Getting involved helped new student government president flourish at UHV
Alvaro De La Cruz wasn’t involved in any extracurricular activities in high school, and as a result, he often was bored.
But when he arrived at the University of Houston-Victoria in August 2015, De La Cruz was determined not to make that mistake again. From his first day on campus, he went out and talked with people. The conversations resulted in connections, which resulted in getting involved in many student activities and events.
Less than two years later, students elected De La Cruz as UHV Student Government Association president for the 2017-2018 school year. De La Cruz, a junior from Converse, took office on Monday.
“I never believed I would get this far,” he said. “All I had set in my mind was to work hard and achieve my goal of getting into medical school. I didn’t think I would become so active.”
The Student Government Association serves as the liaison between students and the university’s administration. It also enhances student life by sponsoring and promoting participation in student activities. De La Cruz will serve as the student representative on the UHV President’s Cabinet.
Megan Huerta, a graduate student from Van Vleck, served as SGA president in 2016-2017. She will stay on the SGA Executive Board as chief justice. Ashley Yaws, a senior from Edna, will serve as SGA vice president.
De La Cruz is majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. His career ambition is to work in emergency medicine. In the fall semester, he served as an SGA sophomore senator. In the spring, Huerta asked De La Cruz to serve as interim speaker of the senate.
“I learned how to keep an ear open to what students are saying and represent their interests,” De La Cruz said. “It helped me have an idea of what needs to be done. Being speaker of the senate helped me with my communication skills. I developed a more professional tone. Overall, I got my foot in the door and learned what executive board members do.”
De La Cruz said one area he wants to continue working on is safety improvements in the residence halls. One idea is to add mirrors to cover corner blind spots in the parking lot to help drivers and pedestrians see around the corners.
He also plans to encourage more leadership development. He would like more students to take part in leadership opportunities, such as the ROAR Leadership Conference and the ROAR Certified Leader program.
As for new items he’d like to bring forward, De La Cruz isn’t going into his term with a specific to-do list.
“If a student comes up to me and wants to talk about something, I will hear him or her out,” he said. “I’m representing the students, so I will be working on what they want.”
De La Cruz is a Resident Assistant at Jaguar Suites. He has served as vice president for the Residence Hall Association and the Pre-Health Student Association. He also was active with the Jaguar Activities Board, Alliance and the Hispanic Student Association. He was a member of the UHV Homecoming Committee and was one of the recipients of the 2017 Spirt of the Jaguar award. The award recognizes integrity, citizenship, academics and respect.
Other students elected to the 2017-2018 Student Government Association are:
- Deshavian Williams, director of finance
- Faizon Matthews, director of public relations
- Aly Rojas, speaker of the senate
- Jacqueline Luna, School of Arts & Sciences senator
- Diego Deluna, School of Business Administration senator
- Jacklyn Medina and Sophia Espinoza, senior senators
- Anthony Slade and Victoria Gonzales, junior senators
- Dante Wyche, Alexis Wallace and Randall Jasek, sophomore senators
- Nelly Ndayikengurukiye, freshman senator
- Sara Weinstein and Chanel Reinertsen, graduate student senators
The School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development senator, along with additional senior, junior, freshman and graduate student senators, will be filled in the fall. For more information about SGA, visit http://www.uhv.edu/student-government-association or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.