Newly elected Unified Student Government Association (USGA) President Pedro Guerrero, 21, looks forward to moving the university in a more open-minded and diverse direction during the 2013-2014 school year.
Plans for the year are “based around making USGA more visible and [place] a larger focus on programming,” said Guerrero, a senior political science and international studies major.
This comes in response to noted tensions regarding communication between the student body and the administration over the last academic year, and a concern that the administration was not taking into account what the students were asking for, he said. These tensions included disagreements about a newer costly meal plan that students protested last April.
“I would like to see an increase in stronger relations between the administration and the students,” he said.
While Guerrero said details are still being solidified, he plans to approach this task by combining both the needs of the students and the university.
“We as college students work at a very fast pace and we expect our administration to also work at a fast pace,” he said in regards to miscommunications among students and the administration, adding that it comes down to interacting with the university on a more direct and understanding level.
Guerrero also stressed that programming is a priority for him in working to serve the student body.
“I want to create new programs that will pull students in and keep them engaged,” he said of his developing plans for the school year.
Another focus point of Guerrero’s is to create a more welcoming environment on campus for the undocumented students attending Loyola. According to the 2012-2013 common data set for Loyola, there were 254 students that classified as a nonresident aliens.
“Undocumented students are basically people that have been brought to the United States and don’t have legal residency here or any formal permission to be in the U.S. … I’d like to ask the faculty and staff to continue to support them,” he explained.
Being an emigrant from Peru himself, Guerrero has spent his time at Loyola seeking out new ways to grow as a leader and impact the university in his own way.
It is his hope to see the school continue to provide support for undocumented students by hiring a staff member to handle issues, such as financial aid, for these students.
This past summer Guerrero gained experience in government through working for the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
“I’m hoping to take my time on the Hill and adapt it to student government as well,” he said.
In addition, throughout his years at Loyola, Guerrero has worked as an orientation leader, and in multiple organizations. He has held positions as the Chronicler, Interfraternity Council Delegate and Eminent Correspondent on the Executive Board of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He has also been a member of the Acafellas and the Loyola for Chicago volunteer program.
“I’m a big proponent of promoting new perspectives and promoting diversity. … That’s something that I’ve always been very passionate about,” he said.