The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

2021 University Student Senate Elections

From left to right: Kevin Gill, Taylor Stokes and Sal De Rienzo.

Kevin Gill ’22 (He/Him/His) – Presidential Candidate

Major: finance

Student senator since Sept. 2019

Fun Fact: My family has been at St. Joe’s for over 53 years. 

Taylor Stokes ’22 (She/Her/Hers) – Presidential Candidate

Major: criminal justice, Minor: justice and ethics in the law

Student senator since Sept. 2018

Fun Fact: I know most of the choreography to all the Disney Channel Original Movies.

Sal De Rienzo ’22 (He/Him/His) – Vice Presidential Candidate

Majors/Minors: philosophy and economics double major, Minor: justice and ethics in the law 

Student Senator since Sept. 2018

Fun FactI could tell you all 46 presidents in order.

What made you decide to run for USS?

Gill: I have always been heavily involved on campus. I really decided to run for president to ensure that the mission of St. Joe’s is being held to the highest standards. I strive to be the bridge between administration and students in everything I do. Additionally, I will ensure that the students have the resources to voice their opinions in their own words. I always lead with transparency and inclusiveness and strive to ensure that my communication is clear and frequent so that everyone is aware and can be a voice of change for St. Joe’s.

Stokes: At first, it was a really tough decision for me because I am the Black Student Union (BSU) president and I’m secretary of inclusion and equity on the USS. I love the Black community. That is my life, that’s my love. But I think in this president role, I can really do all the work that I was doing in BSU and doing as a secretary, but with a greater push. I’m really trying to make sure I’m representing all students in this 21st USS that’s to come.

De Rienzo: As we’re beginning to merge with USciences, a lot of policies and a lot of mandates that will essentially govern this merger will be going through University Council. I’m really excited about the merger, I’m also really interested in it and I want to make sure that student input is heard every step of the way. I want to help play a role in reshaping what our university looks like, and at every step of the way, incorporating student input.

What are your plans for the position if you win?

Gill: My platform is broken down into three pillars, which is fostering community, allowing input on the new USciences merger and ensuring accountability of administration. To go into this further, we must celebrate our differences and come together as a community. As president, I will strive to ensure that every student feels at home and safe on Hawk Hill.

Stokes: My plans are to make sure that students have a say in the merger with [our] university and USciences and welcoming all students. If we think about this merger to come, we’re going to have a lot of different students that are going to be coming here and we need to be working to be more inclusive and a more welcoming space.

De Rienzo: One of the plans is definitely to ensure that student voices are heard in university governance, not just with the merger, but just in general, and being able to effectively communicate with administrators for determining what mandates do go through. As vice president, it’s my job to ensure that every single member of this student senate, feels empowered to do their work and feels supported.

What change will you prioritize if you are elected?

Gill: An overarching goal that I have for this community is to be inclusive. For me, being inclusive means ensuring that everyone feels comfortable being their true selves. It’s providing a space that is welcoming to all and allowing individuals to express themselves completely. It’s inviting all to have a say in the decisions that directly impact them. The best way to really foster inclusion and foster a sense of community is to ensure that we are all being represented and heard. 

Stokes: The change I want to make the most on campus is leaving the university better than I found it. I wouldn’t say one change is better than another. Because as student body president, I want to represent all people, I want to represent all voices and make sure everybody has a seat. If I become the president of the 21st USS, I want everybody to have a seat at my table. And that means everybody’s caring about all issues. We have enough people, we have enough room.

De Rienzo: One of the big changes on campus that I’d like to work towards is better communication between the administration and the student body. From being an executive board member now, and also speaking with former presidents and vice presidents, I’ve noticed that at times, there is a disconnect between the will of the administration and the will of the student body. 

Voting will run from Thursday, April 29 at 8 a.m. to Friday, April 30 at 5 p.m. Current students of each class year can vote for student body president and vice president on The Nest.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *