.

“It is a fundamental right for students to know what’s going on,” Wilson said.

Wilson said she wants the SGA budget to be presented to students who aren’t involved in SGA before the budget is passed each semester. The Wilson/Sanchez administration also plans to create an SGA website.

Wilson and Sanchez also said they hope to better represent Loyola as a majority minority institution. They said they plan on doing this through an effort to hire more faculty and staff of color.

When she asked students what needs to change, Wilson said many students told her it would be to have professors that look like them.

Sanchez said their ticket also plans on requiring PAWS and Reflect and LGBT Q-Advocacy training for all faculty so that professors can be on the same page with diversity and inclusion initiatives in their classrooms.

Wilson said that a non-Black professor said the N-word her freshman year, and she hopes to stop that from happening by working to create a more inclusive environment within the classroom.

Wilson and Sanchez said that receiving stipends as a part of their work with SGA adds to their diversity and inclusion initiatives.

In providing stipends to students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to participate in SGA, Sanchez said the opportunity becomes more inclusive and available to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated as of March 18, 2021 at 2:55 p.m. A previous version of this story said that a non-White professor had said the N-word during Wilson’s freshman year when it was a non-Black professor.