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SGA presidential team looks ahead at State of the Undergraduate Student Body

SGA presidential team looks ahead at State of the Undergraduate Student Body

SGA presidential team looks ahead at State of the Undergraduate Student Body
April 27
18:34 2022

Dozens of Student Government Association members and students gathered in the Apogee Stadium’s third-floor Hub Club Tuesday evening to attend the school year’s last State of the Undergraduate Student Body.

The speeches from Vice President David Muñoz-Sarabia and President Devon Skinner were both a final update on the organization and their final thoughts of their term. In his speech, Muñoz-Sarabia touched on some of the efforts the SGA had done over the past year to support and better represent the student body, such as adding a seat to represent the Frisco campus New College, supporting legislation to give Muslim students inclusive dining and creating Juneteenth holiday.

SGA President Devon Skinner speaks during the state of the student body on April 26, 2022. John Anderson

“The senate plays an important role in SGA and our UNT community,” Muñoz-Sarabia said. “There are so many people that will enter a new era that ensures the best possible advocacy for our student body.”

Muñoz-Sarabia thanked his fellow SGA members, his friends and his family for supporting him throughout his time in the organization and for pushing him to keep going forward.

“Thank you for being you and for all your support, it really means a lot,” Muñoz-Sarabia said. “Especially for someone who looks like me, someone that comes from parents of immigrants that traveled to this country. It means their sacrifice wasn’t in vain.”

Muñoz-Sarabia would not be returning to the SGA next semester but instead taking over the Latinx/Hispanic Student Union as its incoming president.

“I’m really excited to see what we will accomplish as a community,” Muñoz-Sarabia said.

SGA Vice President David Muñoz-Sarabia speaks at the State of the Undergraduate Student Body on April 26, 2022. John Anderson

After a short break to allow the attendees and speakers to grab plates of food, Skinner took the stage at the front of the room to deliver the final public speech of his administration. Skinner began by acknowledging university students’ work to attend college throughout the several political issues and pandemic threatening “normalcy” over the past few years.

“The UNT community is resilient,” Skinner said.

There were several breaks for applause from attendees throughout Skinner’s speech, especially after mentioning Student Allocations Director and Deputy-Chief-of-Staff Bella Armenta and her work in Eagle’s Nest and Raupe Travel Grant funds.

“For the first time in nearly 10 years, these funds are fully depleted,” Skinner said.

SGA is funded through the Student Services Fees all students pay as part of their tuition, allocating $104,690.12 to the organization’s budget. After spending the rest on various initiatives or distributing it to members, this year there is still more than $10,000 left over for the next administration to start their term off on the right foot, said Skinner.

“I’m sure you’ll find a good use for it,” Skinner said.

Some of the accomplishments of Skinner’s administration include giving new life to an old Menstrual Hygiene Initiative, hosting various events and town halls, advocating for online class options throughout COVID-19, revising the student constitution and informing the university about future initiatives it could enact to help students, said Skinner.

“I do sincerely appreciate the senate’s involvement and advocacy this year and the hard work they put in,” Skinner said.

The student body is poised for success with the right guidance, Skinner said. He then ended his speech by saying empathy, advocacy and community were central pillars of growth for the students finishing or beginning their journey at the university.

“David and I ran on the slogan, ‘This Starts Now,’” Skinner said. “This cannot end now.”

SGA President-elect Jermaine “JT” Turner (middle) listens to Devon Skinner speak during the State of the Undergraduate Student Body on April 26, 2022. John Anderson

President-elect Jermaine “JT” Turner and Vice-President-Elect Aaliyah Shillow are more than prepared to take over the SGA and continue supporting the next generation of university students, said Skinner.

“We hope to hold admin accountable as we go into next year with our initiatives, but also making sure we’re keeping ground on things that were already started before us,” Turner said. “I’m very excited for the future as well.”

Featured Image: SGA President Devon Skinner speaks to attendees of the State of the Undergraduate Student Body on April 26, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Alex Reece

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