Voting for 2023-24 Student Government Association (SGA) positions is now open and will close on Friday, April 14 at 5 p.m. Undergraduate students can vote for their preferred candidates via this link, or by using the QR code below.
This year’s competitive races include current SGA president Kyla Engleman running for reelection against Brayden Kammers, the vice president for internal affairs for the 2022-23 academic year, and four candidates vying for the vice president of internal affairs role: Finnegan Twete, Lyndsey Gaddy, Lillea Eldredge, and Leah Taylor.
Here are the candidate’s statements:
Kyla Engleman (incumbent)
I am Kyla Engleman, a junior at Western studying English with a double minor in Biology and Psychology. I have been in student government for the last two years. Over the last year I have been serving as the president and I have learned so much. If I am elected to be the SGA president for 2023-2024 term, I am hoping to take all of the skills and knowledge that I have learned about SGA to create a better transition for next years cohort. I find immense value in the experience that I have gained this year, and hope to pass that value to others.
This year I have worked on many projects, but I am most proud of the student intranet that will be taking over the current students page. My goal for this past year was to create easier ways for students to communicate about events and have an avenue to learn about what is happening at Western. I believe that this new tool will be the solution to many of our clubs and organizations struggles in reaching the whole student population.
Looking forward to next year I want to continue to improve student communication, especially how SGA can help students on campus with funding and initiatives. Additionally, I hope to encourage SGA members to take on their own initiatives that students feel are important and can impact everyone.
I hope to have the privilege to continue serving as SGA president, and would appreciate your vote!
Dear Western Community,
My name is Brayden Kammers and I am a junior studying Politics with an emphasis in Pre-Law and a minor in Philosophy. Next year will be my final year on this amazing campus before graduating in 2024. I have served as a member of the Student Government Association for all three years I have been at Western.
I started as a Senator when I was a freshman, then was elected to Senate Chair as a sophomore, and this year I am serving as the Vice President of Internal Operations. I am now running for President of SGA. The things I have helped accomplish while on SGA include but are not limited to, fighting for security cameras and better lighting, bringing about the importance for a Vice President of Inclusivity, and supporting the need for mental health services for the Gunnison Community.
I strive to make Western a safe, inclusive, and positive community. I also serve as the Student Representative for the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and have since I was a freshman. On top of that I am also on the Cheerleading team so I understand the importance of school spirit and making everyone feel welcomed to our community. I hope to win the position of President of SGA so that I can continue to spread inclusion and other helpful initiatives to benefit the amazing student body of Western Colorado University.
Vice president for external affairs
Hello Mountaineers! My name is Lillea Eldredge and I will be a senior this year. I grew up in Colorado and have loved being a Western student for the last 2 years. Last year I was the student government secretary and had an amazing time and am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the student body. I would like to expand my contributions as the vice president of external affairs. I have fallen in love with the community of Gunnison and a vital part of this city so their voices should be treated as such. Being a part of the city council meetings and a larger system of communication would allow me to better connect the university with the greater Gunnison community. I feel privileged to have the chance to run for SGA again and appreciate your consideration for the position.
Hello friends. My name is Lyndsey Gaddy and I am a rising senior here at Western Colorado
University. I am an Environment and Sustainability (ENVS) major with minors in both philosophy and politics and government. I plan to attend law school after my time at Western to study environmental law. I am extremely involved on campus including acting as the current director for Program Council, sitting as an advisory member of SGA, and a delegate on the Model United Nations team.
I am very passionate about local government and believe that I would be the best fit to serve as your Vice President of External Affairs. I believe the skills I have developed at my time here at Western have prepared me for local government work and I want to use those skills to support Western students’ connection to the wider Gunnison Valley. I also want to help with transparency with students to make sure as much of the student body knows what is happening on our campus and the community. If you have any questions or see me around campus, don’t be afraid to come up and say hello! I look forward to serving you all.
Hey Western students! My name is Leah Taylor, and I am running as your Vice President of External Affairs. In fall 2021, I served as a student government Senator. Currently, I am the student government Treasurer. I am going to be a junior in the fall and I am on the cross country and track team. I love Western and I love participating in on and off campus activities. I spend my free time running, working at tractor supply, and volunteering at the Gunnison Food Pantry.
My mission as the Vice President of External Affairs will be to serve you all and make sure your voices are being heard, connect with the community and report back information happening off campus in the Student Government’s weekly meetings, and most importantly, participate in deciding where your student fees are going. I believe that the student fees you all pay to the university each year should be dispersed to the events and activities that are for everyone to participate in. I know student fees are a lot and they build up overtime, so I want as many people as possible to be able to take advantage of getting their money’s worth through activities happening on campus.
With that being said, I hope y’all consider voting for me as your Vice President of External
My name is Finnegan Twete and I am running for the Vice President of External Affairs for the Western SGA. My reasoning for this position has come through my time as senator, where community outreach was vital in determining our decisions in a course that best represented the wishes of our incredible student body. Due to this, I plan to strengthen our relationship with the broader Gunnison community to resolve two prominent issues on campus; access to food and storage.
Living on campus the last two years I have been subject to this firsthand and have heard a choir of affirmation in these issues from the student body at large. Whether that be from storing large and expensive pieces of outdoor equipment required or the lack of diversity in food options to students on meal plans, particularly in dorms without access to kitchens. While options for both exist, they are suboptimal in practice as it tends to put strain on the student financially or in health. I believe the best solution to both can be found in our largest supporters, the Gunnison community.
I believe that the position of Vice President of External Affairs would be the perfect
position to achieve the goal of broader food options as Western could work with
restaurants to provide a diverse set of meals for the students at a limited cost to the
Thank you all for a wonderful year, and don’t forget to vote!
Vice president for internal affairs
Howdy! My name is Mikaela Turner, and I’m running for Vice President of Internal Affairs. As an upcoming senior in Politics and Government Pre-Law and a current SGA Senator, Orientation Leader, Student Ambassador, head of Ambassador recruitment, and Social Coordinator for the Marketing team, I’ve had the opportunity to view Western as both a student and on the administrative level. I’m part of the Student Government Association because it’s an excellent learning opportunity to serve within a democratic body, and a chance to enact change through advocating for those who feel they have no voice by serving as a proxy for their victories, complaints, and desires regarding student life.
As Vice President of Internal Affairs, I hope to oversee and implement more open forums and informational messages to foster a unified relationship between SGA and the student population, ensuring we represent everyone at Western equally and to the best of our ability. I believe student fees should be dispersed democratically and fairly to the programs, organizations, and clubs that will enhance student life and provide opportunities for our students post-graduation.
This position will allow me to be more involved in SGA by serving on the Executive Board, as well as the Constitution, Campaign, and Election Committees. I pledge to set a strong example of leadership, execute detail-oriented planning within every aspect of this position, bring positive energy and enthusiasm to our meetings, and above all, prioritize the needs and aspirations of Western’s student body. Thank you for your consideration.
Rex Hauptman (no bio available)
Hey Mountaineers! My name is Jess Hickey, I am originally from Arvada, Colorado but over the last few months have started calling the Gunnison Valley home. I’m a current freshman applying to be an SGA senator for the 2023-2024 school year. I came to Western to be on the cheer team and have since fallen irrevocably in love with the Western community.
Thanks to the help of some amazing faculty here, I decided to switch my major to English and
minor in ENVS. I want to help more people find a home here, both current students and
prospective students considering becoming Mountaineers. I believe this community can still
improve, by addressing issues of diversity and inequity towards people of color and members of the LGBTQIA+, the culture here could elevate even further, making Western more welcoming to more people. I would love your support working towards this future, Sko Neers!
Hey Western! My name is Morgan May, I am currently a freshman but am excited to be campaigning to be a Senator on SGA in my sophomore year. I am majoring in computer science with a minor in math and data analytics. I am also a part of the Mountaineer Cheer team and one of the peer health educators on campus. I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, but after my brother started attending Western his love of the Gunnison Valley is what drew me to this college, and I now share that love for this campus and community. In my short time here I have felt a need to be more connected and a wanting to be able to make greater changes throughout campus. I am so grateful for this new opportunity to help better Western for future and current students!
Hi everybody, my name is Nate Rengo, and I will be a sophomore double majoring in Math and Computer Science. Along with classes, I am on the Mountain Sports Train running team, am a future orientation leader, and work as a math tutor. I want to be part of SGA to make a difference and be a resource to my fellow students. My favorite part about SGA is being part of what happens on our campus and making sure every student has a voice.
Sadira Reinstar (no bio available)
Jacob Tyburski (no bio available)
Tom Wieliczko (no bio available)