SGA candidate profiles: Presidential election

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Co-News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) is currently having its annual election cycle for next year’s president.

Drew Simko

Drew Simko is a junior cinema production major and SGA presidential candidate.

“The first thing that I really want to tackle is… bus passes and student parking,” Simko said. “This has been an issue that so many people prior to us have tried to tackle, and it has just, unfortunately, not gotten very far in the past.”

Simko acknowledged that, just like in the past, this demand will face pushback. However, he said he believes SGA as a whole would be better off coming to a definitive decision on the issue rather than leave it open as it has been in the past.

“We are going to be putting our foot down with that issue, and we are going to be resolving it one way or another,” Simko said. “It might be a long fight. But I hope that we can take it down and get commuter students better parking, and we can get better transportation for students who live on campus.”

Currently Simko serves as the SGA communications director.

“I’m the current communications director for the Student Government Association,” Simko said. “So I’ve been working heavily with social media management and outreach.”

As communications director, Simko has worked with a variety of campus organizations, including the Student Interfaith Organization as well as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Currently, some of the things that I’ve been working on are the student interfaith [group] with Pastor Jennifer,” Simko said. “I think that that’s been going really well… but other than that, I worked on the pronoun policy statement at the beginning of last semester. I’ve been working with LGBT students ever since… I really want to make it a more comfortable environment for them.”

Simko said that his favorite thing about Point Park is the people who go here.

“I genuinely love all of the people who I’ve met at Point Park,” Simko said. “I think that it sounds a little bit cliché to say that… but genuinely, I think that Point Park is full of so many creative and passionate individuals. And I want to see all of those people succeed.”

Kendra Summers

Kendra Summers is a junior journalism major with minors in creative writing and social justice. She is running to be SGA’s next president.

“I’m running on a platform of empathy, advocacy and transparency between both the student body and the administration, between the student body specifically empathy as in having empathy or sympathy or whatever word vibes with you, for your fellow peers,” Summers said. “… I think sometimes COPA doesn’t really think about any other educational school but COPA and the same goes vice versa. We’re not too privy about issues within COPPA. And I think that if we bridge that gap, things would get solved a lot faster than they are.”

Summers said that her first priority if elected is to get rid of the gendered uniform standards for dance students.

“I’m eliminating the dress code for dancers that’s gendered. That’s an issue that was brought to me many times in the last few semesters,” Summers said. “There is a section for nonbinary students, but it’s… ‘here’s what you should wear if you’re female and nonbinary’ and then ‘here’s what you should wear if you’re male and nonbinary.’ And I was like, ‘Hey, did you know that sectioning those the way that you did eliminates the whole purpose of being nonbinary?’ So the first thing I would do is work… to eliminate that or to have one unified dress code among dancers.”

Another thing that Summers said she hopes to improve within SGA is communication between members.

“I think there’s a severe lack of communication and empathy among members of the Executive Cabinet and among members of the Senate,” Summers said. “I think that we need to be a lot more open and honest with each other. If we don’t lean into clear communication no issue is ever going to get solved.”

Summers first joined SGA after attending a ‘come complain’ event held by SGA (then referred to as United Student Government (USG).

“I went to a ‘come complain’ event held by parliamentarian Hayzlett,” Summers said. “I screamed in his face for a couple minutes and I filled out a complaint card and I got my free pizza. He was like, ‘Well, hey, if you actually want to make a change, and you want to solve that issue, you should join SGA.’ So I did.”

Summers said that her favorite thing about Point Park is the student body.