SA Presidential Candidates’ Platforms

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There are three SA positions which require an application: SA President, Executive Vice President and Social Vice President. All other positions require an interview process. This year, no one has submitted an application for the position of Executive Vice President nor Social Vice President. SA and SA Senate are currently considering students for nomination to fill these two positions. 

SA election speeches will take place during Critical Conversations this Thursday, Feb. 18. Primary elections will open shortly after the speeches have concluded.

Juan Carlos Grajales

I feel inspired to mention that I want to be an integral part of this campus. To put myself out there and give students another choice — a choice that would fight for them, a choice that would be there for them, a choice that will open up the doors and break down the walls of prejudice and open up channels of communication. 

To run for president is to run to be a chain — a chain that will bridge the gap and allow the free-flow of information for all. To accomplish this, I aim to achieve three things during my term.

Unfortunately, Southern does not have the best reputation of getting information out to students in a timely manner regarding big decisions. Therefore I would like to work closely with the Southern Accent to establish a weekly “report” of all the meetings and decisions discussed by administration that would directly impact student life so that students can always be well informed and have a window of opportunity to have their voices heard regarding these decisions before they are concrete and irreversibly affect student life. 

Secondly, I vow to work with the elected Executive Vice President to restructure the SA Senate, and allow for a less formal sub-committee of Senators that would meet weekly to directly reach out to students on campus and bring forward the needs and ideas that are not being brought forward by SA Senate constituent emails.

Lastly, I would like to further develop the Southern app. Southern Adventist University is a campus filled with many resources available to students, of which many are free or carry little to no cost. However, many students are not aware of these things, much less know that they can use them. Southern’s application needs to be further developed in order to assemble everything that is outside of it into one. 

During my last three years of education here at Southern Adventist University, I have been blessed to have a great experience with our staff, teachers, student body and diverse departments. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many things about the Southern experience have changed. But if chosen, it would be my honor and privilege to put the student body before myself and work in a manner that would further polish the work that has been done by the president’s in the past. To unite, communicate, and meet your needs. 

Let’s create a campus that we can be proud of for years to come. Let’s make the change.

Amy Dias Nogueira

My platform is built on the principle, “Give Students A Voice.” Over and over again, I have seen SA presidents run on this platform. However, I want to come with a different approach.

I believe that for this approach to work, one must constantly take the “pulse” of the student body. With this in mind, I will make running polls on both my personal Instagram and the SA Instagram a priority. I will strive to consistently interact and engage with students to get a true sense of their needs.

My three main points of focus will be:

1.  Spiritual Revival. I want to fight for true spirituality that comes from a heart of love for God and others. This can be achieved through bringing good speakers and evangelists, as well as holding spiritual retreats on campus, to bring a real relationship with God into focus. 

I want to see spiritual well-being that comes from showing students who God is. If coercion worked to change the heart of man, many of our students would not be using other vices to fill that God-size void. I want students to grow their relationship with God because of who He is, not because they are forced to.

2. Give All Students a Voice. I want to give all students an equitable voice, because either we all have the right to be heard, or none of us do. I want it to be known that under my administration, racism will not be tolerated. I want every student to feel comfortable enough to come to me with their anger, their hurt, their pain and their fears. I want the students to know that their issues will be addressed and that I will be a president who will hold administration accountable for that.

3.  Create a Safe Space for Women. Sadly, even on a Christian campus like Southern, women (and even men) face issues of unwanted sexual advances, broken boundaries and even rape. Even more distressing is how these cases have been handled by administration in the past. This has led to a culture of silence, of shame and of fear. This empowers the strong and exposes the weak to further harassment. So, it is my desire to work with the new team assigned to the Title IX administration to fight rape culture on campus. I will not stand for women or men having to fight to be believed when they report sexual harassment, sexual violence and rape.

It is my goal to be not only a representative of the student body at Southern, but to be a listening ear and an empathetic heart. And that is why I am running for president.

Jhosuet Esten

Southern Adventist University is a unique place where we’ve been able to grow and develop as adults. It is here where most of us learn what career path we want to take, and it is where we make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. 

Though Southern has been a home, a safe place and a great community, there are still areas in which it can do better. I believe there are two characteristics we need to address to make Southern a better place: Awareness and transparency.

As SA President, I will bring awareness by teaming up with IT and Student Development in order to create a website that will allow students to see the projects going on around campus and how they can be involved. This in turn will help keep administration and senators accountable for the projects that have been approved and the policies that are in question.

Another change that I will make on campus is to create more transparency. As president, I vow to be the bridge between the student body and faculty to bring transparency to you the students. Too long we have not known where to go to speak our opinions. For too long we have not known who we should turn to in order to have our voices heard. It has been enough.

With the help of Studio 4109, I will create a platform where students can feel free to express their concerns to my team and me. This will give students the ability to make a difference and make sure that their voices are heard. Ensuring direct access to the individuals who will listen and act on student’s suggestions.

Southern Adventist University is a place where God has blessed many people, myself included. I would be honored to have the opportunity to be a part of that blessing that makes a difference in improving the lives of those around me. However, I cannot do it alone. 

It is going to take each and every one of us working together to truly see change. We must hold fast onto God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 and trust that together we will make Southern’s campus a better place for us and for those that are to come. 

As Barack Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” 

I sincerely believe this, and I implore the student body to take action.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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