April 14, 2023 | NEWS | By Leigh Walden
Colorado College Student Government Association is welcoming new leadership as students prepare more and more for the 2023-24 school year. Among the new leadership are newly elected Student Body President Vicente Blas-Taijeron ’24, Vice President of Finance Addi Schwieterman ‘24, and Vice President of Inclusion Alexandra Flores ’26.
Working with CCSGA won’t be new for any of these leaders as they’ve all been involved in balancing different elements of the student experience including mental health protests, club funding, and hosting school-wide events. For each leader, the upcoming school year brings new challenges and exciting opportunities.
Blas-Taijeron, especially, has big aspirations for CCSGA going into the next year. Coming out of a meeting about housing security on campus, he is centering his focus on how to improve the current student living experience on campus but also mentions that his aspirations extend past just those issues. Instead, he wants to build more of a connection between CCSGA and the general student body and pursue greater interconnectivity within CCSGA.
“Forging relationships with each other and also with students is… part of the work I want to do,” said Blas-Taijeron. Inside CCSGA, he feels there are chasms between the different working groups and thinks building strength and shared work within the group will benefit the whole student body. One of the issues that he is centering on is mental health on campus.
“I also think about bringing in leaders from affinity groups, mental health organizations on campus, or maybe even community partners to take a grassroots approach to keeping… our incoming VP of Wellness and the different offices on campus in check and assuring that they’re helping with the mental health climate” says Blas-Taijeron.
Advocating for better mental health resources on campus is something Blas-Taijeron has worked on for a while. As student trustee, he brought in the on-campus group advocating for better mental health resources into a board meeting without standard approval. Speaking for just under two hours, this group was able to share the reasons their advocacy mattered so much for CC.
Schwieterman can also be said to have a robust presence on campus. Her re-election as the Vice President of Finance will mark her second year in the office. This year she said a lot of the work she and her committee accomplished was building back norms from pandemic spending within CCSGA.
“This year most of the committee’s time was dedicated to allocating Special Events Funding and developing the process in which people apply for funding in order to accommodate the increase in need after the campus’s recovery from the pandemic. This next year, I want to focus on further defining the roles each member of the committee fills and how those positions work as a team,” wrote Schwieterman. Somewhat aligning with Blas-Taijeron’s goal, Schwieterman is ready to work both externally and internally to build the strength of CCSGA’s financial goals.
Externally, one of Schwieterman’s goals is to see how CCSGA funding is being spent by on-campus groups. Currently there is no detailed account of how money is used. Schwieterman wrote “when I have reached out to offices that receive funding from CCSGA annually they are usually unaware of where that funding is coming from since it just gets automatically transferred to their account at the beginning of the year.” She wants there to be an expectation of accountability to ensure that funds are being allocated for the benefit of students on campus.
As CCSGA moves into the new year, Blas-Taijeron wants to stress how accessible student government is on campus. “I’m always open to feedback,” he says, “…please hold us accountable.” Full council elections, which include offices of class representatives, diversity, equity, and inclusion leads, and finance reps, will take place later this month.