SGA Candidate Information

SGA 2015 - 2016 Candidate Information

Welcome to our SGA Elections webpage!  Here you will find the information on our candidates that are running for your 2014-2015 ececutive board of the Student Government Association on the Pleasantville campus.

Voting will take place in an online system and those details will be posted throughout campus, contained on this site and widel distributed through an email that all eligible students will receive on Monday morning of April 7th, 2014.  During and prior to the elections process, if there are any access issues or questions please email Shawn Livingston at

Any violations of the provided campaigning and elections process can be heard by the Judicial Board of the Student Government Association, in collaboration with our Elections Committee.  Please proceed to email Shawn Livingston at with as many details as possible.  Violations and concerns are reviewed prior to the release of the final ballot results.  Students wishing to file a report about the elections process must do so within 48 hours after the close of the polls.  This means, no violations or concerns will be reviewed by the Judicial Board and/or the Elections Committee after 3pm on Sunday April 13. 

Please Note: Candidates are listed by position and then alphabetically by last name. This is the same way in which they will be ordered on the elections ballot.

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE! Click here. 


Kristina Vukaj

My name is Kristina Vukaj and I write to you with hopes of becoming your 2014-2015 President. I am 5.8, Albanian, and hard working. I do not want to waste your time, so I will make my points quickly and effectively. I believe that I ended up at Pace for a reason. Most people will tell you I’m am on campus way too much for a commuter and there’s not a day that the library janitor walks by me and I don’t greet him. I am a person who lives for others, who believes in hard work, and who wants a more integral role in helping this university reach its potential. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way, one whose courage to fulfill a vision comes from passion, and one who empowers others. I can be this leader for you.

My freshman year I saw a need to recognize high achieving students who were transitioning from high school, so I founded Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Honor Society for First Year Students. I believe in working towards excellence since part of why we are here is to learn and develop into professionals. Throughout my time at Pace I have maintained a 3.9 GPA, while juggling multiple responsibilities. I am a 5 time Delegate on the University’s Winning Model United Nations team, and a member of the Setters Leadership Program.

This past semester, my senior team and I founded Pace Mart, a convenience store/ café coming to Mortola Library this April! Pace Mart will create more internship opportunities for business students, more student jobs, and enable community development by keeping more students on campus. We will also be there when you want a cup of coffee while studying, or a roll of toilet paper for your dorm room.

You might ask what I plan to do, but the purpose of SGA is to be a body that serves the students; that means you call the shots around here! How many times have you been promised something that you never got? Many of you voice issues with parking, or the fact that there are still mounds of snow separating the rows of the Miller lot. We all recognize the gaps between the NYC, Pleasantville, and Briarcliff campuses, the gaps between commuters and dormers, issues being faced by student orgs, or the possibility that our current needs are being compromised to fulfill the future master plan. I have been listening, and I am still listening. I want to make a difference, even if it is only in the world that we live in. Help me make that difference and vote for Kristina Vukaj as President.

John Wrench

Coming out of high school, I never thought I would attend Pace University, I fell in love when I came for orientation, and since then I have seen myself and my campus grow. As a freshman I became involved with student organizations through the founding of Philosophy Club, my initiation in a Greek organization, and later as a Senator. I believe that I have a well-rounded view of Pace and my investment in the student body forces me to seek ways to make the student life on this campus better. I take Student Government very seriously as it is one of the best settings to make the campus life on Pleasantville even better, I also am interested in tackling projects at Pace that would benefit all students as well as making their voices heard.

If I were to be elected as President of the Student Government Association, I have several goals that I think I would be responsible for:

1. To install standing committees or working groups, made up of senators, to tackle student problems at Pace University.
2. I would like to shift the function of the Student Government over to a more proactive system. Student Government was started on this campus to primarily aid the administrative offices with registration and the management of student organizations. While these are important tasks, I believe that the Student Government should be focusing on student advocacy and problem solving more than act as a second, student-run SDCA office.
3. Regarding several specific projects, I would personally push for the installment of 24-hour library hours in Mortola Library; there is a large student push for this and it would make sense that if Pace University supports academic success, it would make sense to make the library of more viable option.
4. I would like to start a student driven advocacy program which would go out into the student population and interview them concerning changes they want at Pace, instead of sending out automated surveys to Pace email. The best way to reach students is to sit down with them and ask them what they need from the university. I would then request that these students come to Student Government as see their concern discussed, hopefully this would encourage new student leaders to emerge from the Pace population.
5. I would fight to keep financial aid options for students considering the cuts to Federal Work Study, we need to make it possible for students to stay here and by working with administration, I hope that we may be able to give new options to students who are struggling to stay at Pace.

Thank you for your support,
John G. Wrench


Daniel Garcia

Helping others has always been a main focus or at least a value that I have stood by throughout most of my life. Going out my way or going above and beyond what is asked of myself is something that I strive to do each and every day no matter how small or big the task might be. I have a great deal of determination to help others succeed regardless of who they are or what they do. Through my leadership experiences on campus and volunteering experiences throughout the country I have a true understanding of what giving back to the community is all about and I am confident that I can most certainly give back to the student body because it's not just the organizations that I'm a part that motivate me, it's the everyday students that I interact with and get to know that pushes me to be the best I can be. My name is Dan Garcia and I am a sophomore Applied Psychology major and I am ready to be your next Executive Vice President for the Student Government Association.


Luiz Ribeiro Filho

Pace University has provided me with so many wonderful opportunities. Being a part of Pace University’s football team has made me feel like a contributing member to our school community. After having major knee surgery, Pace was willing to work with me through my recovery, providing me with an opportunity to remain a team member.

As a member of the football team, I have been able to develop a range of important skills that will assist me in a multitude of areas throughout my life. In particular, football has taught me the importance of setting goals for myself, goals for a group of people, and proper time management and organizational skills. While in season, I have learned that timing is everything, and that proper time management is the key to success.

Coinciding with these skills, football has taught me the proper skills necessary for leadership. Football has provided me with a better understanding of teamwork, and the value of respecting, listening and incorporating other individuals’ ideas and opinions. When I joined the football team at Pace, I was a freshman, and thought it would be difficult to dedicate myself to my team and my schoolwork in an unfamiliar environment. I have and continue to give to my commitment to my team, achieve high academic standing and maintain relationships with many people on campus in my social life.

Alongside my leadership and football experience, I have a great understanding of the field of finance. I previously worked for a small hedge fund called Bedford Oak Advisors in Mt. Kisco, NY. While working there, I assisted in inputting trades and performed market research. I also monitored supply levels, managed orders and effectively communicated with clients, traders and advisors on a daily basis among other tasks. I am currently interning for a company called Argus Information and Advisory Services. My daily tasks include creating analytical reports and constructing spreadsheets for various banks. I also review reports for consistency and accuracy on a daily basis. My experience within the world of finance is continuously expanding and becoming the Vice President of Finance is a way I can assist the Pace community with my skill set.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that Pace has given me and I will continue to be a contributing member to our community. Pace has offered me astonishing opportunities and I hope to receive the chance to give back to my university community as Vice President of Finance of Pace University. The student body holds my biggest concern. Socializing with fellow students in the Pace community has allowed me to recognize the potential of what our school can become by aspiring to specific goals.

Jessica Varghese

Hello. My name is Jessica Varghese, and I am running for your Student Government Vice President of Finance for the 2014-2015 school year. As an introduction, I am a junior majoring in Finance and Accounting. I am a Resident Assistant in Hillside/Howard Johnson. I am currently a financial delegate, and have been for the past two years. Being a finance delegate, part of my responsibility include making sure all the student activity fund is used properly. I was also the senator for DHOSA for the past two years. I am incredibly hard-working, dedicated, and involved. I hold the knowledge that this job requires. This university is experiencing changes, with both the Master Plan and the fiftieth anniversary. I believe that I can see our organizations through these changes. I want to improve communication with different organizations. I want to make people feel welcome at BAC meetings. This is our students’ money, and they should be aware of the different changes our student government is making. Finally, I want us to become efficient and economically aware. We, as students, are given a set budget. However, I believe that we can make the most of it, despite the changes our university is experiencing. With my guidance, I think that our student government can move with the changes. Our organizations will get more information, and they will be prepared. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. My email is



Tameka Bazile

Some things are all about preparation...

You study for exams you know you wouldn't do well on without preparing. You exercise for a marathon you know you wouldn't perform well in by preparing. You practice dancing and singing for a show so you can be comfortable on stage when performing. It's all about preparation and how well you prepare.

I prepared myself this year in my position. I tried, made mistakes, sometimes failed but I am happy to say that most of the time, I succeeded. I worked hard with my current E-Board to shape what Programming Board is and what the committee will continue to be for years to come. I am glad to say that I left a footprint in the sand and I hope to leave many more in the upcoming school year. I am ecstatic to say I fulfilled many of my goals with the programming position this year and that I have received praise for the efforts I have made. Last year, I urged you to allow me to help make your drawer full of memories.

"I lead by example and I pride myself in always traveling off the beaten path but ending up at the same destination. I mean, isn’t that what this is all about? Making your own noise, following your heart and filling up a drawer full of memories before we get to that diploma? I will always encourage the Pace community to live this way, not because that is how I live but because it is the right way to live. We are all here for the same thing but the way we get there should differ as greatly as we do."

I know your drawers are getting a little full but I am hoping there is space for a couple more memories. The same way I am hoping that there is space for one more year as your Vice President of Programming. You know I can do this! You know I have prepared! And with adequate preparation, the prospect of failure diminishes.

With that, I end with the same quote that helped me win the position last year: “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.” Aristotle

Donika Brucaj

Pace University is the home of Opportunity. Don’t just take my word for it, look at the numbers: U.S. News top 5 in the nation for placing people in internships, Forbes top 20 colleges in the country that will make you rich, and over 2,800 alumni hold executive level positions in their companies. There’s countless statistics proving that Pace is truly the home of excellence. But behind that excellence that we all desperately desire to achieve, lies experience. What would college be without the experience, inside and outside the classroom? Sure, a prestigious job is what we all strive to gain out of the hard work we put in, but why not celebrate ourselves and our community as we achieve academic excellence. After all, the journey is sometimes better than the destination. Students should be able to look back at their years at Pace and reflect on endless fun and fascinating activities and events hosted on the Pleasantville campus itself. Pace Pleasantville is home to a great variety of people, be it residents or commuters, people involved in Greek life, student athletes, and faculty with hands on experience. We need to work as a team to channel that diversity and create a unified community, one that does not segregate the commuters from the residents, the Greek life from the Non-Greek life, athletes from non-athletes, and the students from the faculty. A community that is whole. A community that screams PACE PRIDE! Pleasantville has endless potential and it’s time we finally utilize it. We’re already making huge progress with the Master Plan, but we must remember not to sacrifice the comfort of our students during the process. As a commuter, I feel I represent a huge amount of unheard voices of people too discouraged to speak up. If elected Vice President of Programming, I promise to change that. I, Donika Brucaj, your friend, colleague, and mentor, promise to represent the student body to the best of my ability in an effort to make life on the Pleasantville campus more engaging and entertaining. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and with your vote, Pace can finally reach its full potential and become the whole provider of our happiness, excellence, and success. I am truly grateful for the countless opportunities I’ve been given at Pace and hope to give back to you, the student body, as much as I can if given the chance to serve as Vice President of Programming!


Pavan Naidu

Pace University Pleasantville has taught me so much over the few years that I’ve been here. I never could have imagined myself going to Pace because, I did not think I had the grades to go to a private institution like this. Pace took a chance on me so I made it my goal to never let them down. I made CAPS dean’s list, and Pace’s dean list two semesters in a row. I did Model United Nations and received an outstanding delegate award for actively involving members to create stronger dialogue and better resolutions to issues. I believe I can use the traits I have acquired to be your Vice President of Administration. As a member of the community I have seen many changes and have been granted many opportunities to be successful. Throughout these years I’ve grown to love it here and want to make an impact for future generations of Pace students. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see.” I think together, we can change the world we live in, and that is Pace Pleasantville. If I am granted the privilege of joining SGA, my number one priority will be to satisfy the needs of the student body. Our university motto is opportunity. Pace University has enormous potential to have better school spirit. It has enormous potential to be recognized as a school with incredible pride. Let us actualize this potential by discussing ways we can create better opportunities for students to not only succeed, but enjoy their time here. Together, we can bridge multiple gaps along with the transition phase Pace is currently going through, to ensure students’ needs are being met. This can be achieved through a multifaceted approach by addressing concerns such as, Student and administrator relations, the Pleasantville and Briarcliff isolation and dormers and commuters’ relations. We can change this by changing the social structure. As Vice President of Administration, I will work to be a liaison between you the students, and our administration. By creating more collaborated events, we can effectively create cultural diffusion and mitigate issues between Briarcliff, Pleasantville and Commuters. By hosting events on each side of campus, we can create a more holistic Pace University. Commuters do not receive the same benefits as dormers. By creating events and opportunities for commuters and dormers to come together we can create a better Pace University. If you elect me as your Vice President of Administration, I promise I will give you everything I have in order to make Pace University the best environment for us. This is our college, our time, our life. Let us be the change we want to see. Thank You.

Edwin Rodriguez

Becoming part of the Student Government Executive board is an opportunity to allow me to impact and improve the atmosphere of the community at Pace University. I am looking forward to assisting all organizations on campus and students to empower them to further their organizations and hopefully bring new ones to the community. A main priority in this role would be improving communication within organizations including marketing of events, compliance with regulations, and the transitioning of executive boards.

I will be entering my senior year of my academics in the University and I have always been involved here at Pace since my first year. First I got involved becoming President of North Hall and being recognized as Hall of the Year with my executive board. As semesters went by I started to become more active in the community by becoming a member of organizations, working in different departments such as Residential Life, Student Development and Campus Activities and Athletics, as well as going to Conferences about Student Leadership to enhance myself and Pace. All these opportunities I have been offered have given me a better understanding of the University and how the Student Government Association, as well as the student body as a whole functions.

I look forward to utilizing ideas of past executive board members along with bringing forth new impressions that future students will use and build off of to implement their own ideas.


Joe Artoglou

My experience here at Pace has had a tremendously positive impact on my view of life. Originally I came here primarily to be a member of the the football team and had a very apathetic approach to academics. After leaving the football team for medical reasons, I have been able to open my eyes to see all the resources that are available to us as students. Pace University and the community around us have given me the opportunity to work three jobs at the World of Weezee, 7-Eleven, as well as a tutor in the Center of academic excellence. Along with employment opportunities, giving back to the community is something that was made very painless by the amazing people at Pets Alive Animal Shelter, The Atria, as well as the World of Weezee. I have learned to time manage and prioritizing,by working 60 hours a week as a Bio-Psychology major. I would love to close the gaps between all students through services such as giving back and raising the reputation of excellence of the student body. As Vice President of Finance for the Peace and Justice Society, I have gained experience in both the E-board as well as developing awareness for Social Justice. If elected for Vice President of Unity and Social Justice I will challenge students to become leaders and spread awareness on the importance of unity and justice on and off campus of Pace University. Strength lies in numbers, and we can accomplish goals and take action more efficiently with all students on board for this mission!

As part of a larger team of students hoping to be part of SGA, our primary concerns are to make sure the students voices are represented correctly and to make sure we can come together as a Student Body to leave a legacy for the future generation of Pace students.

Rachel Aviles

The ideals of Vice President of Unity and Social Justice are ones that are personal to me. I would like to start by sharing personal experience to elaborate why. My name is Rachel Aviles and when I was a junior in high school I experienced a case of discrimination based on my sexuality; an injustice, easily described. A simple difference, that makes me no less of a human being, was reason enough for administration to ask me to withdraw from my local private Christian school, the summer before my senior year. This experience taught me a very important lesson. Our society, both local and across country, does not understand the value of a human being. More importantly, we, individuals who make up our society, do not know how to treat each other. My experience equipped me with motivation to protect other students who are prone to experience discrimination based on what makes them different.

As an individual running for Vice President of Unity and Social Justice, I value honesty and character. I value empathy, understanding and respect. Despite the classifications that society separates people into (class, race, sexuality, religion, ability etc), I believe these values are necessary to living amongst each other, not only in a safe and supportive community, but also society. I want to use this position to focus on these values and make them basic fundamental expectations for other human beings. I want to bring awareness, but also provoke movement. I want to actually bring the diverse people of our community together, and hopefully decrease the separation between groups of people.

My name is Rachel Aviles, and I am currently a sophomore apart of the Dyson School of Arts and Sciences. I am running for Vice President of Unity and Social Justice and I am asking for your vote.

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