Student Government Association tickets: Angela Camacho and Josie Haas
Genevieve Coleman | Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Juniors Angela Camacho and Josie Haas expressed their desire to uplift the Saint Mary’s community if elected student body president and vice president, respectively.
“As empower[ed] young women, we aspire to motivate and educate the Belles of Saint Mary’s, the very people who will one day make a difference in our world,” they wrote in their platform.
The pair is one of two tickets running for the Student Government Association (SGA) president and vice president in the 2022 election cycle.
Camacho is a sociology and psychology double major with minors in Spanish and film studies. She currently serves as the president of Residence Hall Association (RHA) and as SGA’s vice president of operations.
Haas is a Spanish and secondary education major with a minor in English as a second language. On campus, she is co-president of RHA’s Hall Improvements committee.
One of the pillars of the Camacho-Haas platform is student suggestions. Camacho detailed how this tenet would be fulfilled in the form of a virtual suggestion box.
“There hasn’t been an opportunity to work this year, at least, to where students can sort of give feedback and suggestions, whether it be about student government, other big boards or campus overall,” Camacho said. “The way that we envisioned it was just having a link at the bottom of our general emails from SGA where we tell students, ‘Hey, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions or whatnot, use this link and tell us,’ just so that we’re up to date with how the students feel.”
In terms of forging a relationship with the College administration, Haas noted that the ticket hopes to create a balance between respecting the decisions of administrators while remaining representatives for students.
“We will always be respectful of what [the] administration finds best for our students,” Haas said. “But we’re here to be the voice of the students to an extent and so being respectful but also not wavering in our want to be that voice.”
Camacho stated one of the problems that the pair wishes to address is the number of daily emails that students receive.
“[The amount of emails that we get in a day] is an issue that I think everyone experiences and everyone complains about,” Camacho said. “So that’s where we sort of come in with that newsletter [and] that we aren’t always emailing the students, but we have one page or just one time where students are informed and we just call it a day.”
Camacho also acknowledged that she expected time to be the ticket’s biggest obstacle.
“I just think that timing is going to maybe bite us in the butt,” Camacho said. “Just because we have a vision of so many opportunities for Belles that sometimes it feels like we may not be able to do everything all at once or we may only be able to initiate something not completely.”
Haas echoed Camacho, explaining the ticket’s thought process in creating a realistic platform.
“We tried to be as conscientious of this as we could while we were creating our platform with this in mind of ‘Okay, what’s realistic?’ but … also we may not be able to be the ones to start the initiatives that we came up with, so [there are] things that we may have to allocate to other committees,” she said.
Haas also described how many of her friends across academic disciplines have discussed needing new equipment and how she and Camacho want to begin that process for students during their term.
“Our contingency plan is at least getting that information out there,” Haas said. “This needs to be done, whether that’s this year, next year or the year after that, because there needs to be a timeline on that. So … our plan is to get a plan.”
In terms of the platform’s proposed mentorship program for LGBTQ+ students, Haas stated the ticket wants to provide a community for students who are questioning their identity using a similar model to the College’s peer mentoring program between upperclass students and first-years.
“We currently have peer mentors on campus, so we would have a system with a similar training, where they have to go through confidentiality training,” Haas said. “Things are anonymous. You won’t be outed [or] anything like that. This is a safe space and that’s a huge thing.”
Camacho added that the program is also for students who are comfortable with their identity and want to meet other students.
“Even if someone is secure, and they know about their sexuality and they just want to learn about others — that’s also an opportunity for them through the mentorship program,” Camacho said.
Haas emphasized the importance of the Saint Mary’s community to her.
“It’s so cool to be around all of these women that are just so incredibly talented and that just have such a wonderful role around campus,” Haas said. “I think that also has to do with being a small campus community, where we have this ability to get to know all of those around us.”
Camacho also described how Saint Mary’s had become her home over the last three years.
“I’m far away from home. I’m from Fort Worth, Texas, so that’s 16 hours away,” she said. “And I have learned to make St. Mary’s literally my second home. Being here with my friends, being here … with other people that I know — that’s what makes it home for me.”