Student Government Association Election: Who is Running for Office?


Santiago Vargas, Staff Writer

The April 10-13 Ammerman Student Government Association election involves positions of up to two semesters. A student trustee position, which serves all three SCCC campuses, and the election is college-wide, meaning all students from all three campuses can vote. The election will be conducted online.

Here are the candidates from the Ammerman campus. 

Thomas Doczy, student trustee

Doczy is a 19-year-old business administration major, in his second semester. He is currently SGA’s chair of student engagement, putting him at the forefront of getting feedback from the students’ experiences and with that feedback, working with the board on making the Ammerman campus a better place. That experience, Doczy said, is an attribute that will help him carry on his work in a more efficient way as a student trustee.

“I was always into engaging students and trying to see where we can improve. That’s why I joined the student government here in Ammerman,” Doczy said. “I’d like to be able to touch more of the macro side of the college. Instead of focusing on the individual level more on the college as a whole.”

Doczy is interested in learning about how decisions and duties are carried out by the administration that students don’t normally get to see. He is also committed to making sure students complete their academics at Suffolk. 

“I think that’s something that people really appreciate, being that you get such a great education for such a little price. I just would like to continue making sure that people stay here, keep studying here, and move on to wherever it may be.”

Samantha Portillo, candidate for student trustee

Portillo is an 18-year-old business administration major in her second semester. She studies at the Michael J Grant Campus, she is part of the communication club as well as campus activities. She is also the president of the Educational Opportunity Program, and have been working on the different concerns from students around campus.

On a trip to Albany, she met a former EOP student who was a student trustee at SCCC. Portillo said that receiving advice and intel gave her motivation to try to become student trustee herself.    

Portillo said she is confident in her leadership skills, as well as the insight she has acquired through her meetings and participation in various clubs around the campus. She likes to expand her knowledge throughout the campus and would like to have a better understanding of how these different clubs are managed. 

One major goal she is looking to achieve if she is elected is to bring Common Hour back. 

“As a student, I see my friends that go to the same campus as me, that after class they just rush to work and they don’t give themselves a chance to fully experience” of what the college has to offer. 

Ethan Rothburd, candidate for SGA president

Rothburd is a 20-year-old liberal arts major in his third semester. He is currently serving as the SGA’s chair of the information committee, gathering information, and working with deans and advisors to help create changes for students at SCCC. 

One great initiative he has worked on, he says, was last semester when he and the board worked on improving the services at the cafeteria, making changes, and adding new options. “I want to make sure that all students have the best experiences they can because that also impacts my experience as well,” Rothbard said.

As a chairman, Rothburd has been involved in administration, and working with deans and advisors, which has helped him acquire experience in managing people and leadership. 

His main motivation to participate in this election, he said, is to see changes made. Getting students involved in clubs is one of his main goals if he is elected, as well as keep evaluating the food service.

Rothburd would like to bring Common Hour back, a one-hour period that used to occur on Wednesdays that was a time solely for students to meet and attend clubs. He says that students have expressed their interest in seeing such this coming back to college. Common Hour hasn’t been present in the college since the pandemic hit, and was eliminated last year.

“I think that is one thing that’ll definitely be a priority for us.”

What SGA has been up to lately

The primary job of the SGA is to serve as a voice for the student body and advocate for its best interest. 

For any student who may want to get involved in the SGA, Secretary Sabrina Franco, who is a music major in her first year at Suffolk, said they should be passionate about the organization and come with a purpose to contribute to the community.

Here are two examples of how the SGA has acted on behalf of students in recent months. 

According to Franco, last month the SGA traveled to Albany on Advocacy Day. Secretary Sabrina and other representatives from other campuses recommended the state provide more funding for the college. They expressed their thoughts on why community colleges deserve more funding and talked about their experiences and the experiences of the students of SCCC to advocate for the whole institution. 

“I’m very proud of that because as a student I know how hard it is to pay for college,” said SGA president Jose Riquelme. 

There was also a food survey conducted last semester, Riquelme said. The committee worked on collecting information about the student’s opinions and their food satisfaction, from the cafeteria menu, and how they felt about the different options available. They brought those responses to a food service college-wide committee. Based on about 150 responses, they tried to make recommendations regarding what should be added to the cafeteria. 

The treasurer of the SGA, Arshiyan Khan said that even though it is not at a large scale, he still cherishes how many people he can help. “It’s a very good support system.” 

Arshiyan is a business administration major, and he will be stepping down from the executive board of the SGA and is looking for a new treasurer as a successor for next semester. 

“Our future plan is to set up a good foundation for next semester, so whoever is newly elected will know the routes and can come into SGA and make their own and make it as great as they possibly can,” Franco said.