President-Elect Reznikov Outlines Plan for School Year


Photo Courtesy of Jack Connaghan

After many weeks on the campaign trail, candidates running for Student Government Association positions were elected by SLU students on Feb. 25. The two contested races were for the positions of President and Vice President of Academic Affairs. For the position of President, Joseph Reznikov defeated fellow candidates Maggie Kenney and Alhan Sayyed. For the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs, Sophia Izhar emerged victorious against opponent Faith Nixon. A majority of the votes for the election were submitted by students and tallied by the Election Commission through SLU groups. 

Reznikov said that he first heard the news of his victory on the night of the election after receiving a call from current SGA President Maleah Fallahi and Election Commissioner Andrew Wagner offering their congratulations. The feeling Reznikov initially had upon hearing the news was “complete honor” because “this community and this place means a lot to me,” he said.

Now officially elected as SGA president, Reznikov’s main goal is to sit down individually with all of the vice presidents and talk about the visions they have for their roles. Stating that he sees the role of SGA president as “a visionary,” Reznikov said he wants to be able to support the goals and ideas of the Vice Presidents along with giving the student body a voice.

When asked about his plan of action next year when in office, Reznikov said that he wants to “make strides with our Mental Health Task Force.” He pointed to how there were many mental health and wellness efforts happening in various places on campus. Rezinkov’s plan would be to centralize these mental health efforts and to let SGA be “the center” of those movements and “to continue to emphasize to administrators how much of a priority mental health resources are to students.”

Another goal for Reznikov next year as president is “to be very intentional about the students we put on university committees.” Reznikov said he wants to make sure that SGA is not picking the same students from the same racial background, gender identity, major or ability to these committees. Reznikov’s plan would be to pick students to university committees who come with “unique and varying experiences within the student body” because a lot of times these students’ voices go unheard.

Another issue that is important to Reznikov’s platform as president is the proposed new core curriculum. With the way that the core curriculum is currently crafted, Reznikov said he wants SGA to continue “to prioritize student voices as the process goes on.” Additionally, Reznikov wants to make sure what is emphasized in the current core plan continues to be emphasized once it is actualized.      

Reznikov’s approach to reaching his goals within SGA is best described as “very interpersonal.”

“I think the best thing to do when stepping into a role like this is to take it on a day-to-day level and a person-to-person level,” he said. Reznikov maintained that it is important to let people work on what they are passionate about, which would lead to tangible progress within SGA. 

One thing that Reznikov would want to change about SGA is how it “feels overwhelming for students who are not involved in it.” Reznikov said he does not want SGA to feel intimidating, but instead come across as an organization that welcomes unique student experiences. Reznikov said he believes his perspective as an outsider of SGA, along with his knowledge of the internal workings of the organization, could help improve the perception of student government in the eyes of the SLU community. 

In regard to the recent administrative turnover at SLU, Reznikov said that there are crucial conversations to be had within SGA and the student body in general. “I think it’s really important to continue to be transparent with the rest of the student body about how SGA is handling some of these situations and what it looks like for us because students who are not involved in SGA should be just as involved in those processes,” he said.     

For the most part, SLU’s SGA Election Day occurred with little controversy. There was a grievance filed about an Instagram post by Reznikov’s team which implied an endorsement of a non-CSO group. This broke an SGA Election rule, and the grievance was ruled on by Election Commissioner Andrew Wagner and SGA Moderator Jackie Weber. The Election Commission determined that the post should be taken down, and Weber, on appeal, asked Reznikov’s campaign to put forth an apology.

The total vote counts will be released to the public, but not until the Election Commission’s full election debrief and report are finished. This process will take at least a couple more weeks, Wagner stated.