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Presidential
Candidates

2023-2024

Candidate: Madelaine Johnson

Academic Program/Degree: Gender Justice and Law with Psychology 

Current year at Regis: Third 

Why are you interested in becoming a RUSGA Elected Officer? 

To serve our Latino students better, I have translated my responses on my website: 
Para servir mejor a nuestros estudiantes latinos, he escrito mis respuestas en mi sitio web: www.madelainejohnson.com 
If a student comes to me with an issue, I will ALWAYS take appropriate actions. I will ALWAYS include the student in the process, and I will ALWAYS serve the Regis community. As a first-generation student, I believe that leadership begins with service and grassroots community involvement and ultimately student voice, interest, and representation are vital for a successful campus environment. Growing up in a low-income family, I learned from an early age the value in working together and the importance of collective growth. This year, I have restructured RUSGA to be more inclusive, and have empowered our students to take direct action and follow-through within their advocacy and relationship with administration. There is a difference between hollow promises and solidified action, and I would like to reinforce my mission and standard of student centrism within our community. The standard that I have implemented is one of representation, diversity, and transparency. Through my current presidential leadership, I have ensured that the University is accountable for its promises. 

If elected, what would be your top two priorities to improve the student experience at Regis? 

To serve our Latino students better, I have translated my responses on my website: 
Para servir mejor a nuestros estudiantes latinos, he escrito mis respuestas en mi sitio web: www.madelainejohnson.com 
My top priority is to further develop student engagement within policy decision-making and campus life, as well as upholding equality and diversity within our student organizations, staff, representation, and academic department studies. Ensuring that diversity and representation is embraced to its fullest in our community is a mission I strive for. With my work in the Queer Student Alliance, First Generation Scholars, Housing and Residential Engagement, RUSGA Presidency, and the Programming Board, I have had the chance to work alongside like-minded leaders on anti-racism projects and dismantling genderism and religious discrimination within our community. As the university is in transition to becoming a Hispanic Service Institution (HSI), I have supported leaders of this initiative to actively create a campus that serves and works with our Latino population. My next priority is to strengthen our Regis community network and collaboration. I believe that together we are stronger and consistent student feedback is necessary for growth. As a student who has gone through the process of student disability services with my PTSD service dog, Moose, I am working on further advocacy and representation for equal accessibility on our campus. 

In your opinion, how best can RUSGA serve the students of Regis University? 

To serve our Latino students better, I have translated my responses on my website: 
Para servir mejor a nuestros estudiantes latinos, he escrito mis respuestas en mi sitio web: www.madelainejohnson.com 
I strongly believe that RUSGA can best serve students through means of strengthening community outreach. As leaders, we act as a liaison between Regis students and our administration. Due to the pandemic we all have experienced a fracture in interpersonal relationships which has left many of us feeling isolated. I see an opportunity for RUSGA to rebuild the community both for the residents on-campus and for our peers off-campus. I believe that RUSGA has the potential to grow and offer more outreach to student organizations and individuals, such as student athletics, student affinity groups, Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, University ministry, Housing and Residential Engagement, and work study students. A student government which demonstrates a commitment to learning and openness to receiving feedback from their supervisor and/or peers provides a campus life in which to thrive. 

What skills and strengths do you possess that will help you to be successful in your position if elected? 

To serve our Latino students better, I have translated my responses on my website: 
Para servir mejor a nuestros estudiantes latinos, he escrito mis respuestas en mi sitio web: www.madelainejohnson.com 
Something unique about myself is that I am not seeking glory for my own gratification. I strive for the betterment of the Regis student community as a whole. Uniqueness is only valuable if the person who discovers their gift uses it for the greater good. I am not the only domestic violence survivor, I am not the only one marching for equality, but I am unique because I have found my strength in bringing people together to collectively create change. 
Because the Student Body President position is a commitment of time, emotion, talent and energy, I have already demonstrated the ability to balance my own pressures of academic and personal responsibilities. I am not easily flustered by challenging cross department communication, administration, student security, or institutional obstacles. 
While one voice may cry out for change, that voice becomes a catalyst for other voices; which become so powerful together they cannot be ignored. I am that voice. 

What job related, volunteer, or lived experience do you have that you think has prepared you for, or would transfer well, to this position? 

To serve our Latino students better, I have translated my responses on my website: 
Para servir mejor a nuestros estudiantes latinos, he escrito mis respuestas en mi sitio web: www.madelainejohnson.com 
As the current RUSGA President, I have been dedicated to upholding university transparency, student advocacy, and diversity. I have collaborated with the Regis Programming Board on involvement, and have worked alongside Student Affairs to provide funding to Clubs and Organizations. After listening to students last 2022 Spring, I collaborated with the university on improving the quality of student life by facilitating a new dining option which vastly improved the quality of meal services on campus. I have created environments for my team to feel secure, valued, and confident in the strengths that they provide. I have been an advisor and campus mediator, which taught me skills regarding boundaries, trauma management, and community building. Specifically, I have worked alongside my peers to build a space for community, safety, and engagement; serve the students as an advisor and resource from student crisis, and Title IX/Equal Opportunity reporter. Below are just a few of the programs that I personally developed and worked on: Bi-Weekly Town Hall Programs, worked directly with administration on student advocacy in wake of Student Affairs Summit, Queer Solidarity March, Club Q Vigil, Student Transportation Program, Dave Day Celebration, student activism through protest, and up-coming racial equality accountability sessions this spring. 

 

Candidate: Eric Novelo

 

Academic Program/Degree: Neuroscience and Philosophy 

 

Current Year at Regis: Third 

 

Why are you interested in becoming a RUSGA Elected Officer? 

To answer this question wholeheartedly, I must first say that for me personally becoming an elected RUSGA officer is not an interest but a passion. A passion stemming and continuing to grow from my involvement and engagement here at Regis University. What’s more, in running specifically for Student Body President, I hope not to only continue serving my community, but also the community this institution is surrounded by. With this, it has become extremely important to me that the role of Student Body President fulfills its responsibility of being a voice for those who don’t usually speak up for themselves. Being that voice, has recently become extremely important to me as result of my work with the Global Inclusive Program, the Diversity Office (ODEIE), the Hispanic community, the Venezuelan refugees, the Asian American population, the African American and Afro-Latinx community, and the LGBTQ+ community. With that, I’d like to finish by adding that my passion in becoming Student Body President is driven by my ability to do what is needed when it’s necessary for the good of others. 

 

If elected, what would be your top two priorities to improve the student experience at Regis? 

My first priorities consist of planning an event or joining an already planned event, where the entire executive cabinet and senators are in attendance. The purpose of this is to ensure that our students, the administration, and faculty know that RUSGA exists. Allowing students to communicate and address questions, comments, or concerns that have been neglected or not addressed at all. Something that I have become especially aware of in the last few weeks as I continue to hear that many students didn’t even know student government existed. Now, during our efforts to accomplish this, the following priority involves providing experiences to students that focuses on them. A goal inspired by the Jesuit value, Cura Personalis, or “care for the person.” To expand on this, focusing on our students' physical, mental, and spiritual health, I and those working with me would aim to promote a healthier, more productive academic experience. An example that would incorporate all three would be planning almost a holiday, where all students during the same time are not required nor obligated to attend class. Giving our students something to look forward to, while giving them a chance to relax, catch up, do schoolwork, or simply schedule a doctor's appointment they’ve been putting off. Keeping this in mind, there will of course be smaller opportunities to promote Cura Personalis, but the priority remains the same. Which is an emphasis and focus on our students as whole persons and not just academic machines. 

 

In your opinion, how best can RUSGA serve the students of Regis University? 

RUSGA can best serve our students when we act as their voice when communicating with administration and faculty. Especially, when many individuals in RUSGA, such as the student body president, who gets to frequently speak with the president of Regis University. Of course, it is important to remain both realistic and respectful about what exactly and to what extent the president or any other administrative staff can do. However, this shouldn’t limit the questions and concerns that RUSGA listens to and brings to the administration in hopes maybe even just a few get addressed more seriously. With that, there are also so many other questions, comments, or concerns that RUSGA can answer or handle without the help of the administration or faculty. However, as I’ve come to find, many students have no knowledge about the individuals who make up our executive cabinet or who any of our senators are. Let alone what any of the individuals in RUSGA do or what they are responsible for. An unfortunate fact about our current student government, which has limited their service or potential service towards many students here at Regis University. 

 

What skills and strengths do you possess that will help you to be successful in your position if elected? 

The most valuable skill I believe that I possess, that has contributed to my success lies in my ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable. An ability I have no doubt would transfer well to the student body president position and would continue facilitating my success. This ability of being comfortable being uncomfortable consists of an almost consistent state of meditative thought, reflection, and consideration. A state that challenges me in every way and requires an uncomfortable level of acceptance towards this discomfort to endure the discomfort of such challenges. For example, the challenge of keeping my intentions thoroughly refined to produce behaviors that are more than just reactions necessitates a level of accepted discomfort to prevent myself from succumbing to what's comfortable. Then an example of this is seen in the standards of quality and effort I hold myself too in everything I do. Standards that cause me to experience discomfort I have accepted I must be comfortable with experiencing. In other words, by being intentional about everything I do, I, as a result, experience a high level of personal discomfort. A discomfort that has proven necessary not only my own success but the success of others. Furthermore, accepting the necessity of such discomfort is what then creates a degree of comfort. Thus, allowing me to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Now, pragmatically, this skill gives me a more positive outlook on challenges, and obstacles. Allowing me to solve issues/problems easier and to have a more profound learning experience. 

 

What job related, volunteer, or lived experience do you have that you think has prepared you for, or would transfer well, to this position? 

The job-related experience that first comes to mind which would transfer well, involves my work as an emergency medical technician and phlebotomist. What’s was most significant about these two jobs was their versatility and countless learning opportunities. Two features that I have yet to experience anywhere else and to any comparable extent. So, having now a well-developed capacity for versatility and a profound appreciation for learning would allow me to excel in meeting the required responsibilities that come with being student body president. Such as the responsibility and privilege that it is to be a voice for students. Where in my versatility, I can accurately gauge and adapt to certain concerns or issues brought to me. Especially, how to then communicate these concerns or issues with administration and even faculty. 

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