Mildred Martinez, a junior biology major and economics minor, is running for student body president. She’s been with Student Government Association (SGA) since she was a freshman.
“That’s when I learned about all the changes being made on campus,” she said. “There are a lot of things that administration does and we just get a heads up. I want to keep up that relationship where they communicate what they’re doing with us.”
Martinez continues to serve SGA as the secretary for academic affairs in the executive cabinet.
She says SGA has helped her to gain an appreciation for campus-wide affairs. “I want to demonstrate to other students this is what we’re doing and why. Students need to know where their money is going.”
She is also the secretary of Allied Health, a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, and a former orientation counselor, where she got to know her running mate RJ Chisolm.
Chisolm, an exercise science major, is running alongside Martinez as student body vice president. He currently serves as the IT secretary for the executive cabinet, the program coordinator of the Campus Activities Board and a SAFE Counselor.
“I firmly believe that if you want to make a change to your environment you have to take that step instead of waiting on someone to take action for you,” he said. “I have a lot of connections to utilize and make a change to the campus and make it better for those who come after me.”
The two are running on a platform of “Comfort, Commitment and Comfortability.” They stress the importance of students feeling comfortable and able to express who they are during their time at UNC Charlotte. They also want to be accessible and serve as a liaison between students and administration.
Martinez and Chisolm agree that the university’s rapidly growing population presents a large organizational problem. However, as they see it, there could be a bright side. Chisolm thinks this could be a chance for students to get more involved in student government while Martinez pointed out her academic experience is far more diverse than of her friends who attend smaller universities.
“I have been able to see the community grow just even interacting in a library,” said Martinez. “Students make this campus a great place. It’s something I will always be happy about because other friends of mine can’t see students from as many different backgrounds like I can.”
However, the team agrees it’s not enough to be diverse. “We have to connect students from different backgrounds.”
“A lot of the organizations are afraid to mix with different organizations,” Chisolm said. “Latino organizations cosponsor events with other Latinos and Blacks with Blacks. There can be a bigger way for students to be heard if they collaborate.”
They are running against Niayai Lavien and Chandler Crean. “It’s going to be a tough challenge,” Martinez said. “They’re strong people; they know what they want and their platform is well thought out.”
The election will take place online at vote.uncc.edu on March 27 and 28. Students can also vote for sophomore, junior and senior class presidents as well as senators.
If elected, they will be sworn in April 12.