SGA Candidate Profiles

SGA President:

Joseph Reznikov: Joseph Reznikov is a junior studying neuroscience with minors in mathematics and Catholic studies. He has served as a SLU 101 orientation leader, a university ambassador in the Office of Admission, a coordinator for the Oriflamme full orientation program, and as the vice president for the Pre-Health ambassadors program. Reznikov states that his favorite part about SLU is “the culture that we have related to all of our diverse student organizations.” One of Reznikov’s 

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main goals as president next year would be “creating a culture within the Senate and student body that is empathetic towards our Jesuit mission.” Additionally, Reznikov wants as president “for students to be more intentionally a part of the big conversations and the big things that are happening around campus.” A key component for upholding the Jesuit mission at SLU for Reznikov is by “interacting intentionally with our community and to create relationships with our community.” The key issues that Reznikov believes SLU students are most concerned with are mental health, mission (Jesuit mission), and staying informed on what is happening on campus. When asked about the biggest challenges that face the university, Reznikov once again mentioned mental health and mental wellness and how students think it is normal to be constantly stressed. Another challenge Reznikov discussed is the core and the identity of the school, “What differentiates SLU from the other public institutions around us that we’re maybe a bit similar to.” Reznikov stated that he believes SLU is at a very critical time in its history, “What does it mean to graduate with a degree from Saint Louis University and how can we make that mean something more than just a set of classes you took?” Reznikov believes that the role of an SGA president is to create a culture where “senate members, cabinet members, and students feel like they can have an active part in the decision-making processes and things going around the school.” Reznikov maintained that most importantly SGA should feel “accessible” to students.

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Alhan Sayyed: Alhan Sayyed is a junior studying nutrition and dietetics on the Pre-Med track with a minor in biology. Beside SGA, Sayyed is involved with ISA and SLU Raas, and helps run the dance competition GTR. Sayyed states that her favorite part about SLU is “how welcoming the environment is and how nice everyone is.” In terms of her most valuable experience she has had with SLU, Sayyed cites the time she has spent with SGA in various roles the past three years. “Being able to serve in these different positions has allowed me to really see what our students are going through,” stated Sayyed. If elected, Sayyed’s main goals include being more of a voice for students and to make SGA less of an “evil source” on campus. Sayyed said how she really hoped to see students who aren’t involved in SGA “on university-wide administrative committees’ ‘ so their voices can be heard. When asked about how her campaign goals fit the jesuit mission, Sayyed pointed how she wants to look to other Jesuit universities in order to foster “a more forward-thinking SLU.” Sayyed believes that the issues students are most concerned about include understanding and interpreting the new Core proposal and promoting more mental health resources on campus. In regard to the challenges SLU as a university faces, Sayyed touches on SLU being enclosed in a bubble or the “SLU bubble.” Sayyed points to how SLU has challenges “getting students to interact with the outside community” and “being less afraid of St. Louis as a city.” In regard to SGA’s role at SLU, Sayyed discusses how SGA sometimes sees itself “as the end all be all” concerning student affairs at SLU. Sayyed maintains that SGA should just serve as a resource for students and for student groups on campus, “At the end of the day, students run SLU, not us.”    

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Maggie Kenney: Maggie Kenney is a junior studying Political Science with minors in mathematics and Spanish. Kenney is the Secretary of Finance for the Model UN team, is involved with the Office of Admission, and is an Oriflamme leader for SLU’ fall orientation program. Kenney states that her favorite part about SLU are the students as a whole and the great professors she has met since enrolling at the university. “The most valuable experience I’ve had here at SLU is working on the Model United Nations team,” said Kenney reflecting on her time and experiences with the club since her freshman year. In the three years Kenney has been at SLU the organization has grown from six to over fourty students and made the national Model UN tournament this year. Kenney has a four pillar plan to her approach if elected as SGA president. This plan consists of listening to other students on campus, empowering student diversity on campus, creating an LGBTQ+ task force on campus to make these students feel more included and safe, and to improve Chartered StudentOrganizations’ access to SGA. In regard to the Core and SLU’s Jesuit mission, Kenney stated that she wanted to “make a commitment to developing curriculum that will go along with the Jesuit mission,” if the Core is indeed passed. Along with promoting sustainability on campus, Kenney’s main goal is to integrate curriculum that is inclusive for non-Catholic students and develops students as “people for and with others.” Additionally, Kenney believes that promoting mental health resources on campus is very important. “If we do not develop students as a whole person, they’re not going to be able to do their best in academics and extracurriculars.” The main issues Kenney believes students are concerned about on campus are mental health and the integrity and character of the Jesuit Mission. The biggest challenges Kenney believes are facing the university include apathy from students and increasing trust in SGA with students. In regard to SGA’s role at SLU, Kenney references the organization’s mission as “a voice and resource for students.” Kenney believes this mission statement is what SGA should ultimately reflect here at SLU as students “should be heard and seen on campus.”          

 

Vice President of Academic Affairs:

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Faith Nixon: Faith Nixon is a junior studying international studies with a focus on the Middle East and global health and environment. Nixon’s current position in SGA is as one of the co-committee chairs for the Food Advisory Board. Nixon stated she first ran for SGA because she “cares about students’ needs and wanted to be in a position where she could advocate for students.” The main issues that are central to Nixon’s campaign are the Core and the development of the Arts and Humanities programs at SLU. If elected, Nixon’s main goal as Vice President of Academic Affairs “would be a resource to everybody I come in contact with.” Within this position in SGA, Nixon wants to be a resource that connects students through networking and to get students to places where they need to go for a better future. In regard to changes that could be made at SLU or within SGA, Nixon stated, “I think SGA is operating at a really great level, I can always see it going farther. I definitely know we can  achieve that next year.” On the campaign trail, Nixon stated that the only thing she has found difficult has been getting her face out there and making sure every student knows her on SLU’s large campus. In terms of handling delicate /controversial issues between students and administration within SGA, Nixon stated that she would be advocating for students and is not afraid of administration. If students are afraid of administration, Nixon would be willing to talk to the administration about it, “That’s the part of building a relationship with them is about,” stated Nixon. When asked about what qualifications she believes she has for Vice President of Academic Affairs, Nixon pointed to how she was class president in high school for two years in a row, got accepted into Harvard as a freshman, is an RA and member of Model UN, and how she currently serves as a committee head for the Food Advisory Board.    

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Sophia Izhar: Sophia Izhar is a sophomore studying biology with a minor in Spanish. Izhar currently serves as a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, is a co-chair for the Assembly for Sexual Assault Prevention, serves on the Wellness Committee, and was a part of the External Affairs Task Force this and last year. Izhar wanted to become involved with SGA at SLU because she realized there was a lot of opportunity to help other students through the organization. “I saw that there was so much that could be done to help other people (through SGA),” stated Izhar. Additionally, Izhar maintained that her experience serving on the Academic Affairs committee last year along with her experience as a senator this year greatly contributed to her desire to run for this position. The main issues central to Izhar’s campaign for Vice President of Academic Affairs include creating a centralized website or platform where students can access various resources, appointing different students from different marginalized identities to university councils, holding more town halls with students so that they can better understand the new Core proposal, and working with different administration to make sure that mental health issues on the part of students are more recognized across different departments. For example, Izhar would like to push for a statement on mental health support to be included on syllabi for SLU courses. In regard to changes she would like to see at SLU, Izhar mentioned how she wants to break the SLU “bubble” and how “at times we don’t venture to make sure we are interacting with our community, which is central to a Jesuit ideal.” When asked about what she found to be the most challenging part of the campaign process, Izhar talked about how it could be sometimes challenging to balance her Pre-Med schoolwork with running an SGA campaign. Finally, when handling delicate situations as Vice President of Academic Affairs, Izhar believes that the most important thing is “to have a foundation if respect and trust.” Izhar states that maintaining a foundation of respect and trust between students and administration makes SLU’s administration more willing to listen to the student perspective.          

Correction: The SGA presidential candidate Alhan Sayyed’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story. The University News regrets the error.

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